IN a relatively quiet neighbourhood in Zamalek, the lofty trees of the Aquarium Grotto Garden not only match the ambitions of residents of this well-heeled area, but also the expectations of passersby who find themselves unexpectedly drawn to the sight of leaves and trees soughing in the light afternoon breeze as it wafts over a century and a half of history.
The less jaded among will be taken aback by the unique architecture of a multi-cave mountain that resembles the sea bed better than the reality not on the ground but thousands of leagues under the sea.
For years, the Aquarium has been preferred venue for couples who need space and have an overwhelming desire to spend time away from the curious eyes of relatives who are larger than Nature intended.
Perhaps if you keep an ear open, you can hear protestations of undying love and fervent wishes never to be away from the presence of the loved one, which is a fitting prelude to decades of taking the wife for granted.
Built in 1867, he Aquarium was the private property of Khedive Ismail. It was considered one of the best parks in Cairo and was opened to the public in 1902. In 1965, the park gates were closed for 18 years for renovation.
The park has 49 ponds for various rare species of freshwater and seawater fish. If moving fish are not your thing, you can visit the panorama, where mummified fish are displayed.
Being tired of fish does not necessarily mean you are tired of life. You may like to stroll among the rare trees brought specially from Madagascar, Australia and Thailand.
The garden is open from 9am to 5pm. On April 3, it will serve as the venue for a spring carnival.