Chapter 10: Legends.
Anna and Matt meet Professor Ali, their father’s friends, at the hotel in Cairo. Elena is busy with her co-workers, so the twins spend the morning in an awesome sitting room, listening to myths and histories about African dragons.
“When they shut the door of the small room, the children thought they travelled back in time.
Oriental carpets covered the floors, and there were leather stools everywhere. Four low red sofas, enriched with countless cushions of the same colour, surrounded an engraved tray, on which they saw a steaming teapot and gold-trimmed glasses. The light from outside passed through saffron and crimson curtains. There were lamps and lanterns in hand-worked metal hung from the ceiling. The high vault and ochre walls completed the Arabian Nights picture.”
In the late afternoon, they go visiting Giza, the Pyramids and the Sphinx.
“At five in the afternoon, the heat was still sultry, but the sunrays coloured the sky with delicate shades of pink. The twins and Professor Ali reached the plain of Giza. The Pyramids and the Sphinx seemed made of gold under the sun and in the heat that made the horizon dusky.”
Last week, speaking about chapter 9, I preferred to talk about my region, Veneto, Italy, and its wonderful natural and historical riches. But in chapter 9, the twins arrive in Cairo, and with their mother, they go to the Egyptian Museum. They are able to admire Tutankhamon’s treasure, papyri and all the incredible masterpieces inside the most important Egyptian Museum in the world.
Today I want to speak about Cairo. It’s a beehive, sometimes noisy, but incredibly fascinating with its high blue sky, the Nile, its souks, the smell of spices and the chanting of Muezzins. It’s modern and ancient at the same time. I love Cairo deeply, and I miss this wonderful town. I visited the city 5 times, but it’s never enough. I have a kind of “mal d’afrique”, or better a “mal d’Egypte”.
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