The River Nile and the Cairo Tower

Post No. 9b — Looking back forty-years to 26 January 1981 (Part 2)

With two Aussie friends, Phil & Joe, I walked to Talaat Harb (street), through the square of the same name, and into El Tahrir Square. Then the street of that same name — El Tahrir — took us to the Qasr al-Nil Bridge, over the River Nile.

The view looking north, down the River Nile, from the Qasr al-Nil Bridge towards the 6th October Bridge. The road along the right-hand side of this photograph is the Nile Corniche. [Copyright image, 1981.]

From any distance the River Nile looks blue as it reflects the often stunning blue of a desert sky, but get up close to it and it is in reality a very unappealing shade of brown.

When I talked to the manager of our very budget hotel, I asked him if there were any places in the city where it would be unsafe to go.

He said: “Don’t fall in the Nile. It is so dirty that falling in would be very dangerous indeed!”

To illustrate the manager’s advice, here is a close up of the little girl who is in the bottom, left-hand corner of the above photograph. Check the water for yourself:

Sadly, the Nile was stunningly filthy. [Copyright image, 1981]

Once over the river, we turned right and quickly arrived at the Cairo Tower. At 600 feet high, it has a viewing deck near the top which offers good views back over the city.

The view from Cairo Tower back over the Qasr al-Nil Bridge towards El Tahrir Square, from where we had just walked. [Copyright image, 1981.]

Presumably on some days the view from the Tower might be crystal clear but given constant winds from desert areas, and the resultant dust in the air, I wasn’t too disappointed with what we could see.

The 26th October Bridge, seen from the top of the Cairo Tower. [Copyright image, 1981.]

For anyone visiting Cairo, if the Tower is open to the public, it is well worth going for the view. If you do, then good luck with the air clarity.

I believe the tall building, effectively top dead-centre of the photo is the Rameses Hilton Hotel which would logically offer other excellent views of the Nile.

Alternatively, if you go across that bridge then turn about 45 degrees right, continue to Talaat Harb Street and turn left, then right onto Adly Street, I can ‘recommend’ a really cheap hotel for very few pounds/dollars a night where you get your own personal flock of mosquitos for nighttime company. {:-)


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