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Goodbye Cairo!

Written on: Saturday January 2nd, 2010

A journal entry from: Sun, Sand and Wind

Well what can I say, the first 4 days in Cairo are coming to and end, and they have been something else.
New Years eve turned out to be a great time. I went down to the hotel restaurant where I had made earlier reservations for the festivities. As I get there, they sat me at a small single table all by myself in a far end of the room... this really sucked, and I knew if the night was going to be any good, it would be up to me to change my surroundings. I noticed when I had walked in a large table of non Egyptians in their mid twenties at the other end of the room. I introduced myself to the group and it turned out that they were all finishing a group tour of Egypt and were almost all from Australia and New Zealand, so it was easy to blend in. I joined their group, and the night was a lot of fun, and just all around fun people to be with.
The next morning, I was picked up by my tour guide for the day. It was crazy, for $60 I had, my own tour guide + tour driver for our mini bus, lol. My guides name was Abdul, and he was a lot of fun and extremely knowledgeable. We went first south of Giza to check out the first ever built pyramid and a couple of tombs, very cool stuff! You were not allowed to take pictures inside, but I had my picture taken in the one tomb by the guard who "for me my friend, I take you picture" but to get your camera back you need to pay up.*No big deal, but more funny then anything.
We then stopped in a small town where I went and checked out how Papyrus paper is made *first ever paper on Earth, and checked out some local paintings, I bought a few to take home. During this time, my guide went to the mosque to pray. It was interesting since, the driver was a Coptic Christian (10% of Egyptians) and the guide a Muslim, and they explained to me how they fully embrace each others religions here in Egypt, and if only the rest of the world could do the samewe could have peace. Abdul insisted that nobody can push his or her religion onto others but that he assured me there was a god. (for the most part I really liked his way of thinking and had to agree with him 100%). *All the Egyptians are currently wearing winter clothing; big sweaters and pants, where as, I am wearing shorts and Ts and still sweating, it is pretty funny.
From there we headed to Giza to see the great Pyramids and the Sphinx. You never really appreciate how large these pyramids are until you are in front of them and looking waaayyyy up! It was great to see, unfortunately, Giza (West part of greater Cairo, has grown SO much, that is is literally right beside the Sphinx and therefore, it makes for a less then authentic feeling. This combined with 4 year old children and men trying to sell you everything and anything under the sun and give you "free" gifts, really took away from the whole experience. By the time we left Giza, I had, had enough!
On our way back to the hotel, Abdul came with me to the train station to help me buy my overnight train ticket for my trip to Aswan the next day. Having him there was a saviour!
Last night I met up with Alison, who was one of the aussies from the night before who was staying in Cairo a few extra days after her tour. We walked the downtown for several hours and got some food. It was great to be able to walk with someone else and was a lot of fun. Walking downtown at night is crazy, late into the night the streets are packed with people and heaps of children. They don't seem to be shopping, but simply socializing with one and other. *I was using some hand sanitizer when a group of young men insisted I give them some, So I did, and they started rubbing it on themselves thinking it was perfume, they were less then impressed with the smell and some what angry with me... we quickly got back on our way!
Today I am headed to the Egyptian Museum, which has over 250 000 pieces of ancient findings, and from there it is off to the train station to get the hell out of Cairo, it has been an informative and interesting time, and surprisingly fun at times, but safe to say I don't plan on EVER coming back! In fact, instead of taking the train back to Cairo and then taking a cab across the city to catch my flight to the Red Sea, I have just said the heck with it and bought a plane ticket directly from Luxor to Cairo International just so that I don't have to come back downtown!!
Next few days; Abu Simbel, Valley of the Kings, and maybe some golfing in Luxor depending on the price...
That is it for now, Ciao!
David W.




From Jolinne on Jan 2nd, 2010

Sounds like you are having a great time David! Glad you made some friends. Enjoying your blog! Safe travels :)

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..

From Joe on Jan 3rd, 2010

Happy New Year!! Sounds like an interesting city. Safe travels.

From David Weiskopf on Jan 7th, 2010

See pictures on previous blog!