Friday, January 4, 2008

Prelude: Cairo

The fun started when we landed in Cairo. The Trafalgar reps met us at the airport in a mini-bus, and we pile in to transfer to our hotel, the Le Meriden Pyramids in Giza. I have a tendancy towards carsickness, so I sat up front with the driver. This was my first mistake.

The first, and only, rule of Cairo traffic is "there is no rules". Traffic lights are only ornamentation, as are the nice white lines painted on the roads. Speed limits are irrelevant, and pedestrians step off the curb and dart between lanes of traffic everywhere; a necessary evil as cross-walks are unknown. The two weapons that Egyptians battle the roads with is their horn and flashing head-lights (the meaning of which is either "please go ahead of me" or "piss off and die.")

I spent the entire ride to the hotel (45 minutes?) flinching, cursing silently and praying, despite the fact that traffic was deemed by our guide to be light due to the four-day long Islamic celebration of Eid al-Adha. I am a veteran of Dubai traffic, and I thought I had seen the worst, but I was proven wrong. The traffic here may be one of the reasons why Egypt is so very devout- I, too, felt closer to Allah as we veered through the insanity.

Our hotel was lovely, but far closer to the Pyramids then I felt comfortable with. Crass commercialism encroaching on ancient wonders... it just felt so wrong.

DH and I checked in, met up with his sister, had dinner, and fell into bed thankfully. Jet lag was kicking our butts, and we had a big day full of big sites the next day to prepare for.

No comments: