Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Journey to the Fatherland Part 3

Sorry for the delay on this, it's been a pretty turbulent week for me :) Anyway that's for tomorrows blog!

On our final day in Cairo we decided to have a chilled day together as a whole family (beau included!). This meant that we didn't get up to early. First we headed to the British embassy to pick up a letter :) Exciting right! It's strange though, military service in Cairo is compulsory, I swear some of the soldiers were only 15 or 16. They were like babies with guns, seriously they have this massive gun slung over their back and they whack it on bollards and cars as they are running eating their sandwiches!
Then we popped over to what is considered one of the best restaurants in town, Kebabky. It was amazing :) I had the best humus I have EVER had and I am a humus connoisseur( pronounced con-osser, it's a family thing :p) You can see from the pictures how fantastic everything is! Plus the service was great! (btw that grill was for all 4 of us, not just me :p)

Oh, and did I mention the meal per person cost less than a Costa coffee and Panini? Mental isn't it!

Then we did what I had been gunning (unintentional bad pun!) to do, TAHIR SQUARE :) It's not that it's physically an amazing place but it's significant because of the revolution. It has a feeling about it like no other place, for me, it's a little bit magical.

There it is ! It is just a roundabout! You can see some tents there still it's essentially an occupy Cairo camp. You can see the Egyptian museum there in the background and can you imagine living in one of those flats when the revolution was happening?!

After that I just wondered through all the back street markets and junk shops to soak up the atmosphere. It really is my favourite thing to do, simply pleasures and all that :)

More soon,

Ellie x <3

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Journey to the Fatherland Part 2

Today was our first real day of being ‘tourists’, so me and the beau headed over to Giza to see the Pyramids! Yipee! He’s a bit of a history buff and so found it all a little overexciting, bless! There’s so much to see, three main pyramids, secondary tombs, temples and a million traders selling a million and one things you would never need! Maybe that’s just my inner Egyptian coming out though. There’s a sort of self built platform a little way away from the pyramids and that’s the place to take the photos. When we were there this little man came up to me and said “ You have photo, I am arab” You have to pay for these things but he was kind if cute!

We also saw the Sunboat. It’s hard to believe that this is nearly 5000 years old! I hope you enjoy the pictures of me and my mum rocking out some eygption fashion here! I wanted to wear my 50’s day dress but we went for lunch in a kosheri cafĂ© and so any flesh wasn’t reaclly acceptable. On a tangent seeing girls dressed in just hotpants and a vest top really bugs me, it seems a little ignorant of the culture and disrespectful to the people. Anyway more on that another day!

One of the things that really upsets me in Cairo is the poverty. It’s a great city if you have enough money (and by British standard you don’t need much) but its horrendous if you don’t. If you take the back exit at the pyramids it brings you right out in to the Giza slums. As I waited for the car to come round the block a little girl of about 5 or 6 came and stood by me and didn’t say anything, just motioned for money for food. (It’s a very generic hand gesture in Cairo) It breaks my heart to see little girls begging on the street like that when education out here is free. She will grow up to beg, as her mother has taught her, and can only ever expect to be a beggar. Then as the car pulls away they stand and tap on the windows. It makes me want to take my TEFL and start a school for women. As Caitlin Morain would say, it made me want to stand on a chair and shout ‘ I am a strident feminist!”

That too however is a story for another day! So I will leave you with this little gem.... am the only person  who thinks this is a little ironic?!

Journey to the Fatherland Part 1

 So as many of you know, my dad has lived out in Cairo for 18 months. This meant that over Easter with all the days off work it was an obvious time to come out and visit. Sadly the day after I arrived my beau came down with the Pharaohs Curse which meant two obligatory days in the villa watching the entire star wars box set……. So not entirely wasted!

On the first disease free day we had a pretty chilled time then met my dad in his office, which is essentially a small house, it has a big American kitchen and a butler and everything! We had a glass of Limone, which is basically Egyption lemonade, then headed in to town.

We went to this cute little restaurant called Asia, it’s on a riverboat called the Blue Nile which is moored on the outskirts of Zamylek. The food was incredible, sweet and sour chicken, teriyaki chicken, sweet chili calamari. The most exciting bit was the view though, these long colourful boats cruise down the nile covered from tip to tail in fairy lights of all colours. Aren't they pretty?!

To finish the evening we headed to the Cairo Opera House to see Cairo Ballet perform swan lake. The principle really was lovely and the costumes were divine.

Either way I have a very exciting few days ahead so I’ll make sure to keep you updated!