Arrival in Cairo was at local time.Much to my surprise, our 757 was parked far from the terminal and we walked down the stairs and were bussed to the terminal.As we entered the terminal building, we had to submit cards testifying as to our health, and, after we passed the first barrier, I saw that passengers were being scanned for body temperature.Security personnel were watching monitors on which were displayed a real-time video of passengers with their temperature in little boxes over their heads.High temperatures were in red boxes.Pretty nifty, I must admit!All this, of course, was related fears over the N1H1 virus.
Having always been met after passing customs, I was shocked and delighted to see the Uniworld rep, Mohammed, as soon as we passed the health screening.
Arrival in Cairo
He directed us through the somewhat confusing immigration system.That process was a bit of a disaster and took about an hour.However, by the time we got to the belt, the bags were already there, as was Mohammed.He collected a contingent of 10 or 12 other Uniworld people but, as it happened, we were the only ones on our itinerary.Uniworld has three different Egypt itineraries and, as it happened, all of these people were all on another.Though the group was small, we were on a full-sized tour bus. We were to come to happily realize that this would be a pretty standard condition throughout our tour.
Cairo is great!It is very different from home, of course, and much of it, including the odor, reminded me if India.I’m not sure exactly what that smell is.
Arrival in Cairo
It’s pungent but not unpleasant. Certainly reminded me that I wasn’t in the hills of Pennsylvania!The daytime population of Cairo is almost 20 million so traffic was interesting to say the least.Mohammed commented about the craziness of the drivers but, frankly, I think traffic in India was much crazier.I’d not dream of driving in either!
The Marriott Cairo Hotel and Casino is on an island in the Nile. The ride took us perhaps 45 minutes and Mohammed kept up a commentary during much of it.The hotel itself is remarkable.The central part was build as a palace in which Empress Eugenia of France could stay when she visited Cairo during the building and dedication of the Suez Canal.
To it has now been added two large towers containing, together, 1000 rooms.Check-in went quickly but, as usually happens there was a long wait for the bags to be delivered to the room.
Our friends from Düsseldorf, Karl & Gisela, have traveled extensively so when we started thinging about Egypt, I called Karl for advice. He said they had never ben there and asked if we'd mind if they joined us. We always enjoy their company so the deal was made. They had arrived in the wee hours so after a 2-hour nap, we met for dinner at the hotel’s outdoor “Egyptian Nights.”We had the wisdom to have the waiter choose our entire menu and it was great!Fresh bread?… there were ladies making in a clay oven at the restaurant’s entrance!
u have visited Cairo the heart of the world, the city of the thousand minerate :p
but i didn't see any notice about the metro "Egyptian underground its our best way to resisst the crazy cars" in ur plog..
Don't say that u didn't ride it?!
I was in Cairo in Sept 08 and I know exactly what you are talking about! The traffic was so bad at traffic circles, I just closed my eyes and hoped our driver didn't hit anyone. Thanks for sharing your journal. James
Posted on: Oct 28, 2009
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