Flight EK923 on 09Jun09 arrived at Cairo Terminal twenty minutes earlier than expected time of arrival. My travel companion for this trip has been waiting for me for about 2 hours now since we had to take different airlines for “financial reasons”.
I got out of the aircraft and we all had to go thru the SOP for the swine flu profiling but i doubt that they can even detect if a passenger does have the flu or not. I filled out the swine flu form and declared that i have not had colds, cough or flu-like symptoms for the past couple of days then there was the body temperature scanning before heading to the immigration area.
I had my first taste of Cairo at the immigration area, people were just cutting the line and were very unapologetic about what they did or about to do. I got stuck for 30mins and figured that if am not going to be as aggressive as they are, I will be stuck there forever. If you can’t beat them, join them so I made my way thru a maze of people trying to sneak themselves in front of me. I HATE CAIRO AIRPORT! I know hate is a strong word but I really do hate it.
After surviving the immigration area, we finally met up with our airport representative – Karim, little do we know that he will be a big part of our 4-day Egypt tour. We crossed the Nile river to head to the East bank of Sakkarah where our hotel is located. The drive took about 45mins from Heliopolis (airport area). I was surprised to see a lot of greeneries in Cairo specially around the Nile river, i was expecting to see a sandpit like Dubai but the sights going to our hotel was just……. very unpleasant. I didn’t see any new buildings on our way to our hotel. All the buildings were old (ancient i guess… :p) and looks life-threatening for all the tenants living there. The streets were dirty and it’s just very disorganized.
We stayed at Cataract Pyramids Resort in Sakkarah, a supposedly 5-star accomodation with 3-star facilities and 7-star service. I just loved it!!!! It cost us about AED489 for the whole 4-day stay with breakfast. The people working there were all very nice. I am not very particular with the hotels I stay in whenever I travel. Anything with a bed and clean toilet is fine with me, it doesn’t really matter since we’ll be out and about for most of the day anyway.
We were supposed to be met up by Karim for a dinner somewhere in downtown cairo but as luck would have it, a group of his passengers who were supposed to arrive the next day arrived that night… so he had to go to the airport to assist them so Deny and I had dinner at the cafe inside the resort where the waiters took turns of guessing where we’re from (someone even guessed that we’re from Colombia.. haha!)
After smoking shisha, we realized that the mosquitoes were literally eating us alive so we finally called it a night and prepared ourselves for a full day tour of Cairo the next day.