Well we finally made it to Africa! The pre-trip is over and now the main event starts. On July 3rd, we got up at 4:20 am to catch our flight to Cairo, Egypt. The flight was short, but it was kind of a culture shock to see people on the plane getting up during take off and landing, kids running up and down the isles at full speed, and just a general lack of paying attention to the seatbelt sign. Lol. Anyway, we arrived in Cairo and hopped in an Uber (after fighting off about 5 different taxi drivers) to go to the Marriott where we were staying. Driving is intense in Cairo!
We came into the city at 10:00 am which is rush hour here, but lanes are definitely a suggestion, horns are a must, and tailgating is how you drive. We eventually got to our hotel in one piece after driving clear across the city from the airport. In order to even drive into the hotel roundabout, we had to be checked by a security dog. Then, our bags had to go through a metal detector. We waited while our room was being cleaned and were then taken up. Our room had a nice balcony with a view of the Giza Pyramids. There was also a very nice pool to swim in after a long hot day of sightseeing.
After checking in our room, we headed out into the city. We got some lunch at a restaurant down the road. We had some falafel and chicken and rice dishes.
Then we headed to the Giza Pyramids. It was quite a task just to cross the road as there are no crosswalks here, but we managed and walked up the road to the pyramid entrance.
Almost immediately there were local vendors trying to sell us horse carriage rides. They were so insistent, that we almost weren’t allowed passed them to the actual ticket counter, and I could see how someone might think they had to buy these rides to get in. Luckily, Jay had read that this would happen, so we just walked passed these people despite their insistence. They definitely were not the last to harass us to buy something though. The entire time we were there, vendors would proposition us for camel rides and horse carriage rides. People would act as if they were being helpful by showing us where to go or explaining what something was, and then would as for a tip. The barrage of people wanting money was constant.
However, we improved our skills at fending them off and got some great views of the pyramids. We did actually end up getting a horse carriage ride because it was 100 degrees F and about 10 km of walking, but Jay did manage to haggle the price down.
We saw the great pyramid, known as the Pyramid of Khufu, and two smaller pyramids called the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaur.
Then we headed over to the Sphinx. That’s were our horse carriage tour ended.
We continued to walk around the complex for some time, and then headed out.
We stopped at a local grocery store to get some water, and then headed back to the Marriott. We did some laundry, Jay went for a swim, and then we turned in early.