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Very good, very cheap and very Cairo

Cairo Travel Blog

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Khan Al-Khalili
After our visit of Al-Azhar Mosque, we took the underground shortcut over to Midan Hussein, the place in front of the Mosque of Sayyidna al-Hussein and where the craziness of the Khan al-Khalili starts. Right behind the restaurants with outdoor seating, are a couple of alleys to enter the Khan. We took that one on the southern-west corner of the Mosque to get a coffee and a beer at
Mahfouz Coffee Shop. Wow, the 200 to the coffeeshop meters were really crazy.. All the vendors in the tiny alley are standing in the line, every half-meter or so, and try to talk to you and sell you their stuff. They always try to start a conversation with you and call you by all kinds of nicknames. Me for instance, they called most of the time „Rambo“, but I heard „Michael Jackson“ and „Hulk Hogan“ as well.
Clausthaler
Very charming It’s getting funny, when they’re honest with you and ask you „Hey, do you want to spend all your money in here?“. And believe me, if you don’t speak english, talk to them in your prefered language - they’re the most talented language artists I’ve ever seen. Oh, and again they take every currency you can think of.
Fatima was already pissed after 50 meters or so, but I liked it somehow. It looks stressful a first, but if you know how to deal with it, and keep smiling, it’s kind of entertaining. Seriously.
Anyway, behind the wooden door in Mahfouz Coffeehouse we had a few Kofte Sandwiches with fries and a non-alcoholic beer (!). The Lonely Planet says that they’re selling Stella (the main local beer) as well in there, but when we’ve been there they just had non-alcohol beer.
El Fishawi
And of course, it was german beer - Clausthaler. The can said „Germany’s #1“ - That’s ridiculous.
After our light lunch, we walked a bit around and made our way to nearby Fishawi’s Coffehouse, an institution in that area. In this very busy place, I had my first sheesha (water-pipe) and a nice mint-tea, while sitting outside and watching the people trying to sell all kind of stuff. Especialy in this place it was very entertaining because, they’re very easy to get rid of, but try it all the time in a gentle way. I had great fun and liked my sheesha very much. That was one highlight today.
We stayed in that place for an hour or so, and walked a little bit more around in the Khan, before taking a taxi back to the hotel to take our obligatory nap.
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Mosques
After having a nice breakfast in a western-style café in downtown, we took a cab to islamic cairo, to the Mosque & School of Sultan Hassan, right below the Citadel. After our first visit to a Mosque in Egypt, we tried to find the way by foot to Mosque Ibn Tulur. Basicly an easy route, a little bit south east, but somehow we got lost. And so we decided, instead of taking a cab to Ibn Tulur, to just walk around and let us suck into the tiny alleys of islamic cairo. We saw a lot of food stalls, bakerys, craftworks, markets, small mosques, and so on.. A totally different world and I really like that kind of stuff. People were looking at us like we came directly from mars. Me, 2 meters tall, Ewa (or Fatima how I call her right now) a good looking western girl.
Mosque and School of Sultan Hassan

After an hour or so, we decided to take a cab to Ibn Tulur, which is, as the locals say, one of the most beautifuls mosques in Cairo. It was a really beautiful place, whith a huge square in the inside and a tower with nice views over Cairo. But even at this holy place, they tried to charge us for everything - taking pictures, climbing up the tower, breathing, etc. But we learned our lesson and kept our wallets closed. If somebody is complaining, just get the tourist police. They’re just everywhere.
After visiting the Mosque Ibn Tulur, we took a cab to Al Hussein, the place between the Khan Al-Khalili bazaar and the Al-Azhar Mosque. Equipped with a skarf for Ewa we took a few pictures of the beautiful mosque and headed north to the famous market of Khan Al-Khalili. More on that soon.
Khan Al-Khalili
Khan Al-Khalili
Clausthaler
Clausthaler
El Fishawi
El Fishawi
Mosques
Mosques
Mosque and School of Sultan Hassan
Mosque and School of Sultan Hassan
Street in Islamic Cairo
Street in Islamic Cairo
Market in Islamic Cairo
Market in Islamic Cairo
Butcher
Butcher
Mosque of Ibn Tulun
Mosque of Ibn Tulun
Mosque of Al-Azhar
Mosque of Al-Azhar
Sheesha
Sheesha
Khan Al-Khalili
Khan Al-Khalili
Cairo
photo by: vulindlela