10 hours in Cairo

We flew overnight to Cairo arriving at 11am. Our flight took about 11 hours and with the time change we really felt jet lagged. Despite the exhaustion we took advantage of our ten hour layover to see some tourist spots.

Our taxi driver was named Sufat. He spoke very little English, but enough to understand where we wanted to go. The entry visas cost $25 each. We paid Sufat (the driver) $40 plus a tip for driving us all day and keeping an eye on our luggage.

Sufat
Sufat dropping us off at the airport

We arrived four days from the end of Ramadan, so most of the shops and restaurants were closed. Sufat wasn’t fasting, but many other people we met were. They were not allowed to eat, smoke, or drink anything, not even water from sunup to sundown. And as it was 107 degrees outside, not many people wanted to be outside. The car ride to the pyramids was about an hour. On the way there, Sufat’s car ran out of gas. After the car completely died we waited, and Joe got out of the car to see if he could spot a gas station. For about ten minutes I imagined what it would be like to be cooked to death on the side of the road. You could fry an egg on the hood of a car in those temperatures. Luckily after waiting the car started back up mysteriously. We made it to the gas station.

When we arrived at the pyramids in Giza the haggling began. It seemed like every person wanted to sell us something: a camel ride, a tour, food, trinkets. To be honest, the aggravation of constant solicitation took a lot of enjoyment away from the experience of seeing this ancient site. Still, we got some fun tourist photos and even had a few minutes to ourselves to experience the surreal vistas surrounding us. The space and time of those pyramids humbled us both.

After Giza we saw the city from the window of the taxi. Our driver at times providing information which we could understand. “Very old mosque” or “New Cairo” For how tired we were, that was the perfect option for us. We made stops at a papyrus museum where we learned how papyrus is made, and visited a Coptic Christian church. For lunch we ate falafel, shawarma, juice, hummus and french fries. The falafel was excellent and the hummus was the best I’d ever eaten.

I could have spent much more time there. Joe said, “We should just get the bikes and start riding south, we will get to Uganda eventually”, but we had to catch a flight and a nap was necessary. After dinner at the airport lounge, we boarded the flight to Entebbe.

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