I was anxious to see the view from the rear balcony on our first morning in Cairo.
The farmland is fast disappearing in this corner of the city. Here is the view from 2010.
And today, there are small lots across the street just waiting for development.
If you know where to look, the pyramids at Sakaara and Dashour are still visible.
But soon they will likely be obscured by more apartments like these.
You might notice that there are a lot of vacant apartments in those pictures. We are told that they are all owned. Real estate is a hedge against inflation and devaluation of the Egyptian Pound. This five-year chart will show you why no one wants to be holding cash or bank notes.
With the Egyptian Pound falling like a rock, bananas are now selling for 10 pounds to the kilo and strawberries twice that. These prices are about double what they were last year. For us, that translates to 27 cents a pound for bananas and 54 cents a pound for fresh strawberries - still a bargain. Boneless chicken breasts are about $2 a pound - much better prices than in Florida, Arizona and Texas, where other snowbirds fly..
Many people here seem cautiously optimistic that the economy is on the right path. Increasing numbers of Chinese tourists are showing up and some say they are actually spending money - something they have never been accused of in the past!. Egypt has begun accepting the Chinese Yuan as well. We even saw a busload of Americans yesterday, the first of those I have come across in some time.