Day 3: The Best of Free Cairo
Day 4: Mummies and the Nile
Day 5: The Colourful Friday Cairo
Sunday, December 4, 2011
|Spinx: A Masterpiece or a Symbol of Tyranny!?|
Some Surprises are so Pleasant!
It was all so sudden; got the visa on Friday, booked the ticket on Saturday, and on Sunday morning we were in the CIP lounge of the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi waiting for the Emirates EK-601 to open for boarding!
While I was babysitting, Urooba was hastily noting the ‘Must Dos’ of Cairo from the internet. Pyramids, Mummies, the Nile Cruise, historical mosques, and Khan El Khalili bazaar were some of the findings while I added Suez Canal, Tanura, and the Coptic Cairo to the list. However, in the subconscious, I was dreaming of watching the rebellious Egyptian youth around the infamous Tahrir square pushing back the remains of the tyranny!
|Now We Know How to Travel Light!|
The frank and amicable Ashraf picked us from the Cairo Airport and took us straight to the Cairo Palace Hotel located in the downtown Cairo. He looked antithesis of those notorious drivers who always want to take you to their uncle’s perfume shop, a typical tourist trap in Cairo! But Ashraf is a common being like us; a hardworking father on one hand who strives to make sure his children get good education and a concerned citizen on the other who spoke high about his presence at Tahrir Square in the toughest of days.
Despite making his bread and butter from the tourist industry, he was blunt in expressing his dissatisfaction on the disco clubs on the other side of Nile, called Giza. “We Egyptians don’t like that. It is against our values”.
Cutting through a couple of traffic jams we reached our destination at around 7pm, where the young Muhammad, the football freak, greeted us at the reception. We had already realized that every third Egyptian goes by the name ‘Muhammad’ and every first is a football crazy!
After dumping our luggage in the big family room, we took a brief stroll around, basically to have some food. Fool فول and Shawarma were our first meal on the Egyptian land which we had at a local eatery آخر السا عہ or “the 11th Hour” as per Muhammad’s recommendation!
|Cairo Palace Hotel|
|Its Modern Elevator (Reference: Pyramids)|
|The Cairo Downtown; A View from the Balcony|
|Lonely as it can be! Down from the Balcony|
These shops happily accept USD, Euro, GBP, AED, SAR, etc on clearly displayed rates.