Scotsabroad's Weblog

May 30, 2010

Okay Dokki

Filed under: Cairo — scotsabroad @ 6:28 pm

The boys headed out to Dokki today to find the Agricultural Museum. Opened in 1938, this enclosure has five buildings that contain the Ministry of Agriculture’s collection on Egyptian agriculture from pharaonic times to the end of the last century – all within huge, lush and pleasant grounds. Having taken the metro downtown we asked our taxi driver to take us to Nadi al-Seid Street. Perhaps not accustomed to taking people to this museum he dropped us quite far away at the entrance to a resort. We walked back for a bit and found the entrance. We got to an old turnstile (made in Manchester, think Old Trafford 1930s) paid a few pounds for our entrance fee and camera charge (change from 5LE) and found ourselves in the most amazing place. We had read that the buildings were pavilions but nothing prepared us for the magnificent 1930s architecture that housed the collections. First stop was the Museum of Natural History. Dusty, dilapidated and mankit – but just a splendid few floors of (now familiar) ethnological displays, and a stairway leading to a floor of stuffed animals, a whale’s skeleton, hippo and rhino heads. Touching no problem. Off to the sides are closed doors, opened by the caretakers for a few LE, displaying tired but exciting artefacts, an underwater display, a room full of large cats and a standing bear. Stuffed animals lying around showing their… stuffing.  Everything just disintegrating. The boys love it. How long will these museums survive? 

Very dingy and very difficult to get any photographs to capture this special place. Blocked passageways and locked doors just assumed by the end of this visit. Outside and while heading to the Scientific Collection Museum we spot a statue in the grounds. We have just finished watching the recent Dr Who episode where he encounters the Weeping Angels – boys imagination runs riot and are not too keen to be photographed beside this statue. Inside the other pavilion are great displays explaining the production of crops in Egypt and the cycle of fruits grown in Egypt annually. However, one child in need of a toilet and there is not one to be seen. Worth considering if bringing a school party here. We have to miss out the Cotton Museum and find out that we need to arrange a visit to the Museum of Ancient Agriculture (a modern building) included in the grounds. We retire, insisting that we will return next year.

Lucas says, The lions were stuffed with stuff. You can see one behind me in the bear picture. It was awesome. We saw a big skeleton of a whale. We saw a diver, with a yellow suit and an old diver’s helmet. We saw a bear standing up. I think my class should come here.

Cairo adds, It was a surprise to see real stuffed animals. First of all I thought they were plastic. The bear really scared my brother. The decorations on the side of the buildings were interesting. The lions and tigers had been ripped open. We stopped by a statue that looked like a Weeping Angel.


1 Comment »

  1. Great photos ! Really get a feel for it all from the descriptions , you can really do it ! Yous find all these fantastic buildings , it’s amazing the Egyptiann state can afford to keep these places going, and a credit to them that they do!! Egypt rocks!!

    Comment by Gordon Fraser — September 24, 2010 @ 3:09 pm | Reply

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