An idiot’s guide to Egypt

Part one – Giza & Cairo

Since the tender age of eight, I have longed with all of my wistful might to visit the land of the pharaohs. Transfixed by the mysteries of the great, honking pyramids, the promise of exotic landscapes and uncovering the secret to Cleopatra’s winged eyeliner, I recently took the plunge and booked my sorry ass on the first flight to Cairo.

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Our first, mind blowing stop was the ever-glorious Giza.

I can’t recommend the soulful experience of waking up to a view of the pyramids highly enough. Chugging down sugary mint tea to a symphony of calls to prayer, the dusky beauty of a morning gaze at the pyramids gave me more of an am kick than caffeine ever could.

Street puppies of Giza
The no-nosed lady, Mrs Sphinx – a heck of a load smaller than I had imagined!

You’ll find a load of affordable spots to stay in Giza, all sporting wonderful staff who are more than eager to organise your entire trip for you, but we chose the Best View Pyramids Hotel. 

With comfortable rooms, a tasty price tag and even tastier stuffed pigeon (more appealing to some of us than others), this ripper hotel had the rooftop terrace of a lifetime.

One hell of a terrace view ✨

Treat yourself to a cold, local lager, have a puff at a shisha pipe and put your lazy feet up on the glorious rooftop. With a view you’ll never get sick of and a lentil soup to write home about, you’ll find all you ever needed right in front of you.

Ask for Saber, the hotels resident tour guide and bad ass, who’ll take you on an astounding camel ride through the Sahara Desert to explore the pyramids. Yep, pretty flipping amazing. The man even knows his way around your good side, working the angles for any and all photo shoots you may require – bona fide legend.

Zinger happy snap courtesy of Saber himself 👏🏻

You’ll need a few days to fully absorb the wonderment of the pyramids. Explore, climb and try not to get swindled into a $40 photo on a camel in front of the tombs – it’s a heap harder than you might think.

Take your walking shoes, some snacks and your own stash of that h2o goodness. Giza is where it’s at, so much so that I’d almost endorse you put at the end of your trip, nothing will ever quite live up to the splendour of le pyramids.

The magnificence of Uber means you’re a hop, skip and a sarcophagus away from the big smoke in Cairo. Make sure to grab a sim card at Cairo airport when you land and save a bunch on taxis, that is, unless you’re an adequate barterer and can fend for yourself.

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo and it’s startling Mummy Room are well worth a gander. None of the artifacts seem to have the usual explanatory plaques, so it’s a spiffy idea to take up one of the eager guides outside the museum on their offer to show you around – at a price, of course.

Tahrir Square lies just next to the Egyptian Museum, and was the base for the people’s revolution in 2011. Again, without the wonderful world wide web, you won’t find much information about the uprisings in the square itself. Do a little research, give yourself some context and soak it on up.

During your wanderings in the bustling streets of Cairo, don’t let the opportunity to sneak into any of the Koshary stores slip you by. Open windows displaying obnoxiously sized bowls of pasta, lentils, chickpeas and fried shallots dot the avenues. Make sure to venture inside and have yourself a carb loaded meal.

A traditional Egyptian meal, Koshary is a bowl of all of the above, paired with a delicious tomato sauce. You can add spice and vinegar to the delicious concoction and eat as the locals do. Vegetarian and the ultimate belly filler, I swear it resurrected me after a long hard slog at Khan el-Khalili.

Khan el-Khalili is one of Cairo’s largest souk’s and is a tourist hotspot. Potentially the only time I felt a little on edge security wise, in the depths of the market you’ll find an intricate maze of market stall after market stall. It was here I did my best work, dropping some cold hard on a jazzy artesian rug and a hoard of Egyptian gold jewellery. Just remember to put your hard ass hat on and only pay what you want to.

The final verdict on Cairo and Giza? Make Giza home base and enjoy the pyramids in all of their glory. Cairo’s big city vibes make for a brilliant day out, but can feel a little intense for the everyday traveller.

Talk to as many locals as you can and don’t let stern warnings from concerned friends back home, stop you from making a friend or two along the way.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the Pyramids are all Giza and Cairo really have to offer, with a mountain of wonderful day trips and adventures to be had – Memphis, Saqqara and the Sahara to mention a few – this little pocket of the world has your name scribbled all over it.

historically unstylish

They say all good things come in pairs –  boobs, twin-sized Mars bars, Hilary and Hailey Duff. Now, while these of these wonderful pairings ring true and blue, this deeply philosophical theory can also be applied to garms. Winter garms, summer garms, the whole nine yards – you name it! The not-so-wise, deeply vein and historically unstylish woman captured in the snooty images below says so, so it must be 100% tried and tested.

The far wiser and historically stylish duo behind Zimmermann certainly got the memo and are helping their adoring sisters out everywhere. This floral-lovers wet dream has me praising the lords up above with my now stylish mind, body and spirit.

Thank you, Zimmermann, thank you.

Wearing: Zimmermann Sunny Smocked top & skirt.

Sisterhood

These pants have magic powers and no, not the kind that bring America Ferrera and Blake Lively together after a long, difficult summer. No, these pants are the positive self-esteem heroes of our generation, in other words, not Blake Lively. They bring love handles and muffins tops together after long, over-indulgent summers and house them in one beautiful, corded flare pant – happy tears.

