Day One: Salam Alaykum Cairo
Cairo Travel Blog› entry 2 of 14 › view all entries
Our arrival into Egypt was pretty peaceful. The Emirates flight was on time and smooth, no hassles. What shocked me was on arrival to Cairo International Airport - the place is such a mess! There I was talking about how disorganised Indian airports are but they pale in comparison to the mess that is this airport. The other surprising thing is that travel coordinators and people that work in the travel industry can actually cross the immigration counter and walk up to the gate to receive tourists! That's where we met our Travco rep, and he walked us through Customs/Immigration and then baggage claim.
We had a Travco car waiting for us outside. We were then whisked off to our hotel where we would spend one night before moving on to Luxor.
The first thing our travel coordinator Mohammed told us was - "Everyone in Egypt expects tips". We thought that was a plain disclaimer, but this was sthg I realised is more a tradition in Egypt than an exception.
The Sabaya is lovely! I love how it looks like anything but a rsnt. It's got these comfy low level sofas with big cushions and big pillows. The ambience is so dark and cool, in contrast to an outside sunny, dry, arid Cairo. The staff is courtesy personified and the food is impeccable. I normally don't take pictures of the food I eat, but I couldn't resist here. The Egyptian bread aish was so well done and fluffy, and the hummus is one of the best I've tasted in years.
We finished lunch at 2pm which was right in time to checkin to our room. Our room was on the 39th floor and it was magnificent. Even though we didn't get a room facing the Nile, the room was excellent. Very clean and very comfortable beds. I'm very happy. So far at least!
We took a nap in the afternoon and woke up around sunset. My absolute aim for the day was to visit Felfella, one of Cairo's most hyped rsnts and a tourist mecca. The good part was that it was walking distance from our hotel. Walking through sunset in the city centre was a nice experience. We saw tons of Egyptians all gathered around the square chatting, just hanging around.
Felfella rsnt is GOOD. And it's actually not that easy to locate. You would think a rsnt that's constantly flogged in almost all Egypt travel books would be a bit more flashy and discernible but NOT REALLY! It's in one of the bylanes of Cairo city centre, and you actually had to ask around for directions. However, once we entered the rsnt, we could see why it's so popular with both tourists and locals. The rsnt's ambience is amazing. It's very tropical, everything's made of wood and we were surprised at attention to detail - even the table legs look like wooden branches!
The food is very cheap, and of great quality. We tried out more Egyptian vegetarian delicacies such as Tamaiyya (pinto beans based curry) and stuffed vegetables (green pepper, etc) with spicy rice.
Click on Next Entries on the Left to view the Luxor and Karnak Temples