To Cairo with Love 🌹

| Cairo 🇪🇬 |

For my new readers, I am newly married to a handsome Egyptian-American man who has taken me on a roller coaster ride of new cultural experiences. I must tell you this beforehand because it truly impacts the way I travel now and during my trip to Cairo, Egypt visiting his family I truly got to experience Cairo as a tourist and as a local. Because of this I am going to take you on a journey and give you some insight on traveling to Cairo, Egypt.

Cairo is a city that never sleeps. We landed in Cairo at 11pm at night, don’t worry if you’re flight gets in late as there are still taxis and tuk tuks (a bike taxi) available as the city of Cairo stays alive well into the wee hours of the morning. If you’re still hungry, want to wind down at a Shisha Lounge (hookah), go to a Jazz Club, frequent a bar, or shop at the many nights markets, you can still do those things and more after your arrival. If you arrive in the late evening as opposed to the aforementioned wee hours of the morning, I would recommend the following:

-Nile Dinner Cruise
-Sound and Light Show at the Giza Pyramids
-Cairo Old Market: Khan Al-Khalili Souk
-Hang out at Almaz (nightclub lounge)

We stayed at the Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa. It has a beautiful view of the Pyramids and is extremely close by. It has 4 restaurants, a spa, and an outdoor pool. It is also very affordable with prices at around 60 USD a night.

In the morning we went to go see the most well-known and major highlight for travelers to Cairo: The Pyramids of Giza. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world and still remains preserved. If you do not arrange this excursion with your hotel or purchase beforehand with a touring company, here are the costs to get your ticket upon arrival: You can buy your ticket at the entrance security desk/kiosk. Beware of your taxi driver taking you elsewhere to purchase your ticket, don’t bargain with them, just have them take you directly to the entrance gate.

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Ticket to enter the Pyramid complex: Egyptian Pounds 80 ~ USD 9
Entrance Inside The Great Pyramid: Egyptian Pounds 200 ~ USD 11
Entrance into 2nd or 3rd Pyramid: Egyptian Pounds 40 ~ USD 2
Great Pyramid (Pyramid of Khufu): Egyptian Pounds100 ~ USD 9
Meresankh III tomb: Egyptian Pounds 50 ~ USD 6

I thoroughly enjoyed the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx, I had no idea what to really expect. We took a horse and carriage ride around the pyramids and then we rode a camel around the smaller pyramids. I found the archeological site to be fascinating and if you are into history and architecture, you will too. Nobody still knows how the pyramids were built and it is so interesting hearing all of the locals opinions on its construction. The question remains unanswered and it makes me even more curious and enchanted.

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The next stop was to visit some of my new family members and even though this is probably not something that would be on your itinerary, I learned quite a bit that would be useful for any traveler. Some of the phrases that the kids had me perfect that you should know upon arrival are:

No: la
Yes: naam
Please: min fadlak (m.) min fadlik (f.)
Thank you: shukran
Your Welcome: Ahlan beka
Sorry/Excuse Me: assef
Welcome: Marhaba
Goodbye: salam (peace)
My Name Is: esmi
What Is Your Name?: esmak eh? or Ma Esmok?
How Are You?: ez zayyak? (masc) ez zayyek? (fem)
Nice to Meet You Saadot belkak
I Don’t Understand: ana mish fahem
Do You Speak English?: int betetkalem inglizi?
Can You Help Me?: mumken tsaa’dni?
What Time Is It?: el-saa kam?

For my foodies, what is the point in traveling to a new destination and not trying the local cuisine? I was really excited about the opportunity to try Egyptian cuisine in Egypt at a family member’s house and I tried everything, even things I was skeptical about, like pigeon. Stuffed pigeon is a delicacy in Egypt and consists of whole pigeon stuff with rice and many different spices. Some other foods I had that I recommend you try upon your visit are:

-Kushari
– An assortment of grilled meats
– Sausage and liver sandwich
– Baladi Bread
-Fava beans and falafel

They also welcomed us with a delicious cake, celebrating my husband’s birthday and our new marriage. Egyptian birthday cakes are a little different than American cakes. You won’t find buttercream and whipped icing cakes, but more traditional cakes.

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Later that night we joined some more family members and went out for coffee, tea, and juice. If you are a fan of juicing, this is your time to have fresh juices galore. I was in juice heaven as I love juicing and fresh fruits and they had a plethora of smoothie and juice bars. Try quenching your thirst at Juice Me Up or City Drink!

For a full meal out on the town, try Sequoia for a diverse menu and shisha, they also serve alcohol in a place where many restaurants don’t. The views of the Nile are breathtaking and the setting is trendy and romantic. I am also a fan of Andrea, simply because I love chicken liver and the Kobeba and chicken liver are a must have there. Also, the atmosphere is laid back, colorful, and old school. Your kids can even take a donkey ride. Cool right?

I had a great time in Egypt’s sprawling capital, set on the Nile River and I look forward to going again. I have never experienced anything like it, the traffic the noise, the hustle & bustle, and the people will deluge you, so give yourself time to explore, relax, and wind down with a Shay bil na’na (mint tea) or a glass of sugarcane juice. I recommend on your visit you also do the following:
-Egyptian Museum
-Mosque of Muhammad Ali
-Al Azhar Park
-Tahrir Square

Remember, when you are ready to make your trip, Cairo is no Dubai, in fact, it can be dirty, it’s not glamorous, there are many pickpocketers and scammers waiting for a tourist to slip up, and the air quality is horrible. However, even with all of these unfavorable traits, it is still incredibly beautiful and one of my favorite places I’ve traveled to and if I were to recommend anything to you, it would be to give yourself time. You need time in Cairo for your visit to be efficient, productive, and somewhat foolproof.

