Leaving OR Tambo International I had a very funny feeling in my tummy (Not the same one I had when I came back, but more of that later), because I was flying into the unknown. With the other African countries you had a good idea what to expect, but with Egypt it was different. No elephants, no big mountain and no tropical island. At least I was feeling a lot better having Farzanah travelling with me that knew Egypt well and has been there before. The 7 hour flight started at 9 o’clock at night. My longest flight ever because I have only flown for 4 hours before and that was to Kilimanjaro. Some good service, good music, a movie and of course the blanket and pillow made the flight much easier. Landing in Cairo we were told by the head air stewardess that the temperature outside was 25˚C. In disbelief I had a look at my watch and saw that it wasn’t even 07h00 yet. Then I knew that the hat & sun block that I have packed in would come in handy, but only to discover that I have forgotten about the sun block once I have unpacked at the hotel. At the airport it was the usual administrative work of getting stamps, getting luggage and being checked out by the police from head to toe (Nothing different I am sure for people flying into South Africa). We were greeted by a friendly guide that helped us through it all and before we know we were in an aircon mini bus on our way to the West side of Cairo in an area called Giza. On the way we were greeted with very pale unfinished grey buildings that were later explained to be the local people’s way of sidestepping taxes, that must be paid ones your building is finished. It took about 20min before we passed the Pyramids, which are much closer to the city than expected. Unfortunately because it was so early we could just see the shapes of the pyramids, because the morning fog and breakfast smoke decided to make us wait for another few hours.
Our hotel where we were booked for the first night was the Movenpick Pyramids Hotel. Now before I go any further I need to get the star ratings of the hotels out of the way. Not like in South Africa where quality is the main measurement of standard in Egypt it’s the number of services that’s being offered. This means that even if you are a below average 2 star hotel but you have a minibar and an air con you will be promoted to a 4 star. Movenpick is a 5 star in Egypt but in South Africa it will be a 3 star. But I must say after the flight the hot shower and the cool air conned room was a blessing. The hotel has all the services and facilities of a 5 star hotel but lacks the special touch and maintenance to make it a 5 star.
In between the hotel inspections we had the chance of seeing the only standing Ancient Wonder of the world, The Great Pyramids of Giza. Just like the Victoria Falls the size always surprise you no matter how many photos you’ve seen before.
The next morning after a very good breakfast we were off to the east side of Cairo where we visited the Egyptian museum withour Egyptologist. If you are really interested in history a day in the museum isn’t enough, because there is too much to see. If you are not interested in any history, you will get bored after seeing the second statue of Hatshepsut. But back to people that find it interesting. While visiting the museum we saw all the treasures and other things that was found in Tut Ankh Amons tomb including his golden mask and carriages, there were mummified crocodiles and of course some mummified pharos as well. Not for the faint hearted and will put you off biltong for a while (Not like you will find any in Egypt). After the museum we visited the city hotels of Ramses Hilton which is situated on the bank of the Nile with spectacular views of the city and in keeping with the Hiltons international standards was a real 5 star, Flamenco Zamalek Hotel that’s again rated 5 star but nothing better than a good 3 star and not for people suffering from claustrophobia and then last but not the least my favourite the Shepherd Hotel which whole theme surrounds the more modern history of napoleon. Although the Shepard hotel has some
|View out of the Nile Cruise Ship|
|Karnak Temple with its massive pilars|
|Temple of Hatshepsut|
|Valley of The Kings|
|Bus stop between Luxor & Hurghada|
|Lagoon at El Gouna|
|Egyptian Beer. Not the best but did the job.|
|Train Station at Aswan|
|Me & The Sphinx|