Cairo Day 3 – Nile Maxim

After Dina’s show the night before (plus that pesky jetlag), I accidentally slept till 3 PM. Elise was up well before, enjoying the view of the pyramids from Yasmina’s terrace. 

View from the terrace


Since the day was gone, we looked towards the evening. Yasmina was able to make a reservation for us at the Nile Maxim boat for a dinner/dance show/Nile cruise. 

The dancer performing that evening was an Egyptian named Galilah. We didn’t know anything about her but we were happy to explore–that’s why we are here! 

Uber took us through the Friday evening traffic to Zamalek–specifically to Sharia (Street) Mohammed Abdel Wahab. 🙂 

Mohammed Abdel Wahab Street on the Nile Corniche in Zamalek

We ordered our dinner, the boat set sail, and the opening musicians began. The keyboard player and singer performed everything from “My Way” to “Hotel California”. 

Next, the live band set up. There was a keyboard player, singer, accordian player, and three percussionists. Before long the tanoura performer came out! 

He spun and spun, with the colorful fabric flying out, and then he lit up in bright LED additions to his vest, skirt, and hat. 

Tanoura in motion


Many of the boat attendees were Egyptian (it seemed, based on bits of Egyptian-specific language here and there) with a handful of Arab and western foreigners mixed in, including an Italian family next to us and more Americans at another nearby table. The boat wasn’t packed but it seemed like a respectable turnout for the show.

At last it was time for the belly dancer! She performed two sets with the live band, in very current Egyptian style–super fun! At the end of her second set, she headed into the audience–and she was a pro at engaging even the most reticent diners. 

Galila with Elise!

The view of Cairo from the middle of the Nile was of course a fun perspective. Zamalek’s pretty white buildings flowed by, as did Cairo Tower and all the bridges. 

Cairo Tower from the Nile Maxim


Eventually we returned to the quai and headed off the boat, ready to catch a taxi back home to Yasmina’s. Due to the recent and sudden devaluation of the pound (as ome condition of an IMF loan) gas prices (among other things) have gone up a LOT, so many taxi drivers don’t want to use the meter. In that case, it’s obviously best to negotiate a price before you get in the car. 

It took a while before we found a taxi at all, and then longer to find one that seemed right. We usually look for an older driver, as they are more likely to know where things are, and hopefully also not be flirty. Things worked out, fair price negotiated, and we had a speedy ride home on the ring road, then time to drink some tea and talk in front of Yasmina’s fireplace . It’s winter here, after all! 

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