“IN PHOTOS” is a series I will use to share many of the hundreds of photos I have taken during my travels. It is a series I have thought about for a while now, but did not want to start until I got back home from my trip. However after spending a week in Chefchaouen, Morocco I couldn’t wait any longer. “IN PHOTOS” will not have a set schedule like my “MUSIC MONDAY” or “PHOTO ROUND UP” series. “IN PHOTOS” will be a post with several photos with no limit. The only restriction this series will have is that it must be about a certain subject or theme. I will write a synopsis describing the subject or theme of the photos and then post the photos. I will not caption the photos like I do on my “PHOTO ROUND UP” with my thoughts. I want to use “IN PHOTOS” to share my photos and let you come up with your own thoughts about the images and hope you share them with me. I have also numbered them in case you want to leave a comment about a specific photo.
When you mention Cairo one of the first images that comes to mind is the thought of a bustling city bursting at its seams with a population of over 20 million people in the middle of the desert. You think of the crowds, the traffic, the sand, the street vendors, the taxi’s and a million other things. The truth is Cairo really is a concrete jungle of sheer craziness that honestly puts NYC to shame. It’s street after street after street of chaos and while you are walking through it you see no grass, no parks, no open space for people to enjoy a break from the intensity that is Cairo. Before arriving to Cairo a good friend of mine had told me to get away from it all spend a day at Al-Azhar park. My boyfriend and I made a day of it and had a grand time. I felt so ignorant though because the entire time I kept telling him:
“I just can’t believe this is in Cairo.”
“I would have never thought of Cairo having anything like this.”
Yes those words came out of my mouth. I was in awe at the sheer beauty of the park. I was in love… as you walk around at every turn you have a different view of Cairo from above. As you walk around you also see benches, gardens, palm trees, water fountains, a lake, even restaurants and cafes! For some reason it reminded me of Central Park (I visited years ago) you know an oasis in the middle of a crazy city.
Open in 2005 Al-Azhar park is a recent addition to the amazing city of Cairo. The creation of this park helped transform what used to be a mountain of centuries worth of garbage into what is today. Costing in excess of $30 million USD to make the transformation it was a gift to Cairo from Aga Khan IV: a descendant of the Fatimid Imam-Caliphs who founded the city of Cairo in the year 969. It’s hard to imagine something like this in the middle of Cairo, but it’s a gift that the people of Cairo are proud and happy of. It’s easily reached by public bus or taxi and even though it is a public park their is a fee of about $1 to enter. I can only imagine that the fee is for maintenance of the park.
Al-Azhar Park is a great place to hear/see the city of Cairo from a distance and spend a day away from it all and relax. We spent the whole afternoon there walking/lounging around on the well kept grass, people watching and even had lunch there. When I saw the restaurant I thought “ah it’s so nice it’s gonna be so expensive”, but it wasn’t. The prices are all reasonable and it’s worth the eat. The park has two restaurants the one we ate at was “Lakeside Cafe ” with the beautiful view of a lake filled with fishes and the Citadel at a distance. After we ate I saw that it even has a Little Caesars (a pizza chain I love from back home). If you are in Cairo I would recommend visiting with maybe a book and blanket because you will not need anything else. You will find everything you need within the park at prices that will not break the bank. I would also recommend staying there until sunset, because it’s jaw dropping view and every evening you will see live performances. Until then though enjoy 20 images of Al-Azhar Park the “Central Park” of Cairo.
Did you know Cairo had a park like this?
When you think of Cairo what do you think of?
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