When we left the airport and drove crossed the city of Cairo towards our hotel, located in Giza and very close to the the Pyramids, there’s a bit of excitement about the city. Normally, wherever I travel and arrive in a new city, I have that feeling – the excitement of being in a new place. Egypt still retains its magic that lures people to keep on visiting it amid the chaotic political situation of the country. Thus I try to be positive about Cairo, the capital and gateway to Egypt and the city which was built 1000 years ago.
I question myself, why was that special feeling not here for Egypt? Was it because I was a bit scared of my security and the political situation of the country, but with the new president, Egypt is supposed to be more stable, and that was confirmed by my Egyptian colleagues back in Doha. Honestly, I don’t know how often my colleagues go home to Cairo and they said if I wanted to see the Pyramids (just outside Cairo) and to visit other monumental places, located mostly in the country side we should be OK. Or the excitement was not there because we did not get a window seat in the plane and could not see the aerial view of Cairo to hype me up prior to our landing in Cairo International Airport?
Our hotel was on the other side of the city from the airport, in the Giza suburb, across the River Nile, right next door to the Pyramids. I should be getting more excited by now, as I was able to tick off another country visited as well as visiting one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Yes, the hotel we stayed was fabulous, with the Pyramids as it’s back drop, but the road near the entrance to the hotel was heavily guarded, and it made me uncomfortable; and the fact that the entrance to the Pyramids was right next to the hotel made it a bit chaotic and noisy men saying: “… maybe tomorrow you are going to ride the horses to the Pyramids….?”
A friend of mine asked me what I thought about Egypt and she voiced her opinion that she didn’t like Egypt “…too many pushy men…”. Hmmm, I have to agree with her, the souvenir vendors are very pushy (and they are all men) and very tricky on trying to sell their products, and they are everywhere, not only around the places of interest, but also inside the hotel, which we fell in to this trap right after we dumped our luggage in our room and wandering in our hotel.
I guess we do not really understand Egypt and it’s ancient history; the River Nile and the Nile cruises are reasons that Egypt still hold its magical attraction. Forget about the Pyramids, which I think are overrated; cruising the River Nile to Upper Egypt is the ultimate thing to do in Egypt, it’s a bit like traveling back in time.
I can also confirm that Egypt is a safe country to visit even though we were there when there was a crackdown that killed 18 people and provided you are not within the major city areas then you are safe. But will I recommend you to visit Egypt? … hmmm, maybe not.
PS. – don’t forget to click the i on the picture for more information.
More pictures on Egypt can be seen on my photography website
This is my first post about Egypt, I will write more in the coming weeks, especially the cruise along the River Nile: