Visas on arrival at Cairo airport
Before visiting Egypt, you should check with your local Egyptian embassy to identify the visa requirements that apply to citizens from your country.
Having done so myself, I found that as a UK citizen I was eligible to obtain a tourist visa upon arrival at Cairo airport. The following details were correct at the time of my visit in November 2007:
- tourist visas can be purchased upon arrival at Cairo airport, and are valid for 30 days. You must have at least 6 months remaining on your current passport;
- you can pay for your visa in either $US or EGP, with visas priced at $US15 or EGP 90 (9 GBP);
- visas are purchased from bank counters immediately inside the airport. Hand over your cash and you will receive a visa sticker. Peel the sticker off and stick it on a blank page in your passport. This will then be stamped when you pass through passport control;
- most people on my flight had either obtained a visa prior to travelling or didn’t require one, so I was one of the few people on the flight who made their way to the visa counters. However, some people made the mistake of joining the long queue for passport control, only to be told once they reached the front that they had to go back and get a visa. Don’t make that mistake or you’ll have to queue up twice.
In common with many countries, foreign visitors also have to fill in a landing card and a customs declaration when visiting Egypt. These will normally be distributed on the flight and will require you to fill in details such as: name, address, occupation, nationality, passport number, purpose of your visit, length of stay and address while in Egypt. These will be collected from you at passport control/customs.
Note: The above information relates to travellers arriving in Egypt at Cairo airport. I believe that there are different visa regulations in force for visitors to the holiday resorts located on the Sinai peninsular. In the case of the latter, many European visitors do not require a visa for stays of 14 days or less.
Everybody (well, almost!) likes receiving letters - I certainly do, though there are other, more modern and efficient means of communication - e-mail, phone, and such like. However, if you simply like getting letters or if you need, say, the originals or paper copies of some documents sent to you while you are on the move, you can use the poste restante service. Your best bet is to use the American Express service, which is available for free to clients - you should hold either their card or travellers cheques. They are reliable and present in all major cities.
Giza is a suburb of Cario to the south west of the city. It is the home of the famous pyramids and the Sphinx. Nearly 5000 years ago this area became a royal burial ground. The Egyptian people built three pyramids to serve as tombs for their dead kings around 2686 - 2181 BC. The three pyramids are "Menkaure" (the smallest of the three), "Khafre' (the centre pyramid) and "The Great Pyramid" (the oldest and largest of the three).
Doctors in Cairo
Due to an unpleasant incident, an old lady from our group needed some medical assistance while staying in Cairo.
The guys from our hotel (Maadi Hotel) have been very kind and called us a doctor which arrived immediately.
The doctor only consulted the lady and prescribed some medicines to her.
The price paid was of USD 18-, but he also gave an invoice for the insurance company.
She is a woman, what the heIl does she know?
A woman in Egypt has a different status than in the western world. Wife, mother, household leader, a creature to be respected. Ok but as a woman she knows nothing and she should certainly accept the will of her husband.
So, here is the story:
When we visited Cairo Museum, there was a man selling "papyrus" outside. It was the first time being there, he said 10, I said 5. "Ok" he replied immediately.
My husband was beside me and he told me in Greek "Come on, look how happy he seems, I'm sure that these things cost very less, we'll find them cheaper elsewhere"... Well indeed he did seem happy as if he had just found a stupid tourist and made his day.
So I tell him "no" and he turns to my husband "ok my friend, no problem, give me 4". He receives another "no" while we move on but he insists, keeps following us and trying to argue: "But the lady said...".
And there he goes, my husband (who had obviously already become used to the Egyptian way, huh) replies jokingly:"The lady is just a woman, what does she know, she knows nothing". The man, immediately stopped insisting and following us, shook his head with understanding (and as if he completely agreed), and just left. Just like this. And that's a family joke ever since.
For the record, in Khan-Al-Khalili, the same "papyrus" (banana leaf) cost half the money (as first price, before bargaining). He was right. Well I should expect it, I'm a woman, what do I know :D :D