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Cairo-bound again that evening, I’m further reminded of the unrest. My night train has to stop for four hours because protesters are on the line, voicing their anger at food and fuel shortages. And, two days after the football violence in Port Said that left at least 74 people dead, I’m not sure what to expect in Cairo during the country’s three days of mourning.

But the city is as hectic as always. Bricks fall off lorries, donkeys pull carts piled high with vegetables, camels are parked up next to vehicles or tied up in the back of trucks. Beeping cars weave dangerously close to each other on highways with unmarked lanes.

It’s straight to the Egyptian Museum, which is overlooked by deserted hotels and the burnt-out National Democratic Party headquarters. I’m just next to Tahrir Square, but I’m told it’s too dangerous to go and have a look. Thankfully, the museum is enough of a distraction. Inside, I see the glistening contents of Tutankhamun’s tomb at the Valley of the Kings – his gold mask, jewellery and sarcophagus.

Heading back to the airport the next day, I catch another glimpse of Egyptian politics – my guide points out a police convoy of about 30 cars and vans taking Mubarak and his cronies from court to prison. The uncertain feeling is back, but it’s been worth it to see Egypt’s rich heritage – with no other tourists getting in the way of my pictures.

All images: Clare Vooght


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