After a great start to the day with Selma and Walid overlooking the Nile in Maadi, we decided to have a wander down memory lane….. It is many years since we went to Maadi, where I once lived so we though it was about time to see how things have changed, and what better time if we are already virtually there. So Selma kindly dropped us off at Road 9.Driving through the streets we could see many changes, the main one being traffic! 30+ years ago it was quite safe to walk along the middle of the road without even thinking about cars, not so now!
There used to be just three or four shops on road 9, now there is a bustling community with many coffee shops and restaurants as well as a whole host of shops and businesses lining the street. Whilst still debating how we were to return home, one of the options was to try the metro which is something we haven’t yet tried here. All at once the quiet of the street became a babble of chattering voices and streams of people hurrying past….. we found we were passing the metro station. Option two…. a stroll along the corniche seemed to be a better idea! Finding our way back to the Corniche was straightforward, and it was interesting to see how busy a community Maadi has become over the years.
The views of the Nile were fascinating, with the amount of building going on both on the Maadi side and on the far back bank. Walking was much easier than usual as the pavements are wide, shaded generally and the only rubbish to contend with was tree cuttings along the pathway. It was also generally pedestrian free, (who but us walks along the Corniche I guess!) there was a gentle, sometimes not so gentle breeze to keep us cool. By the time we passed the area where we had had breakfast we were ready for a cool drink and a short rest while watching the river flow past. Keen to see the hospital were I used to work we almost missed it, as it has gone and is still undergoing rebuilding and restoration, bearing no resemblance to what it was when first built.
The ‘hairy’ bits came when we got to the ring road and had to cross the main roads to get past as the pavement disappeared! We passed one of our old favourite restaurants as we walked, The Seahorse, long since closed but the sign is still there, it was here that Amr tried to convince my sister that she was eating sea horses!! (In case you’re worried it was calamari!)
As we got closer to the city centre so the pavements became busier, but also wider, and more seating to rest a while. As the traffic got busier, so the kindly young traffic police helped us across the roads. Not fancying being stuck in commuter traffic we decided to stay downtown and eat before going home. More debate about where our legs would carry us to by this stage! We decided that as we were on the Corniche, we should go to a restaurant we frequented before we were married and have fond memories of, and have not been back since… Paprika. So we braved the lines of traffic and found ourselves going through the heavy door into a deserted restaurant. Nothing has changed, other than the menu. We always ate tabboulah and pizza, both of which were off the menu, but we were not disappointed with our choice, and the place quickly filled up with hungry customers.
Having walked 9.35 miles we decided enough was enough and jumped in a taxi home!