>Travel Pictures


Cairo: Cairo Streets

Walking back to our hotel, and on the various trips we took during our time in Cairo, we found ourselves smack in the middle of one of the busiest and craziest cities in the world. Coming from Bombay, however - THE busiest and craziest city in the world - left us a little jaded to what is usually one of Cairo's most lasting impressions. A taxi driver commented on the traffic at one point, and the disappointment on his face when the kids said, "Oh, this isn't bad at all" was priceless.

Seen from above, the city stretches out towards the desert in all directions. On a clear day from the luxury hotel that hosted the conference (from which the 2 pictures above were taken) we could just make out the pyramids. And of course the Nile bisects the city - the pulsing heart of the entire country.

During the night time, the city hums and bustles with life, as the heat lifts and people come out to do their shopping. Our hotel was located right in the middle of a shoe shopping souk, so we found ourselves surrounded by Egyptian women - all wearing headscarves - out looking for the latest footwear.

And following the crowds of women were sellers trying to get them to buy shiny, sparkly toys for the kids back home. All a crazy scene under the dark Cairo sky.

When we got down to street level during the day, there were always sights and sounds (but not really smells) that reminded us of how cool this city is. 

to freshly butchered lamb being sold on the street...

Everything from freshly baked bread being delivered on a bike...

to the pita stands and orange sellers was new and exciting. And since these all were located within a 5-minute walk of our hotel, the kids were assured of plenty of 'silage' to supplement the (perfectly adequate) breakfast supplied by the hotel

We did visit the green market almost every day.


And while we never availed ourselves of the cow heads or hooves, 

Egyptian sweets tempted us on every corner, and we could look down from our hotel balcony into the less-than-hygenic conditions that some of the bread found itself!
Some shoppers went for giant carrot displays; others negotiated business deals near shops filled with nothing but eggs.
Food wasn't the only thing for sale on the streets, of course. We came across a wide variety of 'treasures' on every corner.

Spices were everywhere

as were inexpensive perfume bottles


and, of course, stuff like this!!
But in the midst of all the hubbub, a slower pace to life could be found. Whether it was fishing by hand on the Nile, or smoking a hookah at any of the thousands of small stands, there seemed to be a relaxed attitude towards things overall.

We indulged as well, taking stops from our trips to enjoy a cold drink and a warm pipe!

And of course, petting every street cat we could find along the way!

We also enjoyed a little restaurant right across from the conference hotel: directly on the Nile, it was a sheltered spot to grab a snack Susan was especially enamored by the roof made completely of old shutters: she's made it her quest now to collect old shutters from various places to do the same thing!

Another highlight was an evening felucca ride. After some wrong turns in a taxi trying to find the correct landing, we managed to meet up with Captain Kareem, who took us out as the night fell.
The lights of the city set off the boats, and the sparkling water seemed a world away from the crazy streets and mobbing crowds. A peaceful, almost-perfect ending to a day.
Susan and the kids would argue that the perfect ending followed shortly afterwards, when we ambled over to the Hard Rock Cafe to have dinner. The kids were excited about ice cream, and Susan was excited about beef and beer.
A super way to end a day of exploring Cairo's streets!

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