Initially, when I was tagged for Tripbase’s Best Kept Travel Secret project, I struggled with the “secret” part of the whole thing. Though I could talk about some obscure destinations I’ve tramped through, I’ve decided to share with you 3 lesser known goodies, all travel related. As they say, share and enjoy!
Gayer Anderson Museum – Cairo, Egypt
My 1st travel secret is not so much a secret, but definitely one of Cairo’s most overlooked sites. It’s also a great place to head to if you’re feeling all “pharaoh’ed out” and want a change from the typical tourist fare of ancient Egyptian sites.
Located next to the Ibn Tulun mosque, in the Sayyida Zeinab neighbourhood, the Gayer Anderson Museum is a traditional 17th century house restored and occupied by Major Gayer Anderson in the 1930′s and 40′s. The house itself is an architectural gem, but even more so is the huge collection of period furniture, carpets, art work and knick knacks displayed throughout the multi-storied building. If you go, don’t miss the amazing views of Islamic Cairo from the lovely mashrabiya adorned rooftop.
Mister Chicken – Aleppo, Syria
In all my wanderings in the Middle East, Mister Chicken take-away, in the Northern Syrian city of Aleppo has the best chicken shawarma sandwich I’ve ever had. Period. So good, I’ve been known to eat there twice…in the same afternoon!
They serve a tender, moderately spicy, melt-in-your-mouth parcel of chicken’y goodness, garnished with grilled vegetables all tucked into a tightly rolled flat bread. This take-out-only joint is located on sharia Bab Al Faraj, just a few meters away from Aleppo’s famous Clock Tower. It’s a cheap meal at 50 Syrian Pounds (approx. $1.10 US) per sandwich. Inch your way to the cash to place and pay for your order; then hand the receipt to one of the nice gentlemen manning the large skewers of marinated chicken.
For the homesick Canadian, they also have the largest selection of Canada Dry soft drinks I’ve ever seen.
The local crowd spilling onto the sidewalk from morning until late at night are sure sign you’ve hit the chicken sandwich jackpot. It’s a mystery to me why Mister Chicken isn’t mentioned in guidebooks. I’m not complaining, more tasty chicken for the rest of us I guess.
Tea tree oil *
The most multi-purpose little bottle of natural disinfecting liquid you will ever pack. Ideal for: scrapes, cuts, pimples and insect bites. If you are, like me, a walking mosquito and fly buffet, you’ll appreciate tea tree oil’s ability to stop the itch, disinfect the bite and reduce swelling. Dealing with a sudden, and embarrassing case of dandruff on the road? Add a drop of tea tree oil to your dollop of shampoo. A small 30ml (1oz) bottle was perfect size for a 5 month trip where I had to deal with insect bites almost daily. It’s highly concentrated, so use it sparingly.
*like all remedies, even natural ones, do consult your doctor before using tea tree oil.
Lastly a big thank you to Nick Rowlands at Delicious Chaos who tagged me for this project! 🙂
Need to keep this going, so I tag Earl over at Wandering Earl.com to share his travel secrets next.