Personally, having been able to enjoy a local and tourist experience was incredible. I loved meeting my new family members, eating authentic Egyptian cuisine in a real local Egyptian house, camel and horse riding at the Pyramids, and taking in all of that Vitamin D that the Egyptian heat and sun truly provide.

Do you love to travel and see yourself in Cairo?

 

 

Follow me to Greece 🇬🇷 Why you should go to Greece now 🌎✈️

Greece is magical. 💫✨

Every experience I have in Greece is always unforgettable and I always long for it every time I leave. My first time in Greece was with one of best friends and we had a spectacular girls trip! Our favorite place was Mykonos, and every time we talk about plans for any other trip she always says “Take me back to Greece.” Because of my previous adventures in Greece I was so excited to go with my husband this time and show him what truly made my Greek experience incredible.

Our first stop in Greece was Athens and we stayed at NLH Fix | Neighborhood Lifestyle Hotels. NLH Fix Neighborhood Lifestyle Hotels is in a low profile neighborhood that is referred to as a new “old gem” and is right by the Acropolis. It’s ideal for long stays and is truly an accommodation that is a —place to live. There are guests that even stay there for months at a time and the design of interacting with the staff and people that live there further make your stay a unique adventure. In my experience, if you have a gelato craving at 3am, the staff & guests will be happy to assist you in making sure they find you a place where your cravings are met. My favorite part of staying there was how functional and spacious the rooms were. The hotel itself is very comfortable, stylish,  and it’s affordable (prices around $120 a night)!! Even though guests normally stay for a longer period of time, Santorini was calling us and we had to be on our way.

You can take a direct flight to Santorini from Athens but we decided to take a ferry. We bought a Blue Star Ferries ticket on DirectFerries.com and it was smooth sailing! I prefer a ride on the sea rather than a plane sometimes and the views on the way to Santorini were quite spectacular even though for the last 2 hours I won’t lie, we cuddled up and watched Netflix. But why not? The seats were comfy, there is a plethora of food and drink options, and it was spacious.

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In Santorini, we stayed by the Black Beach in Kamari and it is a perfect location for a couple looking for some R&R time. Besides the fact that it’s geographically amazing to lay out on a sunbed on a beach composed of black volcanic sand and pebbles, the row of restaurants on the beach were extremely appetizing as well. Our favorite restaurant on the Black Beach of Kamari was Alismari. We enjoyed a delicious seafood platter, good music, non-alcoholic cocktails, and superb lighting.

Other great locations in Santorini to stay are Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli. Every location is incredibly picturesque. In Oia we had a delicious meal at Fino. It’s a super cozy 5 star restaurant with extremely accommodating and sweet staff. We thoroughly enjoyed the food and the atmosphere; as you can see the decor is extremely aesthetically pleasing.

The Red Beach by the ancient site of Akotiri was one of my favorite beaches in Santorini. The view is worth the trip alone but how could you not love walking along the red cliffs while a local man is playing music and people are casually selling delicious fresh fruit along your cliff walking journey. I don’t have enough hands to count how many times someone asked me how my fruit was and if they should get some from the vendors and partake too. Why yes, you should!!

We took a short flight from Santorini to Mykonos and stayed in Mykonos city. Ideal location with restaurants, clubs, shops, and bars galore. Most of our adventures in the daytime included me on the back of a quad bike scared for my life that my husband would accidentally drive us off one of the cliffs. However, I loved showing him around Mykonos as the last time I was there I had the time of my life. Last year, I was in Mykonos with one of my best friends and we danced the night away at Scandinavian Bar, Super Paradise, and wandered around Mykonos city eating all of the gelato and baklava we possibly could. However, this trip with my husband was more of a time for us to wind down and relax, especially on the last leg of our Greek trip.

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Greece is one of my favorite travel destinations and I recommend that everyone go at least twice. You should go once with a group of friends and have the ultimate Greek island experience. Swim, sunbathe, boat, and dance! Then, you must go again, with a significant other and explore the volcanic cliffs, beautiful blue seas, and famous white and blue architecture. Be that cheesy couple way to obsessed with each other and enjoy the food,history, and culture. Greece has something for everyone. 🇬🇷

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Let’s start from the beginning…..

So….

I started this blog because in 7 months time I had to learn to adapt from being a carefree | 24 year old, world traveling, Lake Shore Drive high rise Chicago living, pharma consultant| into a | fun lovingMuslim wife, and expectant mother living in Cleveland|.  Talk about a life change right? I know what you’re thinking….why? how? Because of this dramatic life change I have so much to say and that’s exactly what I’m going to do with this blog. I still absolutely love my life as different as it may be and I made the decision to alter my life so drastically because of this super cheesy thing called LOVE 💕  At this very moment I’m headed to my next adventure & I hope you are looking forward to an insight into all my crazy travels & escapades (stay tuned).  🌺

@jordansta on IG