Our Eid holiday in Paris (8 days in early December) was lovely and COLD. Gozi and I have not experienced anything verging on *real* winter since moving to Cairo. Paris in December was quite a shock to our systems!
Yes – although the photo is TERRIBLE, that is SNOW. We walked the Rive Gauche to Musee d’Orsay in the SNOW!
Our decision to go to Paris was fraught with uncertainty, as it was MUCH more expensive than we were hoping for, but gozi had never been. He wanted to go for 2 main reasons: (1) go get map on me, (2) for the food. I was in total agreement on (2) AND I could get good wine. Sounds good enough for me – so I bought my baby Paris!
We had probably 100 things we wanted to do/see. We did perhaps 10. That is actually a reasonable ratio for Paris, especially in the winter, and when both travelers are spent from work. We took the Car Rouge around on the first day, to get an overview of the city, and where the major monuments were.
As you can see from some of the pictures, we got to the “BIGGIES”.
We also ate and drank like royalty! Best meal of the week: Aux Vin des Pyrenees near the Bastille – a HUGE slab of foie gras to DIE for, gorgeous wine (from the Pyrenees, of course), boeuf bourguignon for me and a softball-sized rump steak for gozi. All followed up by lovely cognac and armagnac.
Worst event of the week: breaking my baby toe the morning we were leaving Cairo!
OUCH!! Ice, tape and pain killers made all the beautiful walks in Paris well worth the inconvenience.
Best find of the week: La Gueuze – Belgian beer specialty and great food, two blocks from our hotel.
More photos forthcoming – when we return from our Asia trip (boy is life HARD!).
I have multiple “back blogs” to post….it will probably not happen in the next few hours. We leave for nearly 3 weeks in Malaysia and Thailand in a few hours.
Paris blogs and pictures will have to wait until we return. Adjunct to the discussions of Paris, my post about Egyptian wine will have to wait. Those of you who have HAD Egyptian wine will not be too worried about this delay!
We are off for food, Asian culture, Asian art, and diving. We will spend Christmas in Kuala Lumpur – we will raise a toast to the ?East – Seattle, ?West – Cairo. New Year’s will be celebrated in Bangkok. We will be diving in the Andaman Sea before returning to Cairo.
We will probably be “offline” for our holidays. I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday/break season. And remember, no news is good news – even if you don’t hear from us ASSUME we are happy, healthy and having fun.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Cairenes will recognize this name. Others will need to be informed. Garagos is the name of a small town outside of Luxor that is renowned (at least in Egypt) for their pottery.
Just 25 kilometres outside Luxor lies the small town of Garagos. It is the heart of a thriving pottery industry started by two French monks in the early 20th century. The pottery that comes from Garagos is very charming and in high demand. And getting it at the source means getting the best price! Always nice eh?
At the site of the pottery workshop – also a monastery and built by the renowned architect Hassan Fathy, by the way – we get a guided tour showing us the process from start to finish. And then we dive into the shop and the storeroom, a real treasure trove of ceramic goodies.
From: Travel to Egypt
I was not introduced to the Garagos pottery exposition/sale until my second Christmas season – but I have not suffered from that set-back! Two years of going to the exposition has filled my cabinets with beautiful pottery.
These are my purchases from this year!
A little late….but….I sent this e-mail out to the AUC community:
“Thanksgiving is, for most Americans, a time of getting together with the family to eat too much.
For many of us in Cairo, our families are a LONG way away. Many AUCians travel for the Thanksgiving long weekend, and others stay in Cairo.
On the occasion of Thanksgiving, members of my family being in town, and … because it is fun, we are having an ORPHANS THANKSGIVING at our flat on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28.”
We didn’t know how many would come. We ended up with about 18 in total (including myself, gozi, my mom and my aunt). It was WONDERFUL.
Mom and Auntie took care of all the “arrangements” – furniture, table cloths, dishes, serving stations, bar, etc. They did a FAR better job than I could have done, and seemed to actually enjoy doing it!
Jack and I cooked – Jack did the turkey and stuffing, I did appetizers and dips, gravy and tried to manage the other dishes as they arrived with guests. Somehow all the chaos turned into a really fun gathering of people – family, AUC, visitors. The conversation was lively, the appetites were hearty, the tupperwares left FULL of leftovers and we went through nearly a case and a half of wine (thankfully much of it was brought by guests – we couldn’t have supplied all that wine!).
I have to admit – I LOVE Thanksgiving (on time or belated) because it is all about the food and the friends. And just for fun, a few TERRIBLE photos.
We had to set up both our dining room table, and push together two desks from the offices to make enough space for everyone to sit. We were a bit mashed together, but it worked out ok.
We were very worried about having enough food, a common paranoia for both gozi‘s upbringing and mine. We had MORE than enough. AND desserts that were to DIE FOR.
Good friends, good food, can’t beat it!
I posted these pictures elsewhere, and got a great response.
This TRULY is Cairo – in all its glory. Be prepared to be amazed.
In the supermarket:
So maybe there IS truth in advertising….
Or, things you see while walking down the street:
Nice, family-friendly billboard (advertising a comedy movie)
So THAT’S how chandeliers get moved!
Look closely at the writing and….
“Read my Leps!”
Whole houses get moved in one truck.
Motorbikes carry a full-size spare.
Elevators have a NO-NO switch.
And my FAVORITE:
I can’t even explain what this is because I don’t know – some sort of children’s toy…
Welcome in Egypt.