Saturday, August 4, 2012


I've been meaning to write about Cairo. I was there last week. Not this past week. The week before.

The thing is, Cairo's kind of disorienting. The big city.

Cairo is a city of over 20 million people. Possibly as many as 25 million. (Estimates vary widely.) So I'd always thought I'd never want to live there. But, in a sense, you don't live in a city, you live in a neighborhood. So it's just a matter of finding a livable neighborhood.

I was staying in the lovely relaxing guest house of the Anglican cathedral. It's in the Zamelek neighborhood, on an island. And you do feel a bit isolated there. A little bit away from the hustle and bustle. Although you're a jump over the river bridge from Tahrir Square, and in the other direction from the busy Dokki neighborhood.

If you've guessed that I'm thinking of moving, you guessed right. If I can find a livable neighborhood for me and my dog. Luxor is a lively small city with a thriving community of foreign residents. Many foreigners have left, but many have stayed, and many continue to return for the winter season every year--escaping the miserable British/European winter. But little Luxor can feel like a pressure cooker sometimes.

Believe it or not, the place where I was staying in the heart of Cairo was less noisy than my little street in the heart of Luxor. Both are side streets. But you get motorbikes racing up and down our street showing off a variety of excruciatingly-loud horns. In Cairo there was the dull roar of traffic, but none of the motorbike mayhem.

I wanted to chill in Cairo, and I did. Literally. It's significantly cooler there. In spite of greater humidity, this was a relief. And I chilled figuratively, without a schedule.

But I did revisit the Egyptian Museum, that amazing higgledy-piggledy warehouse of wonders.

And I visited the amazing Coptic Museum for the first time. But I think this could be a separate post.


  1. We had wanted to see the Coptic Museum and took a taxi there a couple years ago. However they wanted to hold my camera, but I was not willing to take a chance with a $2000 camera so we didn't go in. I'll be interested in hearing about it.
    We had a nice time nonetheless seeing the sights and talking to people. We ended our day by going to Al Azar Park, which is green oasis in a mostly "shades of brown" Cairo.

    1. Haven't been to Al Azar park. Maybe next time. It sounds beautiful.
      Went to St. John's Anglican in Maadi on the Friday. It's lovely and tree-filled and green around there. Doesn't feel like part of the big city.