I had every intention of putting up a post before Jon and I left for Cairo, but because Virgin Media continues to fail me at home, it looks like there’s going to be a week-long gap before I can put up anything with photos.
In the meantime, Jon and I are on Day 2 in Egypt, and Cairo is so far meeting expectations. It’s huge, fascinating, dusty and already somewhat exhausting. (When the guy at the sleek, modern airport convenience store short changes you by a couple large bills, you know it’s time to stay on guard).
Despite having to haggle for every little thing (except our super-blinged-out oasis, the newly-built Fairmont), we’re taking in the sights and trying a lot of street food (at our risk, if guidebooks are to be believed, because it’s impossible to get the stuff “without salad”).
Koshari (macaroni, lentils, tomato sauce and fried onion – seriously), taamayya (fava bean cooked falafel style) and fuul (fava beans, mashed up hummus style) have been plentiful and cheap (about 3 Egyptian Pounds or 36p(!) for a typical taamayya sandwich). The contrast between the hotel we’re staying and the cost of pretty much everything else is crazy. The gap will diminish as we make our way south and stay in more modest digs – I think.
Tomorrow it’s off to the Giza, Saqqara and Dahshur pyramids if the taxi driver we struck a deal with today shows up as agreed, and then on Tuesday, we’re on the overnight sleeper train to Luxor, and then to Aswan.
I haven’t had much luck finding places to eat in Luxor and Aswan that are outside of guidebooks (we’re carrying three – Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, and a DK – interestingly, all three list the same restaurants), so if you’ve got a rec, pleeease leave a comment below.
Happy Easter, and ma a’ salama!