Cairotic

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Friday, June 2, 2006

I believe that it was a first glimpse of the chaotic Asia, but in north Africa. 3 days in Cairo were at least different from every other place we ever been. To begging with, the noise and the dust. The air is very dry and the proximity of the desert brings a lot of dust to the city turning everything in light brown. The traffic is heavy and the Egyptians use the horn as a way of communication, so a lot of noise every were. And while you are walking in the streets the taxis horn to you meaning "you want a ride?". Woman wearing burkhas, and tourist mini skirt! But the ancient culture is spread every where, from the old building in the old town around Khan el Kalili market, to bargaining for every taxi ride or souvenir.

The first two days we hang around the city visiting the very interesting Khan El Kalili market, maybe one of the oldest market in the world, and the National Museum. A lot of security everywhere, to get into the museum you pass a security check similar to airports. You can see army and or police it is different to tell them apart.

The last day the famous, and the last ancient world wonder, Pyramids. They are beautiful, but the toots around them break the magic. It is VERY annoying to deal with them. It is almost impossible to walk around by yourself. They will convince you to rent a camel or a horse to walk around the pyramids. OK we gave up and negotiate with one of them, price settle we took two horses. It worth-ed for us because in the time we were there the temperature reached 40 C, and the best view is from maybe too much far by walking under the strong sun. After finishing the ride, the guide asked for a tip, in addition to the price already agreed, I declined. I never listened so many offenses !!! I didn't give a dam###***t!!! And we walk alway laughing. TIP: when you are going to the pyramids ask for the taxi driver to left you in the main entrance near the Sphinx, you can have a better view of the whole complex, and can decide if you go by yourself or with a annoying toot.

We stayed in a very value and recommended hotel named Long Champs, in one of the best neighbors in Cairo. Also in the last day we bought the bus ticket to Dahab in Red Sea, and the air tickets from Cairo to Istanbul (expensive!!!), but with Lebanon in war with Israel it is very dangerous to go by bus crossing this countries.
Independent travel in Egypt is not so easy. Specially in Cairo. But the 3 days worth-ed, but it was enough. Better to go there in the winter.

cheers!
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