|Overlooking Cairo at night|
One of the best nights I had in Cairo was hanging out with my girlfriends in Zamalek. In addition to checking out the antique shop, and various other items in the area, I realized simultaneously that cupcakes are in fashion in Cairo, and I really missed fancy-pants cupcakes while in Iraq. Lo and behold there was Nola! Soft cake, creamy sweet frosting, and overall, delicious!
So one of my roommates went on and on and on about Naguib Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy (Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, and Sugar Street), so we just had to try the Naguib Mahfouz restaurant, Kasr Elshouk.
In addition to the traditional Egyptian Molokhyia and Khoshary dishes, there was stuffed pigeon (why did I order this?!), as well as a kind of scalloped potato recipe loaded with cheese and fried onions. With the addition of the spicy red sauce, it was fantastic.
One thing I definitely liked was the decor of the place. I love the North African style of low couches and tables, the stone walls, and brass items all over the place.
After dinner, we went for a cruise on the Nile. It was incredibly beautiful and much more peaceful on the water than you'd think Cairo would be.
It was a lovely trip on the river though, in spite of the tear gas. There were many boats lit up traversing the water alongside us, many of them moving and grooving to loud Egyptian pop music. This one had loads of dazzling lights, and was whirling about in the water in every direction. We were on a sailboat, but for a moment, I kind of wanted to be on that boat, because it looked like they were having a blast!
After a one-week tour of Upper Egypt (read: Southern), I met two of my longtime friends in Heliopolis where I was staying near the airport. I discovered that there was an authentic Mexican restaurant in the area that I definitely wanted to try. I explored the menu, and I have to agree, Maria's Mexican located in the Fairmont Hotel, is fantastic.