Saturday, November 20, 2004

Adventures in Egypt - Day 1 Cairo

My friend Lee and I arrived a day before the rest of our group so after getting settled in we decided to check out a little bit of the city before the offical kick-off of our tour.  The very first thing we learned about the streets of Cairo (and all of Egypt for that matter) is there are no lines in the roads...ergo, folks just drive wherever they want.  This also presents some fun times for pedistrians trying to cross the street as there are no crosswalks and little to no traffic lights...oh and did I mention they drive on the other side of the road?!  Being the savvy travelers we are, we quickly figured out if we just did what the locals did we would be just fine...or at least we prayed that was the case.  Basically you just start a game of traffic frogger and move as the cars zip around you. 

I read about a restaurant called Mena House at the foot of the pyramids so we made our way over there for a quick bite before heading back out.  After lunch, we did pick up a little stalker (harmless 15 year old boy) for about an hour.  He followed us back to the shopping mall across from our hotel and we finally ditched him as we went in and out of shops.

You never know what you'll see while traveling but must admit I was a bit surprised to see a policeman throwing bricks at a kid!  We decided the kid was probably trying to hone in on a tip the policeman was trying to get...after all it's all about tipping in Egypt.  The policeman didn't actually make contact with the kid but it did sending him running.

For dinner we headed over to the top of the Cairo Hilton as they supposed had some of the best views of the city.  Dinner came with a little show...a belly dancer but for us, the person that sold the show was the accordion player.  My picture doesn't do him justice but his face told the stories of his many many years.

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