Exploring Hampstead Heath

I love long walks exploring London’s parks, so when the weather was just right I went to visit Hampstead Heath, one of London’s oldest and most popular open green spaces. Spanning 790 acres, I must have walked around most of the park’s dense woodland areas, open green spaces and finally a steep climb up to Parliament Hill where the city of London is laid out for all to see. I loved the meadows all around Hampstead Heath, but I was warned to be careful of grass snakes– not poisonous but still scary– lurking in the tall grass! Thankfully I did not encounter one. Walking around Hampstead Heath will work up your appetite as it did mine, so I’d strongly suggest packing a picnic with you since the park’s adequate cafe is quite a walk away. I had to use my smartphone’s maps app to lead me the way to Parliament Hill…

Exploring Downtown Cairo

There’s a lot of history in Downtown Cairo, described as the city’s commercial and urban heart. The district is a testimony to Cairo’s glorious past, when it was first built by French architects in the late 19th century on the orders of the Khedev Ismail who wanted it to resemble Paris. Downtown Cairo also became the heart of the revolution, when in 2011 Egyptians flocked to Tahrir Square to bring down the status quo.  Now an Egyptian flag hangs in the center of Tahrir square. With the traffic open to the square and life going on as normal, it’s hard to believe this was the epicenter of the 2011 revolution.  A major restoration project to revive the buildings in Downtown Cairo was underway on my last visit. The government and a private real estate developer are responsible for restoring all the major buildings around Downtown Cairo, including those around Tahrir Square. I…