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34: Riots in Cairo = Bored tourists

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Woke up this morning to discover that the riots had worsened and more people have died… This is disappointing because Koreena and I were hoping to go back into the old part of Cairo to take a look at the small back streets. We were advised by the hotel that it would not be a good idea to go outside (at least anywhere near Tahrir Square) so we resigned ourselves to a boring day of drinking cocktails by the pool (doesn’t sound so bad does it!)

To try and kill time we did a full tour of the hotel (found the pool deck and the day spa) which took us max 15mins… So because it wasn’t yet 10am (and probably shamefully early to start drinking cocktails) we went for a wander down the Nile river (away from Tahrir Square)… The wander was also not overly exciting.. The Nile isn’t the most picturesque of rivers in the world and is sadly lacking in parks to line it’s banks. We were also walking along a major road with the usual 2 lanes that are more like 4 lanes going each way with the noise of continually honking… Not the pleasant stroll either of us were looking for.. More because we desperately wanted excersise and pure boredom we stayed out wandering for well over an hour before we finally admitted defeat when our foot path completely ended with 3 rows of double parked cars and no way for us to get around! We retunred back to the Fairmont and wandered thru its ‘shopping mall’ which consisted of about 10 shops and a cinema. We thought the cinema would be a good distraction until we discovered that the only movies in English were kids movies and they didn’t start til after 2pm….. Damn….

Plan B swung into action, cocktails by the pool! We donned our swimmers and headed up for the pool deck and the Jacuzzi. By now the wind was really blowing up the top and the ‘hot tub’ was more like a ‘tepid tub’ so we only lasted less than 5mins before we were shivering and had totally admitted defeat! We headed back in to my room and watched the Librarian Part III on the TV before both deciding to have a snooze.

Luckily for us our ex-guide Sam had agreed to take us out to dinner so right on cue he picked us up from our hotel and took us outside it’s confining four walls to a steak restaurant in a good part of Cairo.. The dinner was pure heaven as I haven’t had a decent steak for ages!! We lingered over dinner before deciding to walk all the way back to our hotel (a good hour’s walk)… The walk back was brilliant because we got to see many parts of Cairo that we hadn’t seen yet. We stopped off at the Marriot hotel which is an old palace that has been done up and converted into a hotel.. really beautiful! Our walk also took us within a couple of hundred of meters to Tahrir Square and I was surprised to see that the violence and demonstrations is really confined just into the square… we could see the museum and could see some people but couldn’t see any issues! I managed to talk Sam into taking me back out again tomorrow to see the old part of Cairo so I it will be good to know that I don’t need to spend two more days cooped up in my hotel room!!

Posted by weary_feet 00:23 Archived in Egypt

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