Maarten Schäfer

After the quiet serenity of Mount Sinai and the Egyptian desert, arriving in Cairo is quite a shock to the system. The sprawling metropolis of 22 million is buzzing with energy, but also somewhat overwhelming and chaotic.

We have arranged to meet our guide Eman at Fishawy’s, the oldest café in Cairo. Situated in a quiet side street in the old city, this place has probably not changed much since it was established over 200 years ago. As we sip our mint teas, Eman, a passionate Egyptologist, regales us with her tales of pharaohs, pyramids and ancient deities. “Tomorrow I will show you the pyramids and we will immerse ourselves in Ancient Egypt, but today we are going to explore the old city of Cairo.”

We follow her through a labyrinth of narrow streets, diving into little hole-in-thewall shops and emerging through different exits into other alleyways. We turn left, right…

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