Friday, December 26th, 2008
So after approximately a day and a half in the air and cooling our heels at airports, Mel and I arrived in Cairo yesterday in the wee hours of the morning. After sleeping until mid-afternoon, we awoke to chaos outside our downtown hotel. Chaos to us, everyday life to the average Cairene. After wandering around our neighourhood for a while, we decided to call it an early night, but jet lag had other plans and we spent most of our time vainly trying to sleep whiel our bodies insisted we were still in Vancouver.
Today, however, we made our way downtown to check out true chaos. After a bit of wandering around the Corniche (the walkway on the Nile) and being harassed by boat and taxi hucksters the whole way, we gradually forged onward to Abu Tarek, a famous cafe that specializes in koshary, which is a blend of spaghetti, garlic, lentils, and spiciness. It’s a big hit with locals and is often crowded (as seen in Anthony Bourdain’s show, No Reservations) but we lucked out and got to tuck in in relative peace.
We then made our way to Coptic Cairo, the old Christian section of the city. Some of the churches date from the last millenium, and the Roman gates at the front are from 98 AD. We also got to see a goat getting its neck cut open, a definite first for Mel and myself.
Tomorrow we hope to check out Islamic Cairo, and after that our tour begins.