• Phillip Denman

Cairo - yes it lives up to the stories you hear

Welcome to Cairo, the start of your Egyptian adventure. This is truly where the modern meets the ancient.

For many, many, many years I have always wanted to get to Egypt to see the amazing sites and relics of the Ancient Egyptians. Any finally I was able to make it there over Easter 2019. It was a quick 4 days yes, but enough to wet the appetite an definitely still leave it on my list of places to visit again.

As the capital Cairo is like most other cities in general terms. The drive from the airport to my hotel was not to long but it did expose the vast amount of urban renewal that is going on within the capital. This is in stark contrast to the vast amount of illegal housing that is continually being built in Cairo also. To avoid property prices and / or taxes from the local governments the residents of Cairo that build these types of homes do not actually finish them and leave one external wall bear brick which means it is not"complete". The government does try to take control and does order demolitions on a regular basis but there is a VAST amount of these types of homes in Cairo so our tour guide believed that they will never be all removed.

Typical housing style in Cairo

From my perspective, there is not a great deal to see in Cairo itself except for the Cairo Museum itself. Even the pyramids are technically not in Cairo though it only takes approximately 30 minutes to drive to the Giza Plateau where they are located. The level of general disorder disrepair and rubbish was a surprise. It did remind me of some the Asian countries that I have visited in this way.

Given the limited time that we had in Egypt itself, we arranged through the hotel a private tour to Giza to visit the pyramids. This was USD80 per person and it included our guide, driver, car and entry fee into the area that the pyramids are located.

I was surprised that the pyramids themselves are amazing structures and an awe to see, though there was not any internal decoration within the burial chambers.

Obligatory camel ride

From what I saw, every person coming to the pyramids / sphinx do get a camel ride to get "those" pictures as part of their tours. They are cute and you can even get a kiss at the end of your ride.

Kissing a camel, of course

After our tour of the pyramids and sphinx, this is when we were taken to the "shops". See my separate post on this subject.

With the flight times to Luxor from Cairo, you would be able to complete a tour of the pyramids / sphinx and fly to Luxor in the evening. This is what we did. The flight times with Egypt Air work best for this and given that it is only an hour flight, you can be at your hotel in Luxor by 10pm.

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