A trip to Cairo turned out in a number of ways, including being held back by the police for 10 hours, but also a lot of nice people opening up for a tall, pale photographer.
In retrospekt I should have listened to the nicely dressed man in the airport, with the official ID from the Tourist Ministery in his hand and a positive mission of telling me about the ways of Cairo. But as I am a experienced traveller I told him that I was in Cairo as a tourist and knew my ways around the city.
But more of that later..
First days in the city was overwhelming, nice people, fantastic city landscapes and lively neighborhoods..
Egypt was really hit by terrorist attacks in that period and it was kind of rare to meet other tourists outside of the tourist hotspots, and also even rare at the spots.
One thing that was difficult to overlook though was the amount of police and military in the streets, armored buildings with concrete fenders and armored vehicles.
I especially enjoys to go into the more local areas and engage people and are not afraid of approaching people for a portrait.
At one of the churchyards lived a great population between the mausoleums and I was inviteted to a funeral, climbed a tomb and visisted a birdman in a tower at the same place, running from a muslim priest.
When visiting the railway station I left out of the wrong door and ended in a neighboorhood where people dod not expected visitor. Suddenly I was surrounded by 6 armed policemen and taken to the station. No explanation, no reason, just for being at the wrong place.
Long story short, 2 hours to get a interpreter, 6 hours to get a guy from the danish embassy and another 4 hours to get the policechief to admit that he had no reason for holding me back. A full day wasted and one experience richer.
To me Cairo is a great city and I can't wait for it to be more open and democratizied, the people are warm, proud and beautiful.