Cairo Day 7: Abdin Palace and Al-Azhar Park

By now, Eid was in full celebration and this proved to be the downfall of our day.  We started by going to the Abdin Palace, and had to walk all the way around the building just to figure out where we were supposed to enter.  Turned out that it was closed for the holidays so we didn't get to go in.  The palace which is one of the residences of the Egyptian President and a huge museum is supposed to be very lavish and ornamented, so it was a shame to miss out.

We then decided to walk to Al-Azhar Park, which was "relatively" nearby.  It turned out that relatively was not quite as near as we had thought, about a mile and a half actually.  We walked through a really slummy section of Cairo, but still managed to stumble upon some interesting historic buildings.

We passed through Bab Zuweila, an old gate to the old city of Cairo.

After walking a ways further we stumbled across the Sabil Muhammad Ali Pasha, which although it was not open to the public, was recently renovated.  A sabil is, according to Amazon, a public cistern and water dispenser and was apparently a tribute to a deceased son.  In case you were wondering what some of your tax dollars were likely doing, the funding in part from the US Agency for International Development whose acronym is fittingly USAID.  Who knew.  It was truly surprising to find something so beautiful hidden amongst small, winding, garbage ridden streets.

The Sabil had beautiful details which were obviously well maintained during the renovation.

Walls of the round Sabil.

Details at the top of the walls.

After trudging onwards, including a brief stint walking a long a very busy highway-ish road, we finally made it to the park.  To say it was packed would definitely be an understatement.  Since it was Eid, most families weren't working, school wasn't in session, and the park seemed to be a nice place for everyone in the whole city to try and visit at once.

There was a zero percent chance of us getting some peace and quiet here, but alas we paid the $2.50 it cost to get in and tried to find a place to sit down.  The park despite being filled beyond capacity, was very beautiful, and since it was situated on a big hill, there was a great view of Cairo.  Because of the huge crowds, I didn't even try to take pictures so here are a few great ones from the internet:

After a very long tiring day, we flagged a taxi that drove us back to the front door of the hostel.

Catch up on the rest of our trip:
Holy Mother of Chaos
Cairo Day 0
Cairo Day 1