48 Hours in Cairo

48 hours in Cairo. That’s what Maria and Dana proposed when they were “bored” in Amman. This kind of travel is completely against my travel philosophy, but I agreed to go with them. They booked the flights and hotel and off we went. It turned into a whirlwind of a trip.

After checking into our hotel, we hired a taxi to drive us to the pyramids. On our way, we passed a few points of interest. The first one was the Al-Rahman al-Rahim Mosque.

Cairo, Egypt


Al-Rahman al-Rahim Mosque in Cairo, Egypt

Al-Rahman al-Rahim Mosque

We then passed up the Citadel and the Mosque of Mohammad Ali, which was built in 1857, before winding through the city some more.

Citadel in Cairo, Egypt


Mosque of Mohammad Ali in Cairo, Egypt

Mosque of Mohammad Ali

Cairo, Egypt


The traumatizing experience at the pyramids wasn’t a good start to our trip. We were left angry, exhausted, and hungry, so we stopped at a shawarma shop and grabbed a quick dinner.

Shawarma shop in Cairo, Egypt

Shawarma shop


The night wasn’t over. We went back to the hotel, changed, and went to the Hard Rock Café (now closed) for their nightclub. The taxi driver pretended to get lost and circled the streets for about 40 minutes to run up the fare. We ditched him, jumped into another taxi who said the HRC was very well-known and easy to find, and made it to the bar in less than 10 minutes. We stayed until late into the night.

The next day was a bit more relaxed. We woke up late, had breakfast after noon, and got ready for the day. We hired a private car for the day rather than take taxis and asked the driver to just take us around to some of the more laid-back parts of the city.

He first took us on a quick driving tour, crossing the Nile and getting a good look at the Cairo Tower. It was built in 1956 and is the tallest structure in Egypt at 187m.

Cairo Tower in Cairo, Egypt

Cairo Tower

Nile River in Cairo, Egypt

Nile River

He then took us to a dinner boat on the Nile where we had a late lunch. The food was very good traditional Egyptian food and the views were excellent. On such a miserable trip, this was my favorite part.

Dinner boat in Cairo, Egypt

Dinner boat

Dinner boat in Cairo, Egypt

Dinner boat

Dinner boat in Cairo, Egypt

Dinner boat

Dinner boat in Cairo, Egypt

Dinner boat

When we finished lunch, we took a short felucca ride until the sun began to set over the river. It was then back to the car where we got stuck in horrible Cairo traffic. This was a mixed blessing, because it gave me a chance to observe daily life in Cairo. I paid close attention to everything happening on the streets and watched people going about their business. I also saw many banners and billboards with Hosni Mubarak on them. Little did anyone know that in less than a year, he would be deposed in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.

Fruit stand in Cairo, Egypt

Fruit stand

Egyptian men in Cairo, Egypt

Egyptian men

Banner of Hosni Mubarak on a government building in Cairo, Egypt

Banner of Hosni Mubarak on a government building

When we passed through Tahrir Square, where the revolution occurred, traffic began to disperse. I wasn’t able to get a great look at the square, but I did spot the Omar Makram Mosque just off it. We made it back to the hotel shortly after.

Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt

Tahrir Square

Omar Makram Mosque in Cairo, Egypt

Omar Makram Mosque

My 48 hours in Cairo were disappointing yet eye-opening. I got a small taste of this fascinating city that I hope to visit again and again to discover more.

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