Cairo seen from the bus only
Favorite thing: Cairo is definatelly a very huge place, the biggest I have ever seen and visited so far. My first impression was, chaos all around! There are millions of people out on the streets, no matter if the heat is big and almost burning. I got impression this people spending the whole day out, eating, sleeping, making business or just drifting out on the streets....
Cairo on the Nile River
Favorite thing: If wasn't the River of Nile Cairo would probably never excisted, Nile is its heart and soul. Cosmopolitane city is concentrated along the banks of the river which gave life to this town of a very huge proportions. Quarters and houses where working class live are pretty distant from the Nile.
The other side of Cairo
Favorite thing: My visit was far too short to make any final conclusions about Cairo but it is notable huge contrast in between the city area along both banks of the River Nile and its outskirts. City area looks cosmopolitan and smell on money while outskirts looking chaotic in a way as any other small town or even village. People wear more traditional cloths and using other type of transportation.
TOP TOUR GUIDE...
Favorite thing: Dr Abdelghany Nassar is from Cairo. He is a young man with wisdom beyond his years. We spent a day with him and it was by far our best day (in Cairo). He was sensitive to what we were looking to get out of Cairo, he knew when to guide and when to be silent. Conversations were interesting and relaxed and by the end of the day we considered him more a friend than a guide.
What he didn't know about Cairo and Egypt's history probably wasn't worth knowing and he was super with our kids - he didn't patronise them but neither did he bore them.
Certainly when we return to Egypt we'll look him up for 2 reasons : 1 to say "hello" and 2 to have another fab tour!
I believe he guides around other places including Luxor and Sinai. His email is :
Fondest memory: hmm... would say fondest memory is sitting drinking mint tea and Turkish coffee in Fishwari's chatting to Abdel about his apartment whist he smoked hubbly bubbly had his shoes polished by an old man, our kids went on sugar overload from Sprite and Cola and we all (including the guys that worked there) tried to figure out what thje lotion in a little plastic bottle was (my guess was hair conditioner)!
Favorite thing: Everyone knows that the Bangles can "Walk like an Egyptian", but there is actually some validity to that statement. In most of the statues of the Pharoahs, the pose of how the Pharoah was postured told you what type of ruler he was. If the ruler was a military man, he would be postured with his left foot forward (Left, Left, Left, right, left).
The other interesting thing is that their hands were always closed, with something in between their grasp to use as a brace. This kept their hands ready for the fight.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Favorite thing: When arriving to Egypt via Cairo.....A huge sign written in Arabic welcomes you at the airport saying"Enter Egypt,if Allah(god)wills,in his security"[part 13-Surah Yousuf,Ayah99].
This is a verse from the Holy Quran telling the story about Joseph`s & his brothers......
I believe it gives a message that Egypt will remain safe for all thoses who visit it.
Fondest memory: It`s always a pleasure for me knowing one of my friends is out there waiting to pick me up from the airport!
Take me to the Meridian....
Favorite thing: If you want to go to the Hard Rock Cafe in Cairo for a burger and/or a t-shirt, it is located in the Hyatt hotel, which is one of the tallest buildings right downtown on the Nile...
One would think that taxis drivers would easily know where the Hyatt is, but this is not the case... (I tried 4 or 5 different cabbies)
But if you tell them to take you to the Meridian, they will take you to the Hyatt....(I guess the Hyatt is relatively new there... or used to be called the Meridian or something like that...)
Another strategy would be to say " Take me to the Nile", and then point at it, and say "that tall one over there...."Related to:
- Road Trip
Favorite thing: When in Cairo, it is worth while to try the hubble bubble in one of the many cafes around town...
The cafes appear to be the main social scene in the Egyptian capital... And actually the pipe is not bad... Mild, aromic kind of taste...
The cafe shown here is down on the edge of the Khan al-Khalili market...Related to:
- Road Trip
Closed (and) Crowded...
Favorite thing: The touts in Cairo, especially down around the Midan Tahrir train station and out side the museum are definately a determined lot.