My college experience saw me gain the revered Freshmen 15lbs in six months after an onslaught of non-Mexican Mexican food and $1 screwdrivers and in the aftermath, these pants were my only salvation.

Let this be a lesson for you all, in times of need you must always, always turn to Gucci and teen movies highlighting the importance of female friendship and/or sisterhood.

Wearing: Gucci pants, Acne Studios tee and Balenciaga heels.

Minimalism

As you can tell, I’m a devout minimalist. With the help of Confucius, Socrates and of course, Ikea, I have transformed my cluttered, chaotic life into an austere and restrained existence. No longer do I indulge in the practices of materialism, exhibiting the finer qualities of the Minimalistic lifestyle, and it is just that, a lifestyle.

This emotional upheaval is a change that has transcended into my sartorial choices, with my clothing now representing the discreet nature of my minimalistic life. As you can see, my garmets adhere to a strict black, white and grey palate, and serving merely as practical, functional items of apparel.

If you two are looking to simplify your life and your fashion choices, feel free to contact me for tips, tricks and words of wisdom (bullshit).

Wearing: Rat and Boa dress & Josh Goot corset, similar here.

faint whiff

I have impressively crap hair, I say it like you haven’t already noticed, but woe really is me.  I blame my poor genetic makeup for being particularly inconsiderate and choosing me last for the good hair team – what a bastard.

Thin, ratty and causing me the same psychological repercussions experienced by 50% of the male population suffering from premature baldness, my hair sucks.

Despite several wildly unsuccessful attempts at stimulating hair growth, attempts that left me with nothing more than the faint whiff of desperation, I have finally come to accept my misfortune.

My thin, mullet-esque mane can always do with a little helping hat and thanks to the good dudes at Lack of Color, my rats tail is now happily and rather fashionably disguised – hoorah.

Wearing – Winston Wolfe leather pants, similar found here & affordable faux leather leggings here, Asos blouse, similar found here and here, Lack of Color boater, similar found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghandi

Talk about sports bras with a B cupper and your conversation will be a short lived one, but give her a crop top that doubles as a sports bra and gosh darn it, you won’t be able to shut her up – Ghandi.

Ain’t it true?! As a founding member of the Itty-Bitty-Titty committee and beneficiary of the club discounts, I have no space in my life for sports bras. For one, I don’t engage in strenuous enough exercise to require a sports bra, and B, my melons don’t need the emotional or physical support of no bra, or man at that either.

So when the full moon emerges and I opt to fire up the treadmill, my hamstrings and the exercise playlist that features far too many 2009 Taylor Swift songs for public acknowledgment, I reach for my myriad of crop tops.

Not only do they provide me with great sartorial satisfaction on my 10-minute powerwalk on every second Tuesday of the month, but they emulate the fine work of sports bras for the larger bust.

Once such crop top is this Bamba Swim number, ideal for the small breasted power walker or lover of clothes. I recommend as much as I recommend a fictional Ghandi quote.

Wearing: Bamba Swim crop similar here, Jbrand jeans similar here and Photobomber Cat found here.

Mildly obnoxious

I have gently touched upon the art of diversion previously, but very much feel the need to do so again. You see, I am a 5 foot 11 tomboy with bad ankles and the clumsy gene marinating in my genetic makeup. It won’t come as a huge surprise when I say this little giraffe can’t walk in heels to save her or her ankles lives.

So when it comes to purchasing heels, I employ one tactic and one tactic only – make ‘em colourful enough to distract your audience. Hence the bright green, mildly obnoxious boots I have gone for here.

Shine them in direct sunlight and they’re enough to blind even your most critical enemy. Make ‘em bright and bold enough to avert the eye from your rod-up-the-ass walking technique and Viola! Mission accomplished.

Wearing: Thrifted blazer similar found here, Asos boots, Vintage scarf similar found here.

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Good Juju

There is only one thing I like more than being a materialistic, fashion consumer and that is animals. I grew up with two dogs, two cats and two older brothers, so we always had a house full of smelly, halitosis suffering creatures – all of whom I adored wholeheartedly.

Fast forward a decade and while I don’t share living quarters with as many brothers, the animal count is still up there and healthy. I like my pets more than most people I know and in an attempt to bring some good juju to my family, I recently dropped by an RSPCA thrifty to find some threads.

I left with an armful of clothes, jewels and the good juju I had been so desperately searching for. Helping critters like my own find homes and health care, while replenishing my not-so-empty clothing stores, who could say no that?

Wearing: Thrifted tee, shorts and blazer, Lucy Folk clutch found here.

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Amicable breakup

I want to celebrate my brief, but non-the-less loving union with this Gucci backpack before I send it, well, packing. You see, as much as I L.O.V.E dropping a dollarydoo on a fancy-pants piece of fashun, I have champagne taste on a beer budget. My solution is reselling.

While it served me a great deal of purpose to have this glorious backpack in my arsenal of wallet carrying vessels, it is time to move on.

A bit like an amicable breakup, I am sadly bidding farewell to this masterful piece of cowhide and gold.  I’ll never forget you Gucci, the first backpack I’ve loved since my year four Spider Man number – what an honour it has been.

Wearing: Understated Leather jacket similar here, Abrand jeans, Asos crop similar here and Gucci backpack.

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