The Pyramids

Trip Start Sep 01, 2007
1
23
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Trip End Nov 23, 2008


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Flag of Egypt  ,
Friday, December 28, 2007

Arriving at 7pm we walked a small way to the metro and jumped on to get to our hostel which was 2 stops away. Arriving at our hotel we were told that our room wasn't ready so we headed to a local takeaway place for 2 local dishes (Kushari - Sam and Mel will remember that one! and a kebab) before heading to bed in our huge room. The positive part of staying Downtown is that you are near public transport, the downside is the traffic noise. It felt like we were sleeping in the middle of the roundabout - good thing we had heavy duty ear plugs. We needed a good night sleep too as tomorrow we were off to the Pyramids!!!

We organised our own taxi driver to take us around to Saqqara, Memphis and Giza as transport around Cairo is difficult to use if you want to see these sights and we only had 2 days to see everything as wanted to get the overnight train the next day to Luxor.

So after a day out seeing these 3 areas (we specifically told the driver, no papyrus, alabaster, carpet making or perfume factories - they take you there otherwise) we headed to the train station to book our train, only to be told that there were no sleeping cars available for the next 4 days and that first class seating was full for the next 2 days. Not a problem if you have time but we only had 2 weeks so had to move our butts! So after some thought we headed to Egypt Air and booked a flight (only 1 hour so much better than 10hours on the train) to Luxor the next night.

Since it was our last night in Cairo we decided to go for a walk around Downtown and headed down to the Nile where we found heaps of huge restaurants built on big boats moored to the banks. So to do the tourist thing we had dinner at an Italian restaurant and then headed to the local bar/pub area on the west bank called Zamelek. But after walking around for 20 mins we couldn't find one place so started to head back to the Nile (this is after nearly getting killed trying to cross the roads - the drivers in Egypt think that to save the battery they shouldn't drive with lights on at night, very scary but unfortunately they do it all over the country) but spotted a small bar in a dark back street hidden behind a big wooden door. After one beer though we were quite bored so headed home to noise central. And trust me, you want to drink beer in Egypt unless you like your tea sweet - they put about 6-8 sugars in each cup!

The next day we walked to the Egyptian museum - on the way one guy told us that it was closed, typical scam, we could see all the people across the road in the museum so just ignored him - and spent about 3 hours looking at all the artifacts including some royal mummies which you have to pay extra for to see (saw some Japanese woman punch an English woman because she apparently pushed in!!).

Then we were off to the airport (crazy taxi driver driving a hundred miles an hour) and onto the plane to Luxor to the land of temples.
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