Cairo, you are wonderful and super quirky.
So, we never originally planned to go to Egypt but we couldn’t pass up a great opportunity that arose while we were traveling through Asia. We got talking with some of our friends, who at this stage were on a wild adventure across Africa. The AfriKubro fellas mentioned that after their crazy African experience they would be running amuck in Europe and then venturing back into Egypt for 2 weeks before they were heading home. After further research and more of our friends from home jumping on board to join the boys in Egypt, we decided why not take the chance to explore this beautiful ancient country.
After traveling around Asia for around 2 months, just the two of us, it was amazing to be able to catch up with some of our friends again and hear their stories from home and Africa. There ended up being 11 of us in Egypt: Ramey, Patrick, Rob, Wataru, Jack, Dan, Evan, Fady, Verity, Dylan & myself.
I was so incredibly excited to see the pyramids, it has been on a travel list of mine for a very long time. Egyptian history is just something that you don't see anywhere else in the world, it is so unique and I find it truly fascinating.
Our trip around the pyramids was extremely hot but great to see. We ended up taking a tour around them, 4 of us on camels and the other 7 on horses. Riding a camel has to have been one of the hardest and scariest things I've done. I didn't ever think it was going to be easy but boy it was hard; it's very bumpy and you get thrown around quite a bit...well maybe I was just very uncoordinated.
Seeing the pyramids and sphinx in person was spectacular, if you ever have a chance to go to Egypt, take it! *Fun fact: the nose of the sphinx and some other artifacts falls off as it is the weakest point.*
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is fascinating. We ended up taking a tour around it for about 2.5hrs (definitely recommend doing a tour) but we could have easily spent longer going into more detail about all of the artifacts. Seeing the craftsmanship and hearing the stories behind so many of the pieces was amazing.
The mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha is one of the most renowned historical and touristic landmarks in Egypt. From here you can overlook the city of Cairo and it is amazing. In the distance you can sometimes see the pyramids also.
We found it quite funny that for a city surrounded by desert, all of the buildings are sand coloured. 10/10 Egypt for being in constant camoflauge.
Egypt definitely stole a bit of our hearts. The food was exceptional, think:
- Ful (pronounced: fool)
This humble peasant food is a staple of the Egyptian diet. It is made from fava beans that are simmered all night in a pot. Usually eaten for breakfast with a mixture of other delicious foods. I really liked ful on arabic bread with falafel.
- Ta'meya (Falafel)
Egyptian falafel is also made out of crushed fava beans that is mixed and then made into a paste and fried. This falafel has a lovely bright green colour. We had a lot of falafel on this trip and boy was it tasty and cheap! You could find falafel served in a pita with tomato and lettuce for 2.5EGP which equates to 0.18 AUD. So for 35 Australian cents you have breakfast!
This dish looks like a mess served in a bowl but the flavour is fantastic! It has rice, black lentils, spaghetti, small round pasta rings, whole hummus, caramelized onions and thick tomato sauce. I recommend adding in the fried pita that comes with it as they are delicious on their own but add an amazing crunch to this dish.
- Hawawshi (The Egyptian meat pie)
Hawawshi is spiced ground beef cooked in baladi bread (Egyptian pita) and baked in an oven. Crunchy and delicious.
Mixed vegetables, chicken or mixed meat & a yoghurt type sauce. A very tasty kebab.
Getting around Cairo:
When leaving the airport, don't be surprised to be bombarded with taxi drivers wanting your business. The best transport to use around Cairo is Uber, it's super cheap and the drivers are more reliable than the taxi drivers. Also take note...when you travel anywhere in Cairo, it'll probably take you 30 minutes at least.