Saturday, 5 June 2010

Welcome to Cairo!

The taxi ride from the airport proved an exciting opening to my Cairo holiday.  After a minor collision and the taxi driver needing to ask half the residents of Mohandiseen for directions, we eventually arrived at Lorna's to find that the lift up to her apartment wasn't working.  Luckily for us the driver then proceeded to carry our suitcases up the 8 flights to her apartment.  It was only once the driver descended again that Lorna told us "nothing wrong with the lift", pressed the call button and then opened the door. 

BellyLorna is a professional dancer Edinburgh, working in Cairo.  She also rents out rooms to visiting dancers to help make ends meet and we were lucky enough to have selected this as our accommodation of choice for the visit.  After settling us into the apartment and giving us a good dose of tourist info, plenty of instructions and even a phone with an Egyptian Sim card, Lorna headed off to work her first sail. 

That night, we went to join Lorna's boat, the Nile Pharaoh, for a dinner cruise and show and most of all to see Lorna herself, perform with her band.  We got a bit of the VIP treatment there, what with being Lorna's guests and all.

It was a great show, including some beautiful Arabic music, the first Tanoura of the holiday, and of course 2 sets performed by the beautiful Lorna.  Something I really enjoy about watching Lorna is the warmth and humour in her dancing, which I think is summed up in these pictures. 

The food was pretty good too and there was even a Tabouli that I'm still thinking about.  After her performance, Lorna hung out with us for the rest of the sail and then we returned to the flat to chill on her balcony.  Unfortunately this was also my first introduction to the Cairo mosquito who seemed particularly drawn to limbs soaked in Superdrug repellent. 

Day 2 proved too hot for the pyramids (Lorna went as far as checking the forecast and putting a note under the door to tell us so), so we went instead to Il Mathaf il Masri, the Egyptian Museum.  It was a great day out and we took in pretty much everything in the Top 10 list, and along with eyeballing the great Egyptian Pharaohs we also saw enough jewellery to whet the appetite for the costume shopping later to come. 

Night time came the chance to take the second of our Nile Cruises, this time the Nile Maxim to see Randa, a dancer I previously knew only by reputation, and You Tube of course.  The show lived up to expectations and Randa was indeed amazing, although to reveal my guilty secret, I loved her band and her two singers even more - my heart does not lie with belly dance.  Here is Randa, complete with Randa costumes and Randa band.


After the cruise, we were met by Lorna and her friends and whisked off to downtown bar called Arabesque of all places and a chance to let my hair town. Personally, I fell in love with the kitsch interior decor.

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