23 June 2010

Egypt Trip Review: Cairo

Hi All,

Yes, it's finally time I got to writing up our trip report! So I'll try to do it based on destination for each new entry.

We departed Sydney in the evening of May 10, 2010 and flew through the night to Dubai with Emirates aboard their A380. The flight was great and allowed for some rest in advance of our trip. Dubai Airport was great for a stopover and allowed us to fill in the few hours between flights quite well.

Images from Emirates flight & Dubai Airport
May 11th, 2010 we fly out from Dubai to Cairo aboard an Emirates B777-300ER. We arrive in Cairo in the late morning, meet the other four companions on our tour and we're taken to our hotel, the Santana 3 star. Our room was adequate for our stay.

Eleonor and I were the only two who opted to see the Sound & Light Show at the Pyramids, so we scored a unique look at the Giza complex during Sunset and into the night followed by an introduction to Egyptian cuisine at a nearby restaurant.

The following day we met our Cairo guide named Mohammed. He took us to the Giza complex to see the Pyramids during the day and the Sphinx. Seeing these amazing monuments that are so recognisable was a treat and we were also provided with exceptional weather which helped with the photographs!

"Buy - Don't cry..."
- Salespitch from a woman at the Papyrus shop

After spending much of the morning in Giza, we visited a Papyrus shop before travelling along the Nile to Memphis and Saqqara. Memphis being a former capital of Egypt and Saqqara the site for the first pyramids. We also visited a couple of tombs amongst the ever expanding finds at Saqqara and explored a museum dedicated to the architect Imhotep.

We also toured a carpet factory where school children learn carpet making as a trade.

On our return to Cairo we had a few hours rest before heading out for a special walk to Downtown and throughout. Mohammed showed us a number of places such as markets, extensive shopping streets, hidden shopping centres and we enjoyed watching the sunset along the Nile in one of the public parks. He also introduced us to a wonderful food shop near our restaurant that made the best fresh mango juices! Our tour of Downtown got us all used to crossing the road in Egypt and we even boarded the Metro for the railway experience!

Our next day in Cairo took us to the Egyptian Museum to look at the many artefacts preserved there and Tutankhamuns treasures. We were taken to a perfume factory before visiting the Alabaster Mosque at the Citadel of Salah Al-din. At lunch time we headed to the market of Khan El-Khalili.

Cairo is a very interesting place and with a population larger than all of Australia living in this city you can imagine it's quite busy!

The entries will continue on through the rest of Egypt as from here we will travel to Alexandria, Upper Egypt and more...

Stay tuned,