Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 1: Cairo


The flight over was pretty uneventful except for the mad dash around Heathrow Airport. We could see our plane out the window of the walkway, but we had to make a 30 minute loop plus a stop through the security check. We did get to see some movies (The Hangover, Terminator Salvation, Angels and Demons amongst others). Food was about what one would expect in Economy, although Sherrill made a "friend" in Business class and who had a gift for her. She was really looking to take over his pood, but all she got was his (unused) toiletry kit. Nothing like extra earplugs and toothpaste.

There have only been some minor casualties after the 16 hour flight from Vancouver to Cairo...
My main concern is that the pants I chose to wear on the airplane - my comfy, linen capri-style pants -suffered a gaping hole in my crotch. Unbeknownst to me, until I got into our Cairo hotel, I had been advertising my knickers to every Brit, Egyptian and any other nationality on the planes. At least the Security guys didn't arrest me for indecent exposure.
Of course, the pack rat that I am - I have decided to try and get "one more day" out of these hopefully they can make it on the train tomorrow...
Landing in Cairo was pretty spectacular...we landed at night, so the city was all aglow with lights. Thanks to Google Earth, we could pick out where we were flying. The city is a sprawl, but it is ordained with the most beautiful mosques. It is Ramadan right now - and at 10:00 pm, the streets are flooded with food vendors and small gatherings of people celebrating and socializing. Even just on the drive to the hotel, you can feel the vibe of a lively city. One thing that absolutely impressed us is the mosque architecture - with spires rising 30 stories in the air, all lit up in flourescent pinks and greens.

Vince also satisfied a few curiousities on Day 1 - during our drive to the hotel, another car "offended" our driver. We don't know how at all, since the rules of the road follow chaos theory and the laws of entropy, and we couldn't make sense of it. After a 5 minute verbal exchange of cusses in arabic (too fast for me to pick up on day 1) the other driver noticed the foreigners in the back seat, and in crude english - gave the most dazzling smile and "Hello, Welcome to Cairo!!!". We couldn't help but laugh...'

Tomorrow holds a sleep in day, after we are pretty sure we have paid double the going rate of this hotel and we want to get some value out of it, and then we will try and make our way to Alexandria by train...

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