As we often do, we researched and booked a room at a guest house through Hostelworld.com. The location was in the center of the Islāmic Fundamentalist area. The guest house, known as The Arabian Nights (shown above) was a short taxi ride to the Tahrir Square market area and near the Nile River.
The photo above shows Blake with our host, Muhammad, at the Arabian Nights front desk. Great guy, very religious in the fundamental muslim faith, and a lot of fun. He was a fantastic host, helped keep us safe and helped keep us from getting ripped off by the taxi drivers. It was an interesting perspective hanging out with him for 3 or 4 days and learning about the culture.
It is a little strange to take photos of bathrooms but this one was worth taking because of its uniqueness. The toilet and shower are in the same small space. The floor is pitched so that shower water will run down to the low side of the bathroom to the drain. To save space and time, a guest could use the toilet and shower at the same time.
The traditional muslim dress was commonplace throughout Cairo.
We hung out in a large market area and the adjacent mixed use commercial residential area. The markets and small restaurants were awesome. So many hand-made fabrics, carved wood, jewelry, baked goods and artistic media of all types. The markets and restaurants were on the exterior areas along the main roads and the residential areas were behind the scenes in densely designed apartments in high rises over the retail on the street level. Some of the most fun was walking through the residential/commercial areas. Everyone was an entrepreneur in one way or another. They all seemed to work in a trade of some type.
Our host and some of the locals helped us plan our short taxi drive down to Tahrir Square, the “happening” fun place for locals and tourists alike. Muhammad was very protective of his guests. He would write out the instructions for the taxi driver and tell us not to pay more than a certain amount. As with any country. never get into a taxi unless you have the fare prearranged. We took many cabs in Cairo. They were very honest and very insane drivers! A road would be 5 lanes wide but somehow cars would create 8 lanes. Often the cab driver would detour off the main road, go cross-country to try to get ahead of the pack. Nuts!
Shown above is the famous Tahrir Square which is known for the riots that took place during the Egyptian revolution of 2011. We were there a few months before the riots. It was a very busy place with massive amounts of people visiting stores and restaurants and shops of all types. This is the only place in Cairo where we could find alcoholic beverages.
Shown above is Stephanie near one of the pyramids. The most spectacular pyramids are outside of Cairo in the town of Giza. This is where the famous Sphinx is located. Below is a very aggressive tour guide giving me his best pitch.
Here are the Sphinx and a Pyramid. It was surreal to see this in person after reading about it all my life
These pyramids were huge. I have been to pyramids in Belize Central America and the ones here are amazingly similar but much bigger.
The pyramids were quite amazing in person. I just stood and stared for a while. With the temperature 110 degrees and no shade, we only could last so long though.
I shot this photograph inside a pyramid located away from the pyramids of Giza. Security was a little less strict and we were able to go inside of the structure. Notice the hieroglyphic drawings on the wall.
We took a dinner cruise on the Nile River. How cool is that! All my life back to the bible school days (i.e. ~ 8 years old) I had heard about the Nile River and here I was. The Nile River extends over 4100 miles making it one of the longest if not the longest rivers in the world. It is one of the few major rivers in the world that flows from south to north.