Driving in Cairo is a nightmare.
Traffic is always at a standstill, people follow their own rules, lanes don’t really exist, horns beep incessantly, cars come within mere millimeters of each other, motorists maneuver by, pedestrians pop out of nowhere and sometimes, just sometimes, a horse or donkey needs to get through.
I would never want to drive here and I like driving.
Usually I sit in the car trying not to cringe the whole way through. Instead, I try to take it all in. One of the things I like most about Egypt is that even if you dropped out of the sky and landed here blindfolded, you would immediately be able to guess where you are. There are traces of ancient Egyptian style in the architecture, on the roadways and even painted on the sides of buildings. There is no mistaking Egypt.
And of course, there’s the Nile. Seemingly endless, beautiful and almost everywhere I look.
I kept trying to get a good picture of the Nile whenever we drove over a bridge, but it wasn’t working. I needed to be closer.
One night, quite unexpectedly, I got my wish.
Two of my cousins took me out. First we stopped at a building where we were able to get on the roof and see the most spectacular view of the Nile. I thought, this is amazing. It doesn’t get better than this.
But then it did.
Next, they drove me to a hotel on the Nile. We went outside where a restaurant deck was practically on top of the Nile. We were ushered to a table where we could sit, relax, sip tea with fresh mint, smoke hookah (sheesha) and talk. Platters of food arrived, but I was almost too busy staring at the scenery to notice. Boats passed by blaring Arabic music and everyone I looked at seemed lost in the moment.
And then something magical happened.
The water, which had been calm the whole night through suddenly came over the deck splashing our feet, cooling us off, letting us feel its massive presence.
I think that’s as close to the Nile as I’ll get.
Thank you for a beautiful night with great company.