Welcome to Cairo!

Cairo Travel Blog

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Last night, Michelle and I were on different flights out of JFK.  I was leaving a few hours earlier, but we would be meeting up in Paris, where we would then fly to Cairo (or "Le Caire" as our AirFrance tickets said!).  Michelle's original flight was delayed at JFK however, therefore it would make her miss her connecting flight to Cairo!!  Luckily she was able to get the last seat on my flight.  We arrived in Paris this morning, and waited to board our 6 hour flight to Cairo.

I was nervous because the tour company we were using in Cairo had not responded to my email requesting (1) that they confirm that someone was going to pick us up at the airport, and (2) the name of the hotel where we would be staying.  I didn't want to think about arriving in Cairo and not having anyone meeting us at the airport or having a place to stay!   But the view of Egypt from the airplane window as we were landing made me forget my worries...seeing the palm trees and the sand (esp so close to the airport) was something I will always remember.  I couldn't believe I was in Egypt!  The minute we stepped off the plane, we could feel the 90 degree heat but it wasn't humid, so it was bearable.  When we got to the gate, I immediately saw someone holding a namecard with my name and I smiled.  Our trip was officially beginning!

Michelle and I had been traveling for like 15 hours and we were totally disgusting.  The girl holding up my namecard was so pretty and stylish, so we felt completely gross and inadequate standing next to her!  She said, "I need your passports and $40 U.S."  We gave her what she asked for and she disappeared.  We were like...ummmm....we hope she comes back!!!  A few minutes later, we had our Egyptian visas in our passports and we were on our way. 

We met our driver and on our way to the van, we almost got run over by a huge tour bus.  Our Egyptian tour guide turned to us and smiled, "Welcome to Cairo!"  This was our first encounter with the crazy driving in Cairo!  Our driver randomly dropped off the girl on the side of a busy street (I was like ummmmm....what is going on.....) and he drove for what seemed like forever.  We did get to see some absolutely gorgeous buildings and mosques on the way.  Our driver informed us that this was where all the rich people lived!  Obviously we were not staying anywhere nearby...we passed downtown which was absolute madness on the streets.  And I thought NYC streets were crowded with people and cars!

We finally arrived at our hotel where we were greeted by one of the tour employees (who seemed to be on duty 24/7!).  All of the hotel employees were so welcoming and kind, I immediately felt at ease.   Our hotel was very nice too!

After having our "welcome drink" and orientation, we were too tired to venture out.  We had travelled for so long and had a full day ahead of us the next day.  We were going to see the Pyramids of Giza, Saqqara, Memphis, and a touristy dinner cruise on the Nile River :)
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photo by: vulindlela