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By this Author: chrisvasil

Cairo Transit

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View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

To get to the airport we wanted to do it like the locals, and it was an adventure.

First we got directions to where the bus terminal was, then took a minibus to get there. Flagging the minibus took the help of a couple locals, but we eventually had success. Also, to start there were more people than seats, so I was bent over with my backpack on rather than sitting - it was the only way I would fit. Luckily it was mid-afternoon, usually there are people hanging out the doors on public transit, so 2 foreigners with big bags wouldn't stand much of a chance.

With help from people on the minibus we were dropped off close to the bus terminal, which was a 10-minute walk away.

We had to use a different bus terminal closeby to get to the airport, which we found out after waiting for the bus awhile and asking a few people.


Once at the right bus terminal, it took 2 hours for the bus to come. We later found out the bus drivers were on strike, for the first time ever in Cairo. We had to stay on guard because buses don't have individual platforms, and when a bus pulls into the station it is surrounded by people waiting to get in. People get in before the others exit, and chaos ensues as people then try to get off before the bus goes.

We eventually got on, stayed at the front of the bus since that was the most convenient place to keep our bags. Most of the time my foot was near the base of the gear shift, which was very hot since the floor in that area was a part of a cardboard box (about 1/2 ft wide)

We pulled into the airport about 7 hours after we left, paid 5 LE instead of the 70 that a taxi would have cost, and had a very memorable experience. A very fun thing to do, once.

Posted by chrisvasil 00:10 Archived in Egypt Tagged bus Comments (0)

Cairo - in the city

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Our travels through Cairo were among the highlights of our Egypt experience. We had originally planned to change hotel after the first day, but the place we went that was supposed to be "5 minutes taxi, 30 minutes walk" from the hotel was actually over half an hour away by taxi. We were already in town, so we spent the entire day in town and came back at night (and saved half a night's hotel by agreeing with another couple whose room had 2 singles that each couple would get a single bed and we'd pay half the hotel cost).

We started at a souq, which had the most impressive displays of people carrying stuff on their head,

as well as an unexpected wood factory (a rural factory in a crowded shopping district)

and the shops and crowds you would expect.

Unexpectedly, on the street just outside the souq there appeaered to be a sale on sheep.

We subsequently wandered into a fancier area, kind of a gated community that was really scenic (in an urban way) with some shops.

The following day we spent a couple hours at a local shisha bar, smoking the good stuff (flavored tobacco) from massive water pipes. The local kids enjoyed the show, as women don't smoke so Sue was probable the first woman they saw smoking.


Posted by chrisvasil 00:09 Archived in Egypt Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Camel ride between Pyramids

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View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

Sue confronted her fear of animals by taking a 15 minute camel ride near the pyramids. It was a bumpy ride, but it was fun to watch Sue with her legs far apart to avoid touching the camel and jumping out of the way when another camel came near hers.


Posted by chrisvasil 00:08 Archived in Egypt Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Cairo - Pyramids and the Sphinx

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View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

The pyramids were big, something like 20 stories tall, but after the amount of hype on the pyramids it didn't live up to expectations.


We went inside one of the pyramids, and the contrast between how it looks from the inside and how it looks from the outside is incredible: on the inside is a long, narrow hallway, ending at a small room with a tomb. There is nothing on any of the walls except for the name of the european that discovered it 200 years ago.

The Sphinx is much smaller, I think 6 stories tall.


Posted by chrisvasil 00:07 Archived in Egypt Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Felucca on the Nile

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View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

We spent 2 days going up part of the Nile on a felucca, which is a big sailboat. It was a good opportunity to catch up on sleep and take in the scenery.

The effect of the nile on vegetation is amazing, as it is the only fresh water source for hundreds of kilometers. As such, the areas near the nile are typically lush green with tropical foliage, whereas a few kilometers out (and often within view in the distance) is barren desert. Quite the contrast, and it was a surprising sight to first see farms and forests after a month of various degrees of desert.


Posted by chrisvasil 00:06 Archived in Egypt Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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