Cairo is hectic. There are people everywhere you turn and there are street peddlers all over the place. It’s not unlikely for the traffic to be at a complete standstill and like the persistent call of an annoying bird the honking never ends. Trying to cross the street is like trying to paint a picture in the dark. Your only hope is to thrust yourself into traffic at the most appropriate time and pray that the drivers know what they’re doing. Sitting and relaxing in a café seems impossible due to all the hassling from the street peddlers. That’s why it was quite shocking to be able to do just that today. The day consisted of a synagogue, the Coptic museum, and the hanging church all in old Coptic Cairo. The churches were interesting and the museum was filled with interesting artifacts like books of papyrus but the highlight of the day occurred in a little restaurant just three minutes from the museum. After our guided tour from Hoda we were set loose for 45 minutes to peruse the artifacts on our own. My dad and I decided we had had enough of the museum for now so we left the grounds and walked through the neighborhood. There were many little convenient like shops around, all selling things like water, potato chips, and juice. We asked someone where we could get coffee and were pointed to the only restaurant in the area.
There was a nice square canopy shading the outdoor sitting area from the sun and we sat down in woven chairs with red cushions. The owner came out and welcomed us with a big grin on his face and when we asked for coffee he replied with “best coffee in Egypt!” and it was. We sat and sipped our coffee while people walked by in the street. Not a single person came up to try and sell us something. There was a nice breeze and the temperature was perfect. We stayed for as long as we could before we needed to head back to the group.
We all regrouped and headed for lunch. Hoda led us along the street and stopped right at our little coffee place. My dad and I laughed and said hello to our server again. The food was excellent. There were two options, falafel with dips or a chicken sandwich wrap. I had the chicken sandwich. There hasn’t been anything I haven’t liked in Egypt but I hadn’t had something I just loved until now. The wrap was crunchy and hot and the chicken inside was perfectly seasoned, the two parts together created the best meal I’ve had so far.
It was a very good day. Though I may not have been too engaged by the day’s official activities that moment in the restaurant and that amazing lunch put me in good spirits. We headed straight for the airport when we were finished eating. On to Luxor…