Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Our Adventures Begin In Cairo, Egypt......

Just to utter the words, "we are in Egypt" sounds almost like something out of a dream to me. Never did I think I'd be here, exploring ancient pyramids, yet here we are.

Crazy Looking Entrance To  City View Hotel

View From Our Balcony
Egyptian Museum

View From Restaurant Balcony
The River Nile!

Our plane landed around 7:30 local time in Cairo Airport last night after a five hour flight from Casablanca, Morocco. It was our first time using Egypt Air, one of the budget carriers which turned out better than we expected. We were served a meal of chicken, vegetables, rice, bread, salad and cake for dessert along with drinks. About an hour before landing the flight crew came around with muffins along with coffee or tea.

Inside The Museum

Entry into Egypt was easy with a singing, smiling gentleman that sold us our tourist visas upon arrival. We made our way through immigration and passport control quickly and once again all agents were smiling and welcoming us and other tourists to Egypt.

A few days prior to arrival our hotel here emailed Clyde saying that they could pick us up at the airport for FREE. Great we thought and once we exited the terminal we began searching through the crowd for a sign that either had our names on it or the hotel name. We looked and looked, waited a while but found no one from the hotel. There were many taxi drivers standing around offering rides and one even offered to call the hotel for us to find out the problem.

The man at the hotel told the taxi driver that their representative WAS at the airport and we should go outside and find him. Clyde was a bit upset by this time and told the man from the hotel that we WERE looking for the past 20-minutes.....so where was he? The man from the hotel said he would call his driver and call us back, but in the mean time the taxi driver who called for us took off.

Section Of Real Mummies
Clyde Snapped This Before He Was Told No Photos

King Tut's Thrown

A while later another taxi driver offered to make the call again and was told that the driver from the hotel was back at the hotel, but could come get us still. Eventually the man from the hotel told the taxi driver (SO HE SAID) that HE should just bring us to the hotel, at our cost of course. Tired and upset Clyde asked him how much, he said $20 US, we agreed and were then passed off to yet another taxi driver for the ride to the hotel. As we walked off following the taxi driver Clyde realized we had been scammed. We had NO idea what the hotel man really said to the taxi driver on the phone but the taxi driver won by getting us to pay for a ride.

The drive took about 40-minutes in heavy traffic before we made our way into the hotel. We asked the desk clerk what happened with our ride from the airport and he explained. Apparently their driver was standing in the crowd with a sign that said the name of the hotel on it. A man going to the same hotel approached him, indicated that yes he was Clyde and off they went. The strange part is that the driver was expecting to pick up TWO people but he was only ONE....yet he had booked a room for TWO so they thought it might be the right person.

Large Mausoleum

Gigantic Statues Make People Look Like Ants

The hotel clerk apologized and said we would either be reimbursed for our taxi fare or offered a FREE ride to the airport when we leave here, which works out just fine for us. Perhaps an innocent mistake cause by a language barrier? Who knows but in the end it turned out alright.

We dropped our luggage off in our room and headed to the hotel restaurant for a late dinner. Not ready yet to try Egyptian food we both opted for a crispy chicken sandwich that came served on a soft, hotdog type of roll topped with sauce. The price for this quick yet tasty meal in our hotel restaurant here....20 Egyptian Pounds which translates to just $1.12 each. Wow....cheap and tasty, what's not to love about that?

Clyde Was Impressed By These Big Feet

And See Tiny Clyde Next To This Big Statue

Cairo, Egypt's capital city was discovered in 969 CE and is nicknamed, "the city of 1,000 minarets," for it's predominately Islam culture. With a population of 7 million plus another 10 million in nearby suburbs, Cairo is the largest city in the Middle East. Comprised of both a new and old city center it's rich in history, antiquities, mosques and more. And since it IS the starting point to visit the ancient wonders of the world like the Great Pyramids, The Sphinx and more it's where we are for now.

Since our hotel is across the street from the famous Egyptian Museum Of Antiquities today we set out to explore this first wonder. Known as the oldest, largest and most famous museum in the world this place is amazing. With over 120,000 items many of which are HUGE to see it all would takes weeks to explore. Tombs, mummies, mausoleums, massive statues, columns and so much more fill up this fascinating space. I remember as a kid in New Jersey visiting a mummy exhibit in a New York museum and being totally in awe. And now 50 years later seeing real mummies in Egypt was just so cool.

Let the photos tell the rest of the story of our day in the museum here in Cairo, Egypt....along the gringo trail.

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