I was actually staying outside the city of Cairo near the Pyramids at the Hilton Golf Resort. I thought that location gave me good access to the city as well as the Pyramids with the added bonus of hitting balls every day at the driving range.
I made several trips into the city, mostly during the day, but on one occasion I ventured at dark. I was actually going to visit a market I read about on the internet. I hoped to buy some local spices and perhaps novel items. I took a taxi from my hotel to the location on my map but I saw no market there. I had the driver drop me off anyway and thought I could find it nearby.
Big mistake! It was late afternoon by then and there was no market on any of the area streets. Now I was stranded of sorts. I asked a person about the market and he said it had been closed for a year. Now I'm in search of a taxi with none in sight. After much walking in areas I was quite nervous about, I finally emerged onto a more significant highway where I found one.
I bargained a price (few use taxi meters here) and I was off to another area of the city where he assured me the best markets were located. However, the traffic was very bad. To the point he asked to renegotiate the price halfway through! I told him he was familiar with his city when we struck the bargain and I would not barter again. Happily, he did not press the issue. But, having sympathy for him, combined with his attitude to stand by the original price, I compensated him justly. I really don't mind appropriate adjustments to prices, as long as I'm not being scammed.
The market area was certainly popular with the locals. It was so crowded!
I wandered through the markets awhile but nothing of interest for me. This was mostly a market for locals, which is what I wanted, but most were clothing items and such. No real novelty items or spices of interest.
So I decided to try some street food. I'm a big fan of street food throughout the world for many reasons. It's less expensive, it's prepared in front of you so you know what they're doing, I love the outdoor atmosphere, it's what the locals do, to me it tastes better, and did I mention it's cheaper?
A flavor of the atmosphere:
I ate some kind of a lamb kabob but failed to photograph the meal. Most all these pictures were taken before I began posting to this blog so I did not take pictures with intent to publish.
Then it was back into the crowds in search of hidden gems. None found.
I eventually emerged beside the Nile river and snapped a few shots of the city skyline at night:
Then I grabbed a taxi back to my hotel.
The city certainly has a different flavor at night compared to the day, but I guess all cities do. I was happy to have this one time experience, but I don't need a second. Too crowded for this cowboy. Give me the open range.