Disclaimer – this is an account of my time in Egypt, I had an amazing time there and felt safe but it is a troubled country. The recent attack is proof that anything can happen and if you are planning a trip to Egypt do your research and check out your department of foreign affairs for advice. Stay safe.
I had a rough start to my trip, my journey from Ireland to Egypt took 4 airports, 3 planes, 2 buses, and 36 hours. So to say I was tired when I got to Cairo airport is an understatement. Myself and everyone else from the plane were also happily greeted with no luggage when we arrived, which was a great start to the trip (I still haven’t got my luggage and I’m home … great airline). But whatever I am here to talk about my truly amazing time in Cairo.
My first thought of Cairo when I seen it from the car window having left the airport was ‘oh my god what have I gotten myself into’. It was SO busy, rules of the road were non-existent and everything was covered in a dusty, smogy, sand. When I was dropped at a bus station, I bought my ticket and a guy brought me outside pointed across the road to a parking lot under a bridge and said ‘your bus’ and went back inside. I then had to somehow figure out how to cross 4 lanes of traffic with motorbikes and tuk-tuks in between. Basically I wasn’t doing it alone, I went over to a guy standing by the road pointed at the 2 of us and pointed to across the road. Thankfully he picked up what I was trying to say and literally walked me across the road haha, which was a series of stopping and starting between cars and trying not to get hit. I then went Hurghada and didn’t come back to Cairo until a few day later. So my initial thoughts of Cairo was its completely mad, too busy, I’m going to get hit by a car and it’s so dirty. And them thoughts never changed but they somehow went from being a bad thing to a good thing because I ended up absolutely loving every second of my time in Cairo.
When I went back, I met up with nada @nandamajdy who some of you guys know from Instagram. We went to a street called Misr Al Qadimah, it had multiple churches, mosques, monastery’s and synagogues. I found it interesting because there were these hundreds and thousands of year-old buildings, representing different religions and they were all right next door to each other. The buildings were stunning, the art work and interior designs from the wood carvings to mosaics to painting and sculptures were so beautiful and intricate and everything was so well preserved. We also went to Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan which was really near the citadel and you have a lovely 360 degree view of ancient buildings.
The next day we went to a market on Almo’iz street, it is a market the spans a length of road between both of Cairo’s city gates which are over 1000 years old. The market was one of my absolute favourite things in Cairo, I just loved being around Egyptian people going about there day, the hustle and bustle and so many amazing things to buy. Everything was also so cheap, I bought pants for 2 euro and hand carved stone candle holders for 3 euro! The market is a must if you are in Egypt.
On the third day we went to the pyramids and as you can imagine it was breath-taking, they are 10 times bigger in real life. It was just so amazing to see them and to see first hand how big the individual rocks are! how did they build the pyramids its just mind blowing! I could see and hear the sound and light show from my hotels roof top and it said it took over 100,000 people to build the middle pyramid, it’s just awe inspiring. I went to the pyramids in the evening and got to see them when it was sunny but also when the sun was setting and it was truly gorgeous.
On my last day in Cairo I went to the Egyptian museum, it has over 120,000 objects that were found in tombs and temples etc all over Egypt. You can’t even comprehend how much stuff there was from 8ft tall sculptures, to tiny little hand carvings. It’s a really great way to see Egyptian history and see how seriously they took life after death and honoring the Pharaohs. There were so many objects that just blew my mind, like a 8ft or 9ft gold box that was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. I was also amazed the number of sarcophagi I thought there would only be a hand full but there were hundreds.
My overall experience in Cairo was amazing, the people were so welcoming and kind. People helped me whenever and however they could. Practically everywhere I went people would stare or say ‘welcome’ and if someone had something to sell then they would try their absolute best to sell it to you. The noise and business that originally made me want to stay away became part of life after the first day, I was crossing 5 lanes of traffic while being on the phone by the second day. Now that I’m back in Ireland I really miss the business, driving home yesterday was so strange it was like ‘ my are there only one car per lane’, ‘people are doing the speed limit’, ‘where is all the beeping’. I didn’t realise how attached to it I had become, I really miss the activity of life there. I just really enjoyed and loved every second of it.
I have more posts to come on my time in Luxor and Aswan, tips and trick that will help you there and a list of my favourite places I saw and things you can give a miss. If you have any questions about Egypt feel free to leave them below and I will answer them in another post.
Thanks for reading.
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