Monday, February 15, 2016

Welcome to Cairo


At first we were lulled to sleep by some live Turkish music playing in the street. But when the music ended, the cat fight began. Nothing like howling cats when you're trying to sleep. Wake up call came at 2:30 am and our driver was downstairs at 2:50. We were at the airport by 3! I played the sympathy card at check-in and the very nice woman changed our seats so that I would be a bit more comfortable in flight. This is just a 2 1/2 hr flight.

Other than my "incident", our stay in Istanbul was really terrific. The hotel was in a perfect location to walk to all the major sights and the waterfront. There never seemed to be an abundance of security that it was too intimidating. We felt safe at all times. The people were absolutely lovely, although at times a bit pushy. But that is usually the case in most tourist areas. This was definitely a great time to come. No lines and the weather was more than fine.

Made it to Cairo. Very comfortable flight - even landed early.  We were eager to meet our guide and get going since we had been up since 2 am. No such luck. No guide! We hung around the airport for about an hour. A very nice man in charge of a taxi stand helped us call the hotel to try and straighten the situation out. Nobody knew where our guide was, so we ended up taking a taxi, from the very nice man, directly to the hotel. Looks like our Cairo morning tour just got canceled.

At the hotel, they were bending over backward to make sure everything was Ok for us. We got a pretty good view of the pyramid. When the wifi didn't work, we got our own router! Things were definitely looking up. But we still didn't have a guide. A representative finally showed up from the tour company.  He refunded our cab fare and took us to lunch.

After lunch, we finally met Mohammad, "but please call me Ash", because in every Egyptian family there are at least 7 or 8 Mohammad's!  Our driver is Mohammad.  We figured out the mix-up and why he thought the flight was at 4pm instead of 8:30. Won't bore you with the details. It all turned out fine. We decided it was too late to go back into Cairo. By the way, the traffic here is nuts! The lane lines are a mere suggestion - nobody stays in their lane for more than a second. The roads are packed. Cairo has a population of 20 million and every day it is host to at least 8 million more. Ash thought that it would be a good idea to take a falucca (a traditional wooden sailboat) ride down one of the branches of the Nile. Off we went in our own private tour bus! The boat ride was very relaxing after a bustling day of traveling.

Back at the hotel by 4, we went through our itinerary to make sure everything was fine.  We are meeting Ash for dinner tonight. Not sure where we will end up, but we requested some fish.

Tomorrow we go see the pyramids up close with a camel ride -- I hope I can manage that in my tender condition! I came all this way, I will just have to manage.

Next time... See the Pyramids along the Nile


1 comment:

  1. Is that a cell phone tower on top of the pyramids? Good idea to take the falucca. A bit worried about your condition, you have a long way to careful. Luv ya guys.