Saturday, 17 January 2009

Cairo (القاهرة)

Finally in Africa! From Syria we took the ferry to the Sinai peninsula. Surprisingly the listed price in our "Lonely Planet" has doubled to 70US$. It seems the price of the ferry has doubled as also the travel time. The welcome to Egypt was quite exciting and confusing. We had to pay the visa fees and get our passports back that we've handed over to the immigration on the ship. It was a big crowd of passengers and porters trying to stuff their goods together and pass the customs. We finally found the bank to pay the visa and also the immigration office in a barrack where we got the passports back. The ride to Cairo was quick and almost without troubles. Just every half an hour a police control and a friendly chit chat about documents.

Our welcome to Cairo was impressive. A mixture of excitement of sinning in a taxi in high speed through crazy traffic and heavy smog. The air at the first day was full of dust and exhaust gases. It was very difficult to breath and I just wanted to get away soon. Good that we had to do some things in Cairo so we had to stay to Saturday. On Friday our main task was to get a ferry ticket from Egypt to Sudan. That is the only opportunity to cross the border. To make it a bit more challenging the ferry just operates once a week on Monday and is sometimes overbooked. Of course the office was closed and we had to come again on Saturday. With a half day left we've decided to visit the pyramids of Giza.

Visiting the pyramids was amazing for us. Not only the impressive buildings also our choice of transport was great. We rented two camels and a horse for a trip round the pyramids. I've insisted of taking pictures at sunset and so we had a 3,5h long ride in the dessert. It's great fun to ride a camel - slow and comfortable! The only negative aspect was all the plastic and other waste in the dessert. It seems that also here nobody really cares of waste treatment.

Today night we take the train to Luxor. We'll spend a few nights there before we travel to our final stop in Egypt: Aswan

Thanks to all your comments on this blog, picasa and facebook! As time is always limited for me in the internet cafe's I love to read all comments but seldom have time to reply.


Anonymous said...

Hi Richard, hope you enjoy Egypt. Try to get the drink called "Sachleb" (Sachleb - (also known as sahlep or saloop)
is made from the starch found in the ground bulb of the orchid, Orchis mascula. The starch thickens the milk while giving it a unique flavor and creates a beverage of subtle flavor and consistency enjoyed throughout the Eastern Mediterranean.
I'm sure especially Edith will love it. It's like a cake for her birthday...
All the best - sister Silvia

Anonymous said...

hej yeah, alles gute zum geburtstag edith! wünsche euch noch viele tolle abenteuer!
lg, kurtl

Anonymous said...

Hallo ihr 3!
lese gerne deine Berichte - ist sehr spannend.
Liebe Grüße auch an Walter.

LG, Toni aus dem kalten Graz...