Cairo is pumping. Whether midday or mignight, there are people everywhere, and most seem very friendly.
The mornings aren’t quite so hectic, which makes for a pleasant time to stroll around downtown, if that’s what your into.
In between the trips to the pyramids of Giza, Saqqara and Dahshur, Anobel and I checked out the backstreets and souqs outside of the downtown area, with an arvo in the Old Muslim area. We went down a small street and met a man who took us for a visit to the local Egyptian medicine man. Initially his shop looked small, but through a crack in the wall we found ourselves in the room with all the drugs – similar to what you see in a chinese medicine store. Anobel asked about what they used for something like kidney stones, and the medicine man pushed on one of the shelves. It opened up to reveal a secret room with more drugs. It was very open sesame (but that’s Persia right?).
The downtown area has some nice rooftop places, on top of hotels generally I think, but we did find a place (unfortunately no beer though) that overlooked one of the main streets.
We ended up on top of one hotel with £13Egyptian Stellas and spent the night talking to a South African lady who was on holiday from taking people on holiday – she works in SA and eastern Africa as a tour guide. It was interesting to hear her say how she will never be considered African by the locals, despite her family being there for over 100 years.
So yeah, Cairo is good, it wasn’t too scammy (except for the must see sights), you can get a nice place to stay for max £50Egyptian, and there are tons of coffee/tea/sheesha places everywhere.