In just 14 short hours, we arrived back in Cairo. We Ubered to our hotel, but unfortunately, there was a fire the day before in the room we were supposed to stay in due to an overheated air conditioner wire, so we got a room at the Australian Hotel down the block. We arrived in Cairo at around 6 o’clock am, so it was still very early and our room wasn’t ready yet, but the hotel let us sit in their main living area and take a nap while we waited. We didn’t get a whole lot of sleep on the night train because they never turned off the lights and people were getting on and off the train all night long. We eventually got into our room and relaxed for the morning.
At around 1 o’clock, we met up with Ahmed, our Couchsurfing host from the first time we were in Cairo, and went to get lunch. We Ubered up to an area known as Mukattam which is the highest part of the city. Then we met Ahmed and his cousin for some sheesha and cold drinks. Jay and I only tried a little of the sheesha, but we had a nice lemon – mint drink.
After that, we headed out to get lunch. Ahmed’s cousin suggested fetira. Fetira is basically Egyptian pizza. It’s a huge ball of dough stuffed with toppings and cooked in a wood burning oven. It tasted like pizza except on Egyptian bread. We also were able to watch the people make the fetira. They threw the dough up in the air to form it into a disk just like they do for pizza.
Then they stretch it out very thin, add the toppings, fold the dough over the top and put it in the wood burning oven.
We were all quite hungry by the time we got our fetira, and it was a great new Egyptian food to try.
After lunch, we went to a coffee shop for some tea and more sheesha. We wanted to stay near the high point of the city so that we could watch the sunset later. The coffee shop was called Santorini and Ahmed told the people that worked there that we had just come from the real Santorini. They did not seem impressed though.
We hung out at Santorini for some time. Ahmed had the workers change the Egyptian music to American music for us, specifically to Ariana Grande because they thought she was my favorite American artist. I don’t mind Ariana Grande, but I wouldn’t call her my favorite. Lol.
The African Cup of Nations was also going on here. I had no idea what it was until I got here, but now I know it’s an African soccer championship being hosted by Egypt. Egypt is already out, but Jay saw that Madagascar and Tunisia were playing tonight in Cairo. He thought it would be fun to go, so we looked into buying tickets. Ahmed told us that you had to have a Fan ID to buy tickets. Apparently, this is common with FIFA events. You have to fill out a pretty extensive application to get the Fan ID.
So after filling out the application and seeing that it had to be reviewed, we figured that it would take days and we weren’t going to be able to buy tickets before the game. But Ahmed insisted that we call them and just see if they would expedite our applications. Guess what? They did! Apparently having an American passport was very useful in this situation.
So after the long conversation to get our application reviewed, all we had to do was buy our tickets online. However, the website was not working properly. After over an hour of trying and numerous calls back to the Fan ID people, we decided that it wasn’t going to happen. I know Jay would have really liked to see the game, but we went back to plan A instead. We hopped in an Uber and headed up the hill to watch the sunset from the highest point in Cairo. Ahmed’s cousin knew someone who had an area of land on the highest point, so we were able to hang out there. We sat out on some bean bag chairs and Ahmed’s cousin got us some fresh juices. We had a nice evening watching the sunset. Who needs soccer when you have an amazing view of the city.