Has there ever been a place that you visited where every time you looked out the window or walked down the streets you felt genuinely happy?
I’m a frequent traveler and the first time I got this feeling was surprisingly in Cairo. I’ve been to Cairo before a few years ago to visit the pyramids for half a day. But that’s another story.
Walking in the streets of Zamalek (which turned out to be an island), I saw trees planted on the sidewalks. Old trees with huge trunks and roots. Carts of fresh fruits and snacks down the streets fill up the corners with big smiles and smells. It was summer time yet the heat was bearable and night breeze was gentle. As gentle as the hearts of the people in Cairo. We were staying in a nice old building. By the end of the week I was in love with the building and how along the whole staircase you could see bowls of water and food for stray cats.
As magical as the pyramids are, there are many things that can be done in Cairo. One day we decided to start touring and we started with a visit to the old citadel with the Muhammad Ali mosque close by. After that we visited the Hanging Church where it is said that Mary and Jesus rested during their journey in Egypt. Last but not least and I have to admit this was my favorite since it was also a first for me. Ben Ezra Synagogue. It looked so beautifully old on the inside with efforts to restore it. It is a tourist attraction and a place of worship to the last 8 Jews in Cairo.
And if all of this isn’t your thing. Take a ride on the Falooka: a small boat that takes you along the Nile River at any time of the day for a small sum of money. The beauty of it is that the boat has no motor so it isn’t a noisy ride. It was like being on a hammock.. in water.
My visit was short but it really changed how I saw Cairo and Cairo changed the way I saw myself. And the most magical part is that this feeling has stayed with me. I travelled to two other destinations since. Stay tuned.