Best record shop in Maharashtra. Bhangra, Kannada, Marathi, Hindi soundtracks, hindi films, jazz (magic selection, average price 4 GBP), up to date contemporary western. The place is a treasure. Amazing service, great compilations - these people really know their music. Family owned. Makes you wonder why most radio stations are terrible.
Kala Ghoda just up the road from Regal cinema.
SPARE maps of the old Islamic city are head and shoulders above any other maps available on the market.
Available at Lehnert and Landrock and decent bookshops like Diwan.
If you want to do something different in Cairo, get a SPARE map (there are at least 4), take a taxi to Khan el Khalili and go for a walk. All of the relevant buildings are marked in the maps, together with a bit of history. Take yourself back to the 1400s.
Cairo was one of the most important cities in the world in the late middle ages and the architecture in Islamic Cairo proves it.
When you're finished, treat yourself to a bowl of kushari.
Diwan, Lehnert und Landrock
This wonderful restaurant and hotel is a big old house where they source the food locally with fish from Ballycotton, superb beef from Cloyne, vegetables from their own gardens and cheese from local indepedent cheesemakers. If you have the time do visit Ballymaloe Cookery School. Their cookbook is well worth buying.
Ballymaloe House and Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Midleton, Co Cork.
Tel: +353 (0) 21 464 6785.
Ballymaloe is about 20 miles east of Cork.
This seafood restaurant is about fifteen miles from Galway. It's in a wonderful location and is a superb place on summer evenings for a pint and some smoked salmon.
Moran's Oyster Cottage, The Weir, Kilcogan, Co. Galway.
Tel : +353 91 796 113.
The biggest summer horseracing festival in Ireland has a magical atmosphere. There are loads of horses, music, candyfloss and excitement. And entry to the near side of the racecourse is free.
Galway Racecourse, Ballybrit, Galway.
Tel : +353 91 753 870.
Benha is a town about 50km from Cairo in the Nile River delta, far from the tourist trail. You get to see the Egypt where the real people live and most people here never see foreigners. On the way in the minibus you'll see the working class suburbs of Cairo, the fields that mark the start of the delta, farmers in their distinctive outfits and the wonder that is population growth.
Take the Metro to Koliet El-Zeraa station and then outside the station take a minibus to Benha.
Remember that most taxi drivers who operate on the street, not from the tourist hotels, don't own their cars. They might make 120 Egyptian pounds a day and give half to the car owner. A kind tourist who pays 50 Egyptian pounds instead of 20 for the trip might mean the driver can buy a kilo of meat for the family at home.
Cairo is hard for middle-aged fathers who have to work all hours to pay for tuition for their kids. Remember that the next time you think you are being fleeced and pay extra to the decent ones. They deserve it.
A Syrian kebab cannot be beaten. They are available in jaaj (chicken) and lahme (lamb) varieties, including the wonderful local garlic mayonnaise.
Also look out for tabbouleh, the wonderful parsley salad, hummus bi lahm (chickpea puree with meat and pinenuts), felafel and labneh (a yogurt dip).
Cool Cabs are aircon taxis distinguished by their blue and white livery as opposed to the regular black and yellow taxis. They are more comfortable than ordinary taxis and cost a bit more but are very handy if the weather is hot.
You find them around the big hotels.
The Parsi Dairy Farm just around the corner from the Fire Temple is a shop that sells all manner of dairy products that are hard to find elsewhere. Think proper cream that whips, fresh milk, delicious kulfi, superb yoghurt and lassis.
Parsi Dairy Farm, 261-63 Princess Street.
Tel : +91 22 201 3633.
The rubbish district has to be seen to be believed. It lies at the foot of the Muqqatam hill behind the Islamic city and is home to Cairo's rag pickers who are mostly Christians originally from Middle Egypt. They have built an amazing monastery with an amphitheatre dug into the rock of the Muqqatam. The contrast between the order of the monastery and the filth of the rubbish is something.
Get an ordinary taxi rather than one of the fancy hotel ones to get to the place as the car's suspension gets tested by the narrow alleys in the district.
It's one of the few places in Cairo you'll see pigs.
Between the Islamic city and the Muqqatam hill.
Seascapes are based in Ma'adi in south Cairo and regularly run dive weekends from Cairo to Sharm - they leave on Thursday and come back on Saturday evening so you get to spend 2 full days on a boat and can easily get in 6 good dives over the weekend. The early Saturday morning dive is usually the best. Seascapes are very professional and have a full range of gear for hire.
Water pipe. There are lots of different types. Most popular is shisha tufaah or apple shisha. It is better to start off your smoking career somewhere like Fishawis in Khan el Khalili or in one of the bigger hotels as the tobacco tends to be smoother. Sha'abi (poor peoples') tobacco, available in cafes everyhwere, is very rough and not for the inexperienced.
The ultimate shisha experience involves shisha, aseer farawla (strawberry juice), a glass of water and a few arabic music videos on the telly.
Everywhere in Cairo
Home of the Gaelic Athletic Association, promoter of native Irish sports. Very impressive stadium. Hurling and Gaelic football matches from May to September most Sundays. There's a superb museum detailing the history of the GAA behind the main stand.
Jones Road, Drumcondra.
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