‘Life seemed so wonderful to all of us in those happy days in Cairo…’ so says Mark Holt in Noel Barber’s sweeping novel, A Woman of Cairo, set in the tumultuous period when Egypt fought for her independence.
On this fascinating and historic tour, you too can visit the places where Serena and Mark’s relationship developed during this momentous period in Egypt’s history.
‘…we would get some horses and ride out to the romantic Step Pyramid at Sakkara…’
We will pick you up from your chosen location in Greater Cairo, or Cairo International Airport
We will travel in luxury air-conditioned vehicle to Sakkara, the vast, ancient burial ground serving the ancient city of Memphis. Imagine you are back in the 1930s with Serena, Mark and Teddy and their friends. You will have the opportunity to visit the famous step pyramids, one of which, the Djoser Step Pyramid, is the oldest complete stone building known in history. You will also visit the Imhotep Museum, a small but beautiful tribute to the creator of the Step Pyramids.
‘But why are we here in the midst of nowhere?’ asked Parmi.
‘It used to be somewhere.’ Teddy gave his slow smile. ‘This used to be Memphis, at one time the capital of Egypt…’
Once we have finished seeing everything at Sakkara, we’ll travel the short distance to Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt. During its golden age Memphis thrived as a regional centre for commerce, trade and religion. Today it is an open-air museum with a fascinating collection of scattered ruins where you can feel the ancient history soak into your bones.
‘We drank. Then I tapped my glass for silence, and said the last words before we all tumbled into our cars to drive to the Mena House for a swim, as the sun rose over the Nile’.
When we have had our fill of ancient Egypt, we’ll head for lunch at the iconic Mena House Hotel, with its unparalleled view of the Great Pyramids of Giza. You can compare them with the pyramids you have seen at Sakkara.
After lunch we will return you to your chosen location in Greater Cairo.
If you have chosen the Mena House overnight option, we’ll get you checked in after lunch and you can enjoy the hotel facilities. Later, enjoy dinner and a comfortable night’s sleep at this wonderful hotel, so loved by the characters in A Woman of Cairo.
‘…but then Cairo was a city of intrigue which cast a spell over all of us. Beautiful and brown, selfish yet tolerant, it beguiled us, and the soft breezes from the Nile lulled us into a sense of false security.’
We have a busy day ahead as we will visit many places mentioned in the novel. We will pick you up from the Mena House Hotel, or your chosen location.
‘Abdin was in the heart of the city, barely more than a few blocks from our house in Garden City.’
We will travel by luxury air conditioned vehicle to the majestic Abdin Palace, one of the homes of King Farouk of Egypt, who plays a key role in the story. The palace today is a museum, located in Old Cairo. You can relive the moment when King Farouk was almost forced to abdicate, as is so effectively written in the novel. You will also see the Silver Museum, the Arms Museum and the Presidential Gifts Museum.
‘Pocket money went a long way when buying coffee at Groppi’s’
We’ll travel the short distance to Groppi’s, where we’ll enjoy lunch in this famous Cairo coffee shop.
‘I started to run, cutting through Adly Pasha Street…then turning left along Emad El Dine Street until I reached the statue of Mostafa Kamel at the corner of Kasr el Nil. From this major square it was a straight run down Kasr el Nil to the river…’
Follow in Mark’s footsteps as he watches Cairo start to burn in what would later be called ‘Black Saturday’. This atmospheric walk will take us right through Downtown Cairo with its beautiful architecture and historic statues, to the famous Kasr el Nil bridge. From here we will walk along the Nile Corniche, through Garden City and past the British Embassy to the Four Seasons Hotel, to enjoy a cocktail and pretend we are back in the glamorous 1930s with Mark, Teddy and Serena.
‘Egyptians have a saying. If you don’t live by the Nile you might as well not live in Egypt’.
Our tour ends with a sunset sail on board a traditional Egyptian felucca, on the breathtaking River Nile, after which we will deliver you back to your preferred location in Greater Cairo, or take advantage of one of our numerous other tours. Your host will be happy to discuss this further with you.