10 August 2010

Egypt Trip Review: Aswan - Cairo - Ismailia

"I'm finished. Where's my tip!?"
- Standard greeting from Aswan Airport's baggage handlers.

Hi all,

Trying to finish up the trip review of Egypt and get to Dubai (and all the other stuff going on at the moment) so here we are... The above quote was a standard request made by baggage handlers once they thought they'd helped you transport your luggage from the tour bus to airport checkin. The only problem here was the person who directed the request at me obviously hadn't seen that I had wheeled my luggage the entire way from bus to checkin without anyone elses assistance.

It was a truly amazing and intimidating sight though as we got off our bus at Aswan airport to have all of these handlers rush our group like a swarm of bees trying to wrestle your luggage from you. Neither Eleonor or I ended up with help carrying our luggage though.

So we were off from Aswan and Upper Egypt aboard an Egyptair A320 back to Cairo. It was an early flight and meant we had all day back in Cairo to sort ourselves out and figure out what to do with ourselves.

On the plus side we were 'upgraded' to some deluxe rooms at the Santana Hotel which were quite lovely, particularly compared to the rooms we had stayed in during our previous times here.

Our group took another walk into Downtown Cairo before some rest back at the hotel. One of the ladies in our group decided to visit a restaurant on her own and had a very forward encounter with a young Egyptian male on her way back to hotel who apparently propositioned her for a night with him and his erm... self-proclaimed large appendage!

Our trip the following day would take us out to Ismailia and the Suez Canal. This was a long day but into some interesting parts of north-eastern Egypt. Ismailia is a fair distance out from Cairo and upon arrival we had a quick look around the town before heading onwards to the military protected Suez region. With military escort we we restricted for photo opportunities as we crossed the Suez Canal on a ferry and driving through the Sinai region before crossing the Egypt-Japan friendship bridge (aka Suez Canal Bridge) back towards Ismailia.

We did at least get to see several large ships making their way through the Canal which provided a sense of scale.

With one more day in Cairo (we would fly out in the evening) we decided to walk to the Cairo University where staff allowed us to take some photos from inside the entrance. The rest of the day we spent killing time before packing up and heading to Cairo International Airport for our flight out to Dubai.

So ends our tour of Egypt. It was great and extremely memorable for a great number of reasons. Definitely a trip worth making at some point if you're considering it!

Will aim to make the next blog update soon and cover our tour of Dubai which was equally amazing!

Until then,