The River bus

Today I decided to use the public transportation. I wanted to go from el tahrir to el giza, and it was at the peak of the rush hour, and I was not in the mood to get a taxi, and was in need for a change so I had a walk till Maspiro and waited for the River Bus (el autobis el nahri). I know this is not the Bateaux Mouches, but I wanted to try it anyway.

Tab3an the walk to Maspiro was a bit awkward. I’ll ignore discussing the things I heard, this is not the place, I just walked without even listening. On the other hand, I discovered that this area is sort of a low budget entertainment facility. I pass by it by car almost every day, and I know how crowded it can be, especially on holidays, but I didn’t even think about paying attention to the small details there, the music played, the weird names on the feloucas,, etc.

El mohem

I went to the waiting area, it was surprisingly clean, not wow, but acceptable. I got myself a Pepsi can from the cantine, and waited while reading few articles I had. Before sitting, I asked one of the guys when will the bus arrive, he said “soon”, I replied “aiwa, ya3ny emta?”, He replied “in a couple of minutes”. I got the hint, and decided to ignore the time calculations and go back to the old egyptian way of dealing with time, and just don’t care if it was 10 minutes or half an hour. And I didn’t look at the clock till I arrived to my destination 🙂 So I don’t know how long I waited (maybe 20 min), and how long the ride took (perhaps 15 min).

The seats’ leather was not torn, but the place was smelly, well,,, not very smelly, but “mekamkem”. So I decided to go to the open area. There I found the wooden chairs not very clean, so I decided to stand during the journey. But I didn’t mind. The view was beautiful, so I didn’t really care about standing for a couple of minutes.

Now, let’s see about the people who took the ride with me. First of all, it was a bit empty. We were only 10 or 15 on board, and perhaps only 4 used it as a mean for transportation, the rest were either university students using it to have fun before going to Cairo unviersity, and there were some couples standing in the corners.

The journey was beautiful. Generally when I take a feloucca, we go from the side of Maadi, that’s why I am not used to seeing this part of the city from this angle. For example, there is a huge palace that was previously the council for the revolution meetings مجلس قيادة الثورة , it’s immense. I wonder why it is not reopened as a touristic cafe or something, and the location is just right. It would be a great hit. One of the most beautiful places that I really would love to see it the small cafe on the tip of el gezira, the one in Sofitel el Gezira, lovely lovely atmosphere. I wonder if it is too pricey or acceptable. I was also surprised to notice on Kasr El Nile bridge a drawing of two Cobras (I don’t what it means though).

On a final comment, will it be possible one day to use the River buses more decently? will there be regular touristic “clean” river bus service? will i ever be able to go from down town, zamalek, dokki to Maadi using this service?

I don’t know if I would do it again, but I really enjoyed it 🙂

There is so much hidden beauty in this city…


2 responses to “The River bus

  1. Definitely, I can’t agree more.. there’s much beauty hidden in Egypt.. I love how u decided to play the tourist and take a tour down the river bus, I never tried it though but I guess I’ll give it a try someday

    Nice post indeed, I loved how you described your journey from the beginning to the end in details, like Anne Rice.

    Moreover, regarding the Maspiro part, YES, this area can be a pain in the neck sometimes but you cannot help to admire the details.

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