By the Nile

Trip Start Nov 2002
1
24
53
Trip End Sep 2003


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Flag of Egypt  ,
Monday, September 22, 2003

Our hotel has an excellent view of the Nile and easy access to the Egyptian Museum.

We finally made it to the hotel at approximately 2:30 am after a very easy entry into Egypt. This was made easier by the guide supplied by the hotel who directed us through customs, picked up our luggage, assured that we had the proper stamp in our passport for our video camera, loaded our luggage and us into a "limo", and sent us on the way to the hotel. What a way to be looked after. Before you think us TOO posh - in Egypt the difference between a limo and a taxi is the condition of the vehicle. A limo is newer, cost a little bit more, and is in much better condition than a taxi which is normally black and white, the upholstery is abused and more than likely has the outside has lots of bumps on it. Driving in Cairo traffic (or in our case riding) you can very quickly see why a car is rather banged up! There are no lanes, it seems that whoever "honks" first has the right-away, drivers turn left from the far right lane (after honking first) and when you cross the road on foot, it is Russian Roulette!

Having said all that, I have never spent my birthday in a more exotic place - yes, today, I celebrate. We started the day with breakfast at Omar's in the hotel. A more adequate breakfast you would have to hunt long and hard for - several breakfast bars including one with a chef making omelettes with whatever ingredients you asked for as you wait. There was also a toast bar with several kinds of breads, one with pastries, one with cereal, fruits, yogurts, another with fruit juices (apple, orange, grapefruit and one unknown - red and sweet), a bar with scrambled eggs, beef bacon, beef sausages (You do note: NO PORK) and on the end of this bar was food for the Asian community. At Omar's they cater to all cultures but don't try to find pork at Omar's. This was especially a good value for us as the price of breakfast was included in our room rate.

We were advised by Dawn, our daughter, NEVER get in a cab without getting a price first. Cabbies in Egypt do not have meters and will probably try and direct you somewhere other than where you want to go where they have a friend waiting to sell you something you do not want. We have been to China and Mexico and the street vendors in Egypt are 10 times more aggressive than either of the two fore mentioned countries. Be prepared and as always have a good supply of US dollar bills (the $1.00 variety). Having said this, let me also state that Taxis are cheap - cheaper than buses in Houston. We also learned that a trip from the hotel to the museum cost half of what it cost from the museum to the hotel. ???? They charge you more if there is a lot of traffic. Makes sense.

Will add more later.
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