I am very glad that I ended up in the city of Cairo. This happened not on purpose, but on the way to the main goal of the excursion - ancient pyramids. As soon as we entered the city of Cairo, my jaw dropped, and my finger began to nervously pull the camera shutter, taking a series of pictures through the glass of the bus. I had to pull myself together, the flash drive is not rubber.
For a Westerner who first came to Asia, this, I think, is a completely normal reaction. I saw in Cairo, finally what I wanted to see, and what I was missing in Sharm El Sheikh, namely, the oriental flavor, the atmosphere of an oriental city, what it should be in my opinion. Small and cramped streets, a bunch of shops with various goods, glass skyscrapers and shabby brick shacks, Bedouins in long robes and women in hijabs, old cars with Arabic inscriptions and donkey carts, mountains of rubbish and gutters that permeate the city. There is no middle class here, only rich and poor.
Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is the largest city on the continent. Near it, in Giza, there are pyramids that attract tourists from all over the world. But the city itself also has something to see, although this requires more time than we had.
In the city of Cairo, I finally saw what Asia is. Probably, if I went to India, the shock would have been even greater. Despite the fact that the city of Cairo is a 20 million metropolis with all the consequences, I wanted to come back here to soak up this atmosphere and understand how people live in this city of contrasts..
There are a lot of unfinished houses, one might say that most of the houses are unfinished. And they explained to us why: a finished house is taxed, but if there is no house, there is no tax. Probably, eternal construction is widespread in Cairo also because the Egyptians usually live as a large family in the same house. And each next generation, after growing up and starting a family, builds on a new floor.
We stopped by the Cairo Egyptian Museum, stared at the sarcophagi, the mummified carcasses of the pharaohs, all kinds of utensils and decorations of those times. Everything that was in the pyramids is now here. We saw the famous mask of Tutankhamun and a sarcophagus, made of pure gold and weighing 110 kg. We learned from our guide, broadcasting in distorted Russian, that Tutankhamun was a bad ruler, and became famous only thanks to his burial objects made of gold. Maybe he had a complex, now everyone is measured with cars, then sarcophagi. It is not allowed to take pictures inside, the photographic equipment is handed over to the storage room (things are checked at the entrance). Someone took a photo on the phone, I did not fool around. Self-guided ticket price $ 12.
A short trip on a motor boat along the Nile within the city of Cairo was also interesting - you can see Cairo from a different angle. There are mini parks along the river with palms and other trees with ennobled crowns, adjacent to sewers and mountains of garbage.
Some poor Arabs live on boats with their family and their humble belongings, moving along the river and fishing.
The climax of the walk was lunch at a floating restaurant with a gorgeous buffet. I liked the fish very much there, probably caught from the same Nile. Afraid, but still kind of alive. It should be noted that the Nile River seemed to me cleaner than the Moscow River, which also flows through the metropolis.
A visit to an aroma oil salon in Cairo is a very boring event. Well, unless you are passionate about aromatherapy, and you know exactly what you need and why you need to buy. Since after tasting the 10th aroma, the head begins to spin, the nose can no longer distinguish anything, and I just want to smile stupidly. After that, smiling tourists with glowing eyes buy analogs of French chanels or a miraculous «viagra» for rubbing into causal places.
The papyrus factory is not a factory at all, but a store where an unmeasured amount of rather beautifully painted papyri is presented, and where they explain in a nutshell how these napkins are obtained.
Before leaving the glorious eastern city of Cairo, we saw a horse carcass in a gutter. So Cairo said goodbye to us. Then we plunged into a sweet slumber under the measured swaying of the bus.
A few more photos of Cairo in a separate post: Cairo photo - a small selection of views from the bus. And also an interesting place mountain of moses in egypt, where did we manage to climb one of the nights.