The Cairo Nilometer

Nilometer - Looking Up at the Ceiling from the Bottom

Cairo Nilometer – Looking Up at the Ceiling from the Bottom

The Cairo nilometer was used by the ancient Egyptians to measure the height of the Nile. It is located on the bank of the Nile river on the bottom of Roda Island in downtown Cairo. There is a 30 foot high stone post in the centre that measures the height of the water. When the Nile flooded each year, people opened the sluice gates and water poured in.  When the water got to the level of the Nile, it would stop. This told the Egyptians how high the Nile was. The level of the water told whether it was going to be a good growing season or a bad one.  If the water was high, this meant a good growing season.  If the water was low, this meant a bad growing season.  In a good growing season, the taxes would be high because the farmers would grow more crops and have more food.  In a bad growing season, the people could not feed themselves and people would die. What I thought was most interesting about the Cairo nilometer was its depth and the stained glass on the ceiling.

My dad created a video while we were inside the nilometer, but we cannot upload it now because the wifi is not good.

Looking down into the Cairo Nilometer

Looking down into the Cairo Nilometer

Matt Outside the Nilometer in Cairo

Matt Outside the Nilometer in Cairo

Guns, Guns & More Guns!

Guns - Photos Not Allowed!

Guns – Photos Not Allowed!

There are so many guns here in Egypt!  Right outside of our hotel in Cairo there was an armed vehicle with soldiers that carried submachine guns and automatic rifles.  At one of the restaurants that we ate at, the man sitting beside us had a pistol.  We could see it in its holster.  Around the Arab League building, near the Egyptian Museum, there were many police officers standing behind metal barriers.  These barriers look like a metal door with an open rectangular window where the soldiers had their rifles and submachine guns ready.  When we were leaving Cairo airport for Luxor, we saw more soldiers with rifles and automatic rifles.  When we were driving from Luxor to the West Bank towards the Valley of the Kings, we saw soldiers in these towers on posts that had guns sticking out of them.   When we went to see the Tomb of Ay, we were crowded into a car in the Valley of the Kings with a driver, a guide, a police officer who was carrying a submachine gun all in two seats, with my family in the back seat.  Even though it seemed that everybody had guns, fortunately they did not use them and the safetys were on (or at least we hope)!  

P.S.  This post was for Callan. :)  Also, we were not allowed to take pictures of the guns.