Just as the Cairene summer was getting too monotonous, we bumped into the Bardo Clubhouse, an eccentric old villa turned a quirky space where dance, art galleries, and yoga all meet.
On my way back home from work just last week, I spontaneously decided to take the long way home. As I strolled down 12th Street in Maadi, I began picking up feint hints of ethereal classical tunes along with signs of commotion characteristic of people having a jolly ol' time. I can't lie, the hubbub definitely lulled me in, especially since it seemed like an opportunity to escape the pattern of the ordinary workday I had become so accustomed to. As I approached the gates I realized that they were left open, allowing for anybody to come right in. On the inside, an exquisite dance performance was taking place, with eloquent entertainers moving swiftly to the sound of smooth bass. What was this place?
As I sauntered around, I surveyed the environment around me. A large rundown villa, a shack serving cold refreshments, and a freshly-trimmed lawn with a few benches. As I began to chit-chat with some of the people inside, I learned that I had just step foot into what was the brand-new 'Bardo Clubhouse', an eccentric and aged estate that had been transformed into a destination for locals to enjoy their free time.
Events at Bardo, which officially opens after Eid, are very far-ranging, making the clubhouse a one-of-a-kind relaxation and activities haven. One week you may find yourself participating in relaxing yoga and decompressing, while another week you could be observing a talented dance performance - just like the one I had just witnessed - or a unique art gallery. The clubhouse hosts daytime and nighttime events, allowing people to stream in at any time they might find themselves a bit bored or exhausted, so they can be entertained by the myriad of different possibilities on serve at Bardo.
When you have finally finished with enjoying the company of other guests or completed the final few minutes in your yoga class, you might want to head over to the fresh juice and coffee bar for a refreshing drink or two. All in all, Bardo Clubhouse treated me in the exact way it was designed for: to add a little spark of out-of-the-box creativity and excitement to the day of anyone who may stumble across their large black gates. I guess it was a good decision to take the long way home from work.