Tafa's note: This
is the journal I kept during my trip to Egypt, all photos were taken by
myself and Vivek, if you have any questions about Travelling to Egypt,
or anything else please feel free to drop me a note at the following address:
Love at First Sight
We approach the city of Cairo from the air and the first thing we see is the river Nile, Cairo is huge. I am lucky enough to be on the left of the plane, the pilot shows us the Pyramids of Giza, they are right outside of the city and they are larger than life, we circle and then land. It's been over 12 hours since I got on this bird back in the West, I am ready to come back to earth.
First signs of chaos
Es Salam Amalekum
1st lesson in Arabic
The locals are curious to see us on the bus; the average tourist takes
a cab into the city (for 10 times as much as our bus fare). We look on
the map to figure out where we are. It has been a long day and we have
been traveling for the past 17 hours (from Miami), the bus reaches its
destination in downtown Cairo at the Midan Ramses1.
We ask the driver to show us where we were on the map, but he does not
know, and he does not speak English, so he calls someone over who does.
We tell our impromptu guide that we are looking for the Lotus Hotel as we have reserved a room in advance, however he tries to take us to 'much better hotel' as we walk (he wants to receive a commission) we finally arrive at the building which houses the Lotus and he tells us it is closed, as it appears to be. At closer glance it is not closed and we check in. Welcome to Alaska.2
A quick stroll down to the Nile, Muslim women flirt with their eyes speaking Arabic and you wish you understood. Crossing the streets in Cairo is a game, an adventure that pedestrians of all ages play, the horns constantly blaring creating rhythms of their own, the sounds of Cairo, music to a travelers ears.
2"welcome to alaska" an Egytian welcome to tourists sarcastically reffering to the local heat