We returned to Cairo at the end of the group tour, and waved everyone off. Bruce & I elected to stay another 2 days, thinking the weather might clear and we could visit the pyramids with the bright blue sky you see in everyone elses photos. Alas, that was not to be.
Instead, we explored parts of Cairo we had seen briefly during our bus tour, and took our time to soak in the atmosphere, talk to the locals and take photos without a hurry-up call.
First stop was the CBD, where we checked out the shops and ate kebabs & kofta at GAD, the Egyptian vesion of McDonald’s. Their lemon drink is “to die for”.
Friday is the Muslim holy day, shops are closed and traffic is light. After a little research we headed to Al-Azhar Park, which is listed as one of the world’s sixty great parks.
Instead of the park, our taxi driver dropped us at Al-Azhar Square which turned out to be the beginning of the Khan el-Khalili souk, which we had already visited. It is a great souk, especially when you get out of the tourist section. Lots of stalls, lots of shoppers. After a decent Turkish coffee and a wander through the souk, we finally found the park.
What a fantastic day it was – families picnicking, dancing and enjoying the sunshine. The park has great views of the city, including the souk, the Citadel, the City of the Dead and the tall buildings along the Nile. It was too hazy to see the pyramids.
We finished the evening back at the souk for a pizza and falafel dinner – the lemon juice there is not as good as GAD’s! But at least we experienced eating on the streets.