Cairo is a city with soul. The growing metropolis may be one perpetual traffic jam, plagued with sandstorms and jocular papyrus hustlers on every corner, but its roots are set deep in the desert, and this history shows through everywhere you turn. The Great Pyramid of Cheops rises up next to ramshackle apartment buildings and in medieval Cairo, families inhabit structures built during the Mamluk era, nearly 800 years ago. The city may seem impossibly crowded and frenetic, but the serene and ancient Nile flows right through the middle of it all.