On my last day in Cairo, I was determined to ride a camel before I left. Justin, Coral, and I headed to Giza and started scoping out potentials. We haggled to 10EGP per rider, which gave us two camels for three people (I shared with Coral), a short walk out a scenic photo site, and a quick photo session. The whole thing lasted about 10 minutes or less but still, the pictures the camel riders took were decent quality. We had no issues with stolen cameras or being stranded on top of the camel unless you pay more baksheesh. The best part is mounting the camel, which you do while the camel is lying on the ground. The camel stands up front legs first then hind legs, and you feel like you are on a giant teeter totter before you level out 8ft in the air. Our camels were necking a bit during our photo shoot:
We headed back to Cairo and a took a stroll along the Nile River. There are tons of benches along the river where many young couples will come to spend time together while watching the colorful feluccas drift by. It is quite cute actually!
In the evening, we had dinner with Justin’s friend from high school, Saba, who is now living and working in Cairo for a NGO. We also met up with Mahmoud, one of our cruise mates who was continuing his graduate research on mosques in Cairo. With the assistance of these two locals, we were able to bargain for some really sweet deals in Khan el-Khalili. I am very glad I waited until the last day to do the bulk of my souvenir shopping because 1) had less to carry around and 2) after traveling so much, I had a better sense of where prices were. I bought some beautiful mother of pearl jewelry boxes and spices (saffron is so cheap here!), and Justin purchased a beautiful water pipe.
The mosques were particularly beautiful to see at night. There are lights on the floor surrounding the base of the mosque, which created a beautiful contrast to the shadow and carving details.
Egypt was an incredible trip that came about from a series of unfortunate and fortunate events, but either way – I am so glad the trip was the end result of it all. I am so happy I got to experience everything I did and from a multitude of traveler perspectives- whether it was staying in a rickety old hostel or getting pampered at a Four Seasons resort. The sights, the history, the monuments, the culture, the people, the food, the desert, the shisha, the Red Sea, the lack of booze- everything culminated into what I would consider a very good start of my unexpected journey…
Next stop: AUSTRALIA!!