Taking the Long Way travel blog

Downtown Cairo

Shopping displays



Cairo University

Khan el Kahlili market



Sufi dancers







I arrived in the middle of the night at Cairo airport and headed straight to a hostel I had booked online the day before. It was surprisingly FANTASTIC, clean room, hot water, free wifi...all the good stuff and centrally located.

I've had a bit of a look around Cairo downtown and there isn't a great deal to see. Its predominantly a shopping district for the sorts of clothes I would never wear. There is also alot of electrical goods for sale about the palce as well.

The city itself never seems to sleep; understandable when there are 18 million people living in it! Cairo itself is divided into 6 cities within the city and I am heading over the Nile River today to the city of Giza where I am starting a tour for the next few weeks heading through Egypt, Syria, Jordan and then into Turkey. I am pretty happy with my decision to do a tour through this part of the world, the amount of hassles I am getting as a solo female traveller is enough to make me want to give up and try somewhere else!

I had a rather embarrassing moment when I went into a KFC near where I was staying, I went in to order and spent a few frustrating minutes wondering why the girl behind the counter wouldn’t acknowledge me or speak to me when I was trying to place my order and just held her hand out for money and didn‘t even indicated she had taken my order. I happened to glance down at the counter during the transactionand saw a tiny sign announcing that the KFC was staffed solely by deaf and dumb people. I felt so stupid that I wanted to crawl outside as unobtrusively as possible with the tatters of my dignity fluttering behind me but then of course had to wait for my burger. What made it worse was I then noticed one whole wall was taken up with a visual depiction of the deaf alphabet in sign…how did I miss it????

I headed out to the Khan El Khalili Market and had a look around Cairo's most famous market. The touts are very persistent but at lesst try to get your attention with amusing lines like 'I don't know what you're looking for but I've got what you need'.

From there I went to an Egyptian cultural show featuring Sufi dancing and the famous whirling dervish where guys twirl about in massive skirts for over half an hour at a time. It was quite fascinating to watch for the first little while but the show dragged on for an agonising 90 minutes and I thought my head was going to explode from the screeching music.

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