I was walking back to my hotel from the train station (which is in the direction of the museum) when the first guy came up to me:
"Oh no sir, today is Friday, so the museum is closed... I would be glad to personally take you papyrus shopping, though..."
"no no no no thanks..."
Twenty meters up another one approached me and said:
"Oh no sir, today is Friday, so the museum is very crowded.... No good for you, sir.... I will personally guide you to the pyramids instead..."
Well which is gonna be today guys: Too crowded or closed, can't be both, can it ??
These guys should get together in the morning to get their stories straight... or maybe alternate days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday: CLOSED, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: CROWDED. (BTW: When I walked by the museum it was open, and not so terribly crowded... )
Actually the touts in Cairo aren't so bad... (They are much more mannered then those in Giza or Luxor...)Related to:
- Road Trip
Misunderstood Cairo Cabbies...
Favorite thing: After reading the horror stories about Cairo cabbies, I was really bracing for a battle the first time I got in one... The LP book said the fare should be 5 EP for where I wanted to go...
"How much to the Sheraton?" "Ten Pounds...."
"I'll give you five..." "OK, sir, lets go..." (hmmmm.. that was easy?!?!?)
I can say that I didnt encounter any problems at all with the taxi drivers here.... Most were actually pretty friendly.... (sure they probably charged me a couple pounds too much, but what is $0.35 USD amongst friends ????)Related to:
- Road Trip
Day 1 - Arrival Cairo
Fondest memory: It was already 5pm when my plane touched down in Cairo. I found myself in a totally different world. Everything is different, people, street, smell, language, color, etc. After checking into the hotel, I took a little walk around the area. Cairo street is very busy, I waited for over 5 mins, and found that it's not possible to cross the road if I waited for the traffic light. The only method is to stick & follow the locals, they cross, I cross.
The Brand New Desert City
Favorite thing: The following tips are in fact tribute to the hard working Egyptian people. All these pictures were taken during the 45 kms bus journey from Giza city to the modern Cairo Airport. We were told by our guide that the the 40 kms stretch via the Ring Road of Cairo was in fact a desert even three years back, but now they have built a beautiful city with all amenities. This must be seen to appreciate the hard work and zeal of the Egyptian enterprise.
The same thing in India would have taken more than 20 years and in between associated with many labour unrest, communist demonstrations, blockades, criticism etc. And in Kolkata, West Bengal, it would never finish as it is run by a Communist Government!Related to:
- Family Travel
Current Admission Charges to Sites
Favorite thing: Agricultural Museum 0.10
Coptic Museum 16.00 (currently closed)
Dr. Ragab's Papyrus Institute 4.00
Dr. Ragab's Pharaonic Village 50.00
Egyptian Antiquities Museum 20.00 10.00/Student
Antiquities Museum Mummies Hall 40.00
Gayer Anderson House 16.00
Islamic Art Museum 16.00 (closed)
Mahmoud Khalil Museum 25.00
Mohammed Nagui Museum 10.00
Makhtar Museum 1.00
National Museum of Egyptian Modern Art 10.00
October War Panorama 10.00
Pyramids of Giza (Each) 20.00
Railway Museum 1.50
Solar Boat Museum 25.oo
Islam - the state religion in Egypt
Favorite thing: Around 90 percent of Egyptians are Sunni Muslims. There is also a small number of Shi'a Muslims, but these are less than 1 percent of the total population.
Muslims pray five times a day and the time to pray is opened by the Call to Prayer.
During the prayer they are asking God for his love, saying "Oh God! You are Peace and from you, is Peace; Blessed are you, O Lord of Majesty and Bounty."Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: Due to the laws in Egypt stipulating that the houses which are not finished are tax-free, most of the buildings have a strange unfinished exterior.
We've been told that usually it is build only the structure and finish partially an apartment when there is a potential buyer. Still in these cases they leave something unfinished in order to be registered as under construction building and not pay the huge taxes.
Compared to other buildings I've seen in Cairo, the high palaces around Maadi area had a more "elegant" look, although most of them were still unfinished.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
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I had booked the Longchamps for my journey to Cairo in November 2011. We had booked 2 rooms. All had...more
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