Active travel: Cairo

Monday, June 20, 2016

Yes, that is a real pyramid.

One of the things I love about travelling is exploring new place and cultures.  When on a trip, it can be hard to stay active though.  Sure, you may walk a bit around the city, but I usually find myself indulging in the local cuisine and enjoying a drink or three with lunch and dinner.  Part of the Active Travel series here on is to share with you some ideas for ways to keep up your exercise regime.

Back in April, I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Egypt with my girlfriends.  The city isn't really designed for walking much (it is very hot and there is too much traffic), but here are three things I would suggest you try out next time you find yourself in Cairo.  

Run with Egyptian Runners-  This particular trip, I was hoping to run the Cairo Half Marathon with the Egyptian Runners.  Unfortunately, they changed the date after I bought my plane tickets.  From their Facebook profile, the group looks like a lot of fun, inspiring citizens to be active and have fun with weekly runs on Friday mornings.  I did ask a person who lived in Cairo for 10 years if I could run along the river, but she said no one does that.  It was 30 degrees C while we were there, and I never saw someone outside running during my visit.

View of the bow

Felucca boat ride- You don't need any sailing or knot-tying skills to enjoy a lovely hour on the Nile River.  These are the traditional wooden boat used in protected waters.  It runs purely by wind, making it a leisurely activity.  My friends and I enjoyed sunshine and light breeze while we sailed a bit down the river from our hotel.  The boats can hold 10 people, making it very affordable for big groups.

Erin relaxing in the comfy robe

Visit a spa-  My friend and I had a free morning while we waited for my friends to arrive.  We decided to treat ourselves to a morning at the Kempinski Hotel Spa.  I had my first hot stone massage, which was amazing.  It was already warm in Cairo and I didn't realise how much I would be sweating by the end.  It will be perfect way to treat myself during London's cold winter.  Erin got a body wrap and enjoyed that too.  We had use of the jacuzzi, sauna and lounge before and after our appointments but didn't have too long as we were due to meet back at the hotel.  The exchange rate was excellent during our trip, which helped soften the blow of this once in a lifetime experience, as I have never been to a fancy spa like this before.

There are also tons of gyms in Cairo, but the ones I wanted to visited seemed to be on the other side of town.  You can visit to find something that suits your interest.  I emailed them for suggestions and they were very helpful.  Their site has event listings too if you are looking for something specific to do during your visit.

If you have other ideas on how to stay active in Cairo, let me know in the comments below.  My Istanbul active travel tips will be up soon!

Please be sure to use common sense when travelling and do not place yourself in a situation where you do not feel safe.

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