Blogs from Cairo, Lower Egypt, Egypt, Africa


Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo October 29th 2023

Arrived late afternoon and met by hotel driver. This worked well as he gave us an insight into some of the areas which I had been researching. Drove past Kahn el Khalili and through the downtown area. Everyone emphasises welcome and safety At night we headed out to downtown area to get something to eat. Ended up at Abu Tarek, a restaurant that serves Khoshary. It was great fun and there was a certain theatre about the serving! Abou Tarek restaurant: 2 bowls with amusing waiter who put it all together with some theatrics, 2 sprite and rice pudding=$10 Koshary: chickpeas, fried onions, spaghetti, tiny pasta and garlicky tomato sauce. Add squeeze of lemon, vinegar salt pepper and cumin. After dinner we walked home. Streets are busy and people are friendly. One of the streets was ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo April 8th 2023

After arriving in Cairo from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, we stayed at the Ramses Hilton in the heart of Cairo. It was a fabulous hotel with great views of the city, several restaurants, and a pool (which unfortunately closed at sunset so we never got to use it). Even though we arrived late the night before, we were on a tour bus by 7:30am the next day to go see the Great Pyramids of Giza. None of us minded the early wake up as it is not every day you get to see the final surviving Wonder of the World, dating back to 2500 BC. The largest pyramid at Giza was the tallest structure on the planet for over 3,800 years. There are three large pyramids at Giza built by three generations (Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure). There ... read more
Pyramids of Giza
The Sphinx and the Pyramid of Khafre
Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo February 5th 2023

We got to sleep in just a little more, until about 8 today, before having breakfast and checking out by 9am. So, no free time in the afternoon as was listed in our program, which meant I had to cancel plans with a colleague I had intended to meet up with. Well, we were kept just as busy today as the day before and I knew I would suffer at work on Monday... Egyptian Museum of Antiquities Our first stop and one of the trip highlights was the Egyptian Museum (for some reason, I always default to calling it the British Museum..... take from that what you will....). The new Grand Egyptian Museum is set to open in 2023, but has been delayed many times for various reasons.... so don't hold your breath. But we drove ... read more
Kushari - fried onions!
Mosque of Muhammed Ali
Sunset on the Nile

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo February 4th 2023

Despite my hectic workload, I kept my weekend trip to Cairo with my usual Trekkup group, partially swayed by that it seemed we had a free afternoon on Sunday at a nice hotel. Yeah, no. This did not happen. This was by far the most busy, packed weekend I think I have ever had. It was great, don't get me wrong, but my god (or as our guide Amina would say, "For God's sake"), I am still exhausted! We met up at the Sharjah airport, which I have not flown from since before Covid. Aside from the heavy traffic from Dubai, it is a cute building and pretty efficient. We took Air Arabia to Cairo and despite, leaving on time, we somehow landed 40 minutes late - I have no idea why. So, we landed at ... read more
The Pyramids!
Mom and I at the Sphinx
Outside the Great Pyramid

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo December 25th 2022

Cacophony in Cairo - Piprey on wheels Egypt is a dream destination since time immemorial. In ancient time, Socrates, the Greek philosopher travelled to Egypt to visit the pyramids. I was most excited and planned a 2 week dream itinerary. I am writing a travel series to focus on these fascinating Egypt cities. Cairo was my entry and exit point to Egypt. British Airways flight from London to Cairo was delayed by 1.50 mins because supposedly a crew member had called in sick at the last minute ( and so that they do not have to offer refreshment vouchers applicable for delay above 2 hours). I had a satchet of masala tea and a paper cup. Shopped around for hot water and sipped a masala tea with homemade cheese toastie in a quiet corner at the ... read more
Building lift
Pyramids of Giza
Inside of Khufru pyramid.

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo December 15th 2022

As a former longtime resident (and now a somewhat infrequent visitor) of this incredible country, I’m often asked about planning “bucket list” trips to Egypt: what are the do’s and don’ts? Is it safe? And so on……given my extensive experience, it’s time to write a Primer Guide and make a valiant attempt to address the myriad of questions I frequently receive - so here goes…… A dream trip like this isn’t easy to plan but it can be done – just be prepared to do extensive online research, talk to people such as myself who know the country well, and read everything you can about Egypt. With that data in hand, yes you can pull off a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. For most tourists visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza; the tombs in the Valley of the Kings; ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo September 4th 2022

Cairo-nothing more needs to be added, one of those places in this world that conjures up visions of ancient civilizations and cultures...the magical home of Pharaohs, Pyramids, Temples, Tombs, and the Nile, could not wait to get exploring... Funny, Egypt was never really on our radar for some reason, it had come up in conversations over the years but never really stuck strangely enough...with international travel opening up we started chatting about where we should/could go, and unexpectedly we stumbled across an Intrepid tour that seemed to check all our boxes: majority of the major sites covered, small group, all sorts of modes of transportation (Planes, Trains and Automobiles! And buses, feluccas, Ubers, and about twelve days which is a decent length. Tacking on some beach time on the Sinai Peninsula after the tour seemed ... read more
In front of the Great Pyramid
Pyramid of Khafre
Statue of Khafre

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo June 7th 2022

Here we are, next stop...back to Cairo. Not a first neither for Tanya, nor for me. Imagine, last time I was here, back in February 2011, just 4 days after the famous demonstrations on the square. That was one of those moment in history, I must have been one of the very few foreigners in the capital that day. A very different time too that would not only see the fall of Mubarak, but a full blow Arab Spring...the world would change for ever. Remember the Arab World in 2010...Syria, Libya...2022 is today a very different world, including Egypt! Well, for tourists, not much has actually really changed. So having had the chance to come on multiple stops in Egypt...this time we are taking it very the very relax way! Straight from the airport to the ... read more
The Sphinx and a happy couple...
Breakfast with a view...
A police camel ...

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo January 22nd 2022

Shabbat - a real day of rest! I decided to skip shul and daven in the room. I really enjoyed "my time" while Don participated in the group service. At 10.30am I joined the rest of the group and we made kiddush and had brunch which was a special milky meal. Then Rabbi Berman gave a drasha and then it was sleep time! Some people went out for walks, but we just quietly read and rested. We all got together again at 4 pm when we had seudah shlishit with lots of singing. Again the table was set nicely with real crockery and cutlery. Then free time until after shabbat when Rabbi Berman gave an instructive PowerPoint presentation. He explained in further detail some of the scenes and hieroglyphics we had seen and would explore in ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo January 21st 2022

Up and out a bit later than usual and off to Fustat, the old quarter of Cairo. For me it was a bit disappointing that we were unable to visit the Genizah. The Genizah is being refurbished. The Genizah (literally meaning the treasury) is a treasury of old documents which contained Hebrew letters and which people didn’t want to throw away. So they were deposited in the Genizah. Holy books are buried but the fragments of the documents are an amazing pot pourri of social history. The documents were in Hebrew, Aramaic and Judea-Arabic. Fragments of ketubot (wedding contracts) are particularly interesting as they set out not only terms of the marriage – what each side will bring – but also what will happen in the event of divorce; they are a bit like prenuptial agreements. ... read more
Ben Ezra Synagogue holds the Genizah
Maimonides synagogue view from Women's gallery
Maimonides study in the synagogue

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