From home to Cairo
Cairo Travel Blog› entry 1 of 8 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.