Photo Friday: Window on the Nile, from Four Seasons Cairo

by Chris on September 14, 2012

Photo Friday: For this week’s WINDOW theme, we take a look outside the Four Seasons Cairo in Garden City, not far from the American embassy.

This is the latest in a series of travel photos inspired by #FriFotos on Twitter. The theme of this week’s Photo Friday is WINDOWS.

View of the Nile from the Four Seasons Cairo

This shot of the Nile was taken from my room at the Four Seasons at Nile Plaza. The luxury hotel is in an area of the city known as Garden City – and it happens to be where the American Embassy is located.

When I was in Egypt covering a Nile cruise last October, things weren’t exactly hunky dory in Cairo. On my last night, the government army had sent tanks into the street, killing up to 40 protesters. The hotels handled the violence by giving guests a slip of paper telling them the neighborhoods to avoid. On Fridays – the usual protest days during Arab Spring – the pools at luxury hotels were full of the well-to-do, who avoided the chaos by having spa days.

Despite the protests, I felt perfectly safe visiting Egypt last year. After this week’s attack on the American embassy and the riots that have raged in Garden City, I know I wouldn’t feel that way now (although I also know that the headlines we see on the news don’t always reflect what’s going on in the country). I can’t help but think how the current situation is going to hurt the country’s already shaky tourist industry.

When I was on the Nile last year, there were only 12 people on a river ship meant for 82. Tourism has traditionally been a big part of the Egyptian economy; guides and vendors were hurting for customers throughout 2011 (and becoming more aggressive out of desperation). The Nile river cruise season traditionally begins in the fall. With the images of Molotov cocktails being thrown outside the American embassy being broadcast on CNN, I have a feeling it’s going to be another lean year.

 

| Chris Gray Faust is a veteran journalist, travel expert, social media butterfly - and editrix of this site. Like what you read? Check out her writing, editing and social media services.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

vagabondette mandy September 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I have a feeling you’re right. Much of the 4-month trip I am currently on was going to be spent in various middle eastern countries – including Egypt – but with what’s currently going on, I am definitely reconsidering my destinations and Egypt is off the table full-stop.

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Chris September 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Yeah, it’s hard to pull back sometimes and say, “Maybe now is not the time.” But I’d be cautious there right now.

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vagabondette mandy September 16, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I always joke that I never plan a trip in detail because that pretty much guarantees that something will happen that will blow my plans out of the water. As I was booking my flights for the ME legs of my trip I was thinking to myself that I was tempting fate and now here we are again…. just another reminder to me that I do better when flying by the seat of my pants. :-)

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Visa Hunter October 4, 2012 at 10:19 am

Hey Chris,

Wow, sounds like you had an awesome trip! That view is awesome!

I was in Cairo last year on a stop over en route to Turkey. I had about 6 hours for the layover and headed from the airport to the Pyramids. I got there just in time as the place was closing. I was really fascinated by Cairo and hope to return at some point when I have more time. If it wasn’t for the horrible Cairo traffic, I would have tried to squeeze in a lot more!

-Addison

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