We made it to Cairo. We are staying with my Egyptian friend, Morouge. We’ve known each other for 12 years and went to school together in Switzerland. If you look up the definition of ‘Hospitality’ in the dictionary, it literally says ‘Morouge and her family’. Her apartment is lovely and is really central. She isn’t allowing us to use public transport (to be fair, we’ve seen the buses and they look terrifying). In Cairo, we’ve been using taxis or Ubers. Even for short distances because the roads are absolutely mental and we haven’t seen much in the way of well, pavements… The last Uber we took to go to the Egyptian museum, (about 15 mins drive) cost 12 Egyptian Pounds = 50p. Also, no cars seem to have seat belts, about 50% of drivers seem to use head lights and about 10% seem to indicate.
We are pretty much the only tourists we’ve seen so far. I’ve been told that I can pass for Egyptian loads but Dave sticks out like a sore thumb and is still waiting for this compliment. We went to Cairo Tower on the first day, (Egypt’s Eiffel Tower equivalent but inspired by a lotus design-wise). It gave us the perspective of how massive Cairo actually is. We picked a great day to go up as well given there wasn’t too much smog over the city and we were even able to see the pyramids in the distance.
We made a minor error when we went to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities thinking that we would be able to get enough info from reading the signs rather than getting a tour guide. Turns out, erm no. Most signs read something along the lines of “carved limestone” or “papyrus paper”. It was still really interesting to see everything though, especially Tutankhamun and the artefacts found in his tomb. Later that evening we went out for dinner with a group of Morouge’s friends who were all lovely and very welcoming. We enjoyed chatting with them and seeing how different our lives were even though we’re all similar ages. Another night, we also went bar hopping with Morouge’s friends in downtown Cairo.
Our hands-down favourite part so far was visiting the Pyramids of Giza! Morouge took us on Saturday. (Egyptian weekends are Friday and Saturday, Sunday is their Monday). Morouge also organised a tour guide for us who was amazing. It’s inconceivable how huge they are until you actually go there. The base step/layer alone was only a little bit shorter than us. The whole experience was fascinating, who knew there are actually 9 pyramids on the Giza plateau, 3 main ones and 6 smaller ones adjacent. Dave and Morouge actually climbed down inside a mini one (however the small slanty tunnel was not for me). We rode camels too (in a legit camel zone where we ensured the camels were not mistreated and Morouge had a chat with the owner who said the only stick he uses on his camels is lipstick when he gives them kisses). Neither of us had been close to a camel before and again, we were in awe of how big they are; in my head, they were like big horses, but no, definitely bigger.
One evening we went to Khan el-Khalili, a market place/sook. It was so colourful, loud and busy. We went for a lovely dinner there too. We’ve been trying as much as possible to eat proper Egyptian food. It mostly consists of carbs, so no complaints at all.
Enough for now. Our next post will be about us further South in Aswan and Luxor. Our wifi is fairly limited but we’ve managed to post the odd photo on Instagram, its @travelflavel.
Thanks for reading!
Sophie (mostly) & Dave