I have not yet fully immersed myself in this Egypt capital of Cairo but I am already amazed at the culture, history, and people. I am propelled to be in the crowd, listening to their language, eating their food, and mimicking their ways. The first several hours yielded excitement and curiosity and the need to know the place right away. But I have a plan and it starts tomorrow.
The 13 hour plane ride from Ohio was uneventful and the layovers between airports were reasonable. I spent time walking up and down the wide halls of the airport while relieving myself of unwanted energy and a deliberate excuse not to settle comfortably in a seat. While waiting for the connecting flight to Cairo, I had my first taste of Cafe Americano from Illy – a cafe/bakery at the Rome airport. I’ve wanted to go to for a long time and the coffee was delicious.
At arrival in Cairo, the visa process was pure and simple. It was a matter of formality and paying the USD 25 fee from the bank teller (before immigration). Both immigration & customs were both a breeze as well. Cairo airport was a simple unpretentious place but as you exit Customs, be forewarned of the swarm of people offering you either taxi or limo service. I pre-booked a private car but a little hiccup occurred with the reserved vehicle resulting in about a 20 minute wait. It was a minor hiccup but I’ll definitely note it. Cairo Airport shuttle delivered an excellent service with a clean van, polite driver (he didn’t talk much), and a safe arrival to the hotel (did anyone say crazy traffic?). The ride from the airport to the hotel in Zamalek took about 40 minutes. Traffic was absolutely insane and chaotic; yet, everyone managed to move forward unscathed.
Tomorrow, the agenda includes the Egyptian Museum and the Citadel. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures captured around the Marriott Hotel in Zamalek, awesome view of the Nile River from the hotel room, a very hot looking picture of Cairo as the plane was descending, and a delectable array of sweets from the bakery in the ground floor of the hotel.