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Cairo Travel Blog

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Pre flight champa's in Sydney

With the April disaster of a missed flight and cancelled holiday ringing loud in my ears, I headed off to the airport full of positive thoughts.  Can’t say I wasn’t nervous or that I hadn’t triple checked everything.  But still I wasn’t going to sit easy until  was warm and snug in that seat out of Sydney.

Deb and I arrived at Sydney with 4 and half hours to kill before our flight to Abu Dhabi.  After we’d exhausted all shopping opportunities, we headed into the Qantas club lounge to indulge in way too much Chandon and camembert pre flight.  We were excited!!

The flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi went off without a hitch.  All I’m going to say here is I was definitely raised to be a Business Class traveller!!  I loved it.

Sphinx infront of Khufu pyramid
  And what’s not to love.  I had the very front row seat in the World’s Leading Flat Bed airline ��" according to the little promo at the start of each video on demand viewing (and I watched a few!).  They know how to please a girl when they include Kahlua in their list of drinks on board ��" that’s my kinda airline.  The food was fantastic and the service was really good also.  All round winner for Shell.

We had a 2 hour stopover in Abu Dhabi which we spent in the lounge there also ��" unfortunately though I couldn’t squeeze in any more food so sat there people watching for a while.  The 2 hours turned into 4 though when we boarded and sat on the tarmac for another 2 hours.  This wasn’t a big deal except that it meant we got to Cairo at nearly 5am instead of 2.

Sunset from Cairo city
30am.  Our first day of touring was that day and we’d hope to get a couple of hours of sleep before embarking on the 3 hour tour of the Egyptian Museum and the pyramids.  Not to worry though ��" we were full of adrenalin just arriving in Egypt. 

We showered and met the group.  15 of us in all - mainly Canadian’s and Americans’ ��" and 2 POM’s (yes, Deb is classed as a POM because of her passport).  The group all seem friendly enough.  Mixed ages ranging from 20-s up to 50’s.  All really well travelled.

We explored the Egyptian Museum ��" WOW!!  This place has so many displays and exhibits that we spent hours here and didn’t even see 1/10th of it all.

Had to sneak this photo without him seeing - to avoid paying those whopping baksheesh (tips)
  We did see the mummy exhibition which was really fascinating and also stood in awe infront of Tutenkarmin’s mask.  After that, it was straight out to the pyramids.  Now, I knew that they were really close to the city of Cairo but I had no idea just how close.  For you Melbourner’s, it’s like St Kilda to the city close.  Which means that you’re driving through the burb’s and out pop 3 great pyramids of such history that you can’t even begin to fatham.  Of course there is the usual tourist paparazzi to greet each and every bus as it pulls up ��" and there are many. 

To stand at the base of these magnificent relics of time is truly breathtaking and something I wont even try to describe.  We bought an extra ticket to go inside of the great pyramid.

The grand pyramid close up.
  The tomb is set right up inside the pyramid so from the entrance you walk a small way then double right over to crouching position and proceed to climb small steps upwards at an angle of more than 45 degrees.  It was hard going but not long and only took about 10 minutes to reach the tomb.  There is absolutely no air in this dark square hole.  No sound (except for other panting tourists) and no light makes this very eerie.  After this, I had to partake in the cheesy camel ride.  Man, was that scary.  These little suckers get up quite a canter when they want to ��" over sand dunes and all.  I found myself clutching onto that camel like there was no tomorrow and still scared silly that I’d fall off.  I guess I don’t need to inform you all either that these creatures have NO etiquette as the spit and fart their way through the desert.  So I wont mention that.

 

A hearty Arabian lunch (full of garlic, chick peas, tabouli, garlic, lamb, salads and more garlic) and we went to a papyrus painting shop to see how this artform is done.  We were showed how to make papyrus paper and asked if we wanted to spend lots of $$$ on some of it.  We passed and headed off into the sunset ��" now setting beautifully over  those enormous pyramids as it has every night  for the past 4,000 years.  Then off to the train station.

Now my past experiences on trains ��" being limited to India and Vietnam where it’s fair to say that I haven’t been pampered and slept in luxury ��" had clouded my expectations of our train from Cairo to Aswan.  I wasn’t looking forward to ripped vinyl seats, scurrying cockroaches and squat toilets that are way past their due date.  But ��" I will take all those thoughts back now as I sit in my cabin which has to be the nicest train trip I’ve had to date.   Air-conditioned and new it has a lockable door (so I don’ have to strap my backpack to my leg for security) and even a little sink with a mirror (which one of the American’s jokingly called a washroom but slight exaggeration there as this pulls out of a cupboard).  A beautiful big window for watching the Egyptian countryside slide by and an airline type meal delivered to our cabin for dinner and breakie (alas, no Kahlua given here).  Yep, I’m a happy camper.

Well, that’s all for now.  We are off to Abu Simbel.  Deb and I are putting ourselves down for nearly every optional excursion on this tour that we can.  From belly dancing in the desert to hot ballooning in Luxor to snorkelling in the red sea (ok, no swimming ability might make that difficult for me but I’ll have a crack anyway)  we plan to soak in as much Egyptian and Jordanian culture as we can.

 

 

 

mume says:
mume says:
Hi Deb and Shell, Glad to hear you are both having soooo much fun, enjoy and stay safe. The tribe are all well but missing mum. Steven has arranged a party for Sunday for Storm's grand final - go storm we are having a bet on who scores the first try ( my money is on billy) - steven said I am the beer wench for the day! Steven wants to know what he is to going to do with the camels when Shell sells you Deb? Alex says he hopes you are having fun and he has finished the book you gave him (Pyramids) and he enjoyed it. Rowie says she wants more photes of mummy on the blog please. she has two new dresses to show you and she is getting a suprise ready for you when you get home. Love and lots of hugs enjoy! From Mum, Steven,Alex,Rowie Harry, fish and chickens. xoxoxox

Posted on: Sep 28, 2007
mume says:
Hi girls, Good to hear from you and to see the photos. Deb the tribe are fine. Rowie and Alex are enjoying not going to school and missing you "stax". We all hope you are enjoying yourselves have a great time. Steven says to relax and just soak it all up. love and hugs Mum
Posted on: Sep 24, 2007
sylviandavid says:
I read your blog to David. It made us laugh... you are adding more aren't you!? sylvia
Posted on: Sep 24, 2007
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Pre flight champas in Sydney
Pre flight champa's in Sydney
Sphinx infront of Khufu pyramid
Sphinx infront of Khufu pyramid
Sunset from Cairo city
Sunset from Cairo city
Had to sneak this photo without hi…
Had to sneak this photo without h…
The grand pyramid close up.
The grand pyramid close up.
Cairo
photo by: vulindlela