Thursday, February 18th, 2010
Before arriving here, one of my closest connections with Cairo was through reading mysteries.
At first it was Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile.
Later, I got a tip from J.I. Packer, a fellow mystery reader. He got me started with Elizabeth Peters’ books featuring Amelia Peabody, like Crocodile in the Sandbank and The Curse of the Pharoahs. There are a bunch and I recommend reading them in order.
Anyway, from the Victorian era of the non-Victorian-type Amelia Peabody through 1952 (when the original building burned down), Shepheard’s Hotel was the place to see and be seen when you visited Cairo.
So, when we were within steps of Shepheard’s my husband catered to my strange touristy request to step inside for a few moments. I wanted a photo in an elegant chair, but they were all taken.
Just as in those old fictional days, the hotel overlooks the Nile.
A few steps from the front door the feluccas are docked.
You can sail for only about $10 an hour. . .
. . .and imagine yourself sailing up the Nile with Hercule Poirot or Amelia Peabody, except your journey ends again all too soon at Shepheard’s Hotel. And actually for a longer voyage, they would have been on a dahabeeyah, with living quarters.
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