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Written on: Thursday December 31st, 2009

A journal entry from: Sun, Sand and Wind

Marhaba and ana sait!


So I have arrived in Cairo in one piece and with all my stuff. My two flights went well, and I would highly recommend flying with Luftansa, probably the best on flight service I have ever had flying and as many drinks and food as you would like.


Had a 5 hour layover in Frankfurt, and ate the most expensive breakfast of my life; 2 pieces of toast, 2 eggs , 2 small pieces of bacon and a coffee all for only $23 CAN. By far not worth it, but I needed to eat. The Frankfurt airport was not too impressive and quite dated, but it is always fun to watch the logistics of such a large airport and all the different people.


Once arrived in Cairo, my airport pickup was nowhere to be seen, and I really wasn't too surprised... after waiting for a bit to see if anyone would show up, I got a taxi to the hostel, which was on some random street downtown. It took the driver a couple laps around the block to find it, since it was just a small alleyway into an old building. The driving is unlike anything I have EVER experienced, nobody follows any rules. Ppl drive 100 in a 50, swerving between 4 lanes of traffic, with no signal, not checking their blind spots, no seat belts, they just GO. My driver told me, you cannot be afraid to drive in Cairo, you need to be confident. I told him, you need BIG BALLS to drive in Cairo, he laughed.


After being told to go to the 4th and then 6th floors, I finally found the hostel was on the 3rd floor. I was less then impressed with my surroundings... To get to the hostel you walked up some sketchy stair well with garbage and stray cats wondering around, it was completely open to the outside. My room was not ready and, the sheets were dirty and no hot or even warm water to shower. None the less I tried to stay positive and went out to find some food. Although I hadn't had any real sleep for almost 3 days now, I did not manage to sleep more then a few minutes at a time, due to the non stop traffic and the music of car horns (opa had warned me of, but I figured things would have changed in 50 years), ppl yelling outside, dogs barking, and some random ppl praying at the top of their lungs in the weeee hours of the night.


I had chosen to stay at a hostel to meet other young people, but this was clearly not my style and was beyond my personal comfort zone. When the sun raised, I set out looking for a new place to stay. Walking around downtown is quite different, you need to really be carful on the the streets and there is so much pollution that it seems to give a slight headache. I finally found a man working at a hotel which was all booked that arranged a room for me at another hotel, he even came along for the ride to show me the place and make sure I was satisfied. I now have a nice clean room with warm water and there are some New Years celebrations happening tonight downstairs which I will take part in.


Tomorrow I am going to go to the Pyramids with a personal guide which should be neat, and the next day I take off in the evening by train to head South to Aswan. I am looking forward to getting out of the city and seeing the other side of Egypt and a calmer surrounding.


I am sure this whole text sounds fairly negative, but things are good and I feel much better at my new location. it is just overwhelming being in such a big city where things are so different then I am use to. But one thing is for sure, like any trip, I am learning lots through my eyes and know that I will be even more grateful for everything we have back home. It is also funny being surrounded by arabic, I feel like a little dog that can't understand anything, lol. Bur for the most part I have managed to find people who can understand a bit of english.


I wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Please leave your comments on here, and I will try to answer them when I have a chance.


Take care,


David W.



From Tante Susie on Dec 31st, 2009

Very well written David. I could almost feel like I was walking beside you! I look forward to reading your further adventures. Happy New Year to you! Love, Tante Susie

From Jolinne on Jan 2nd, 2010

David, I can sympathize with you and your negative hostel experience here. Gross! I hope you are able to avoid these types of places for the rest of your trip. Post some pics when you get the chance! Nous t'aimons.

From David Weiskopf on Jan 3rd, 2010

I've been trying to put some pictures but every computer I have access too is always too slow..