Being our ‘second Home’ our regular visits always commence with gatherings of family and friends. Always a treat to catch up with events and see how the next generations are developing and their children thriving, and of course gorge on our favourite foods!
However it’s good to get back out onto the streets and feel the ‘vibe’ of this vibrant city. Earlier than we usually arrive (to fit in with other world travels☺️) the temperatures are still up in the low thirties and with the humidity, rather draining. This has curbed our adventures somewhat, but a visit to Khan el Khalili is usually early in our visit, to get a feel for how the tourist industry is doing, visit the spice man at Khedr el Attar to prepare for home cooking, treat ourselves to breakfast at Naguib Mahfouz cafe…… (these names will be very familiar to anyone who’s visited us here!
The first thing that hit us was the lack of overbearing invitations to view what they have to offer. No fighting through the traders to get along the street, which enabled us to have a look at the shops in comfort.
This visit there’s a feeling of optimism, the shops and stalls overflowing with traditional wares. This is so refreshing to see after the last few years of tasteless cheap plastic imports from the Far East.
Turning left along the walls and back through Bab el Fatouh. By this time the schools in the area must have finished as the streets were full of students enjoying a rest in the shade by El Hakim mosque, or buying snacks at the many street vendors on Moez el Din street.
Passing a man selling baskets full of fresh olives I was trying to get him to tell me what to do with them, sadly he kept his secret well, only offering to sell me a huge jar of them ready pickled!
Stopping at the atmospheric Om Khalsoum cafe along the way for a drink we were subject to many of the students trying to take (no so) sneaky pictures of us as we sat! However I am quite adept at looking the other way so they get the back of my head!
Heading back into Khan el Khalili browsing the shops was more pleasurable than previous visits, despite the financial and political pressures there is a more lighthearted atmosphere.