Cairo....avoiding the hordes of tourists...and succeeding...nearly...


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Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo
March 14th 2010
Published: March 19th 2010
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My little pan-africa trip comes to an end. With planes, it's always cheaper if you come back...the way you went! So one more little stop in Cairo, due to a long lay-over between flights.

For those who are looking for some add-ons and flights between Asia and Europe/Africa/US, Egypt Air does bring some benefits. They have recently joined Star Alliance...so at cheap fares, you can still get the miles which will hopefully bring you the nice silver/gold card. Egypt Air is a dry airline...meaning no alcoolic beverages are served....perfect for me in economy....not sure I would be so happy in business class. Service was ok, food was ok...not great, just ok!

They are using there brand new terminal 3...look seriously nice for Cairo...specially if you were used to Terminal 2! And I found something, their cigars are plentyful...and seriously competitive in price compare to Dubai for example...with a very nice choice!

If you have a lay-over between 6 and 24 hours, Egypt Air will provide you with a free visa...you save 15usd...and a room plus food for the stay. Hotel was in Heliopolis...would rank it as a proper 3 stars...more than adequate for a day-stop. Food was your usual tourist fare...hey...you don't pay extra for it...so no complain. No drinks provided...the waiter was kind of confuse when I asked him for a drink list...."but sir, you know you'll have to pay for it"...was cute! It was also cute to see him trying to explain to a table of senior citizens from Ethiopia the choice of food between fish, chicken and beef...he tried with a smile in English, French, Arabic...no way!

So I landed at 8.30pm, was in front of my breakfast at 10am...napping a little after the very short flight...and on for more adventures. Today plan was the Citadel, never saw it before...and finishing with the National Egyptian Museum.

I start to find my way in taxis around town, even managing to get a taxi fare that I surprise myself how low they can go. The Citadel was an impressive place...ok, too many tourists...specially the one in buses...but hey, this is Cairo!

Than on to the "zoo", meaning the National Egyptian Museum...I don't know what was the most interesting to look at...the tour groups or the artifacts. I went here the last time at the early hours of the opening...8 years ago . The place is a little mess, but a true Alibaba cavern! Love to stroll around for a while. You cannot take pics inside the museum...I found that after I took my first pic, without being aware...and seen...

Later on it was time to get back to Heliopolis...and more important, time to get back to my little family.

I've been running the last few days...will be running for the days to come. We are spending our week-end in Hua Hin. I will let Ma'ri the pleasure to write an entry on her blog on this. To find her, just look at my recommendations on my first page. Next week, I'm off to Shanghai and Hong Kong...the week after to Saigon...and than youppie...Leslie has school holidays and we are going to discover my 82nd country...few blogs on this...but as usual, you'll have to be patient!

Why live the ordinary when you can encounter the extraordinary every day!

With love from Bangkok!


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21st March 2010

Nice writing! When I was in Cairo I had a similar goal as you (concerning the crowds)... and I also failed in the museum. It was worth visiting nonetheless. In my Travel Photo Blogging I also wrote a post about the Zabaleen people. A really interesting thing and could not be less touristy. Search for my blog and my Egyptian adventure if you are interested - it doesn't allow me to post a direct link here. Enjoy your adventures and keep blogging!

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