Cairo Journals

Cairo: Love It or Hate It

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A travel journal to Cairo by Marianne

Novotel Cairo Airport Photo, Cairo, Egypt More Photos
Quote: Cairo: juxtapostion of old and new, rich and poor. You either love it or hate it.

Cairo: Love It or Hate It

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Overview

Cairo Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Just imagine this:Cairo: 214 square kilometres, so roughly 10 x 21 kilometres.Population: 16 million.Holland: 41,528 square kilometres, so roughly 282 x 177 kilometres.Population 16 millionDo you realise what this means?Take a city twice the size of Amsterdam and put all Dutch people in it. The rest of the country is empty.Cairo bursts at its seams. It is chaotic, but pleasantly chaotic. The average temperature is 33 degrees, in the evening it is cooler. And it is polluted. You can see the smog when you are at the citadel, it is a blanket that covers the city. ...Read More

Novotel Cairo Airport

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Hotel | "Novotel"

Novotel Cairo Airport Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Writing pad an pen next to the telephone. Sewing kit next to the "Yellow Pages" in the drawer. Writing paper en envelopes with Novotel logo. Menu card for room service. plastic laundry bag. Guide to TV channels.And there is more!Showercap in a neat little carton box. Tiny bottles: shampoo and shower gel. Toilet paper folded to a V-shape. Glasses wrapped in plastic. WC sealed by a paper strip indicating it has been cleaned. I’m in Cairo. I’d better tell you as this room could have been anywhere in the world. Nothing shows in which country I am.Generally speaking I don’t like these international hotel chains. I only stay here because it’s 5 minutes (on foot) to Cairo Airport and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 19, 2002

Novotel Cairo Airport
P O BOX 8 APT POST OFFICE
Cairo, Egypt
20-20-2918520

Mayfair

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Hotel

Mayfair Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
A majestic staircase leads to the Mayfair Hotel, which is on the first floor of a six-storey apartment building. Three apartments have been combined and offers room with and without facilities. All along the front there is a terrace with a view of the French Embassy opposite, a beautiful old villa. We sat here in the evening and had breakfast: two rolls (40 centimetres long), one glass of tea or coffee, boiled egg, one wedge of spreading cheese (le Vache qui Rit type), butter and jam.We paid 70 Egyptian Pounds minus 10% (31 euros) because we are ‘Rough Guide Readers’. You must show your copy. The hotel is on Gezira, which means island, and indeed it is an island in the Nile. The eleva...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 19, 2002

Mayfair
9 Sharia Aziz Osman
Cairo, Egypt
20 2 7357315

Novotel

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Restaurant

Novotel Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
There are three restaurants, French, Italian and Oriental, and a coffeeshop-cum-patisserie with French-type and Oriental pastries. You know, those immensely sweet ones: baklava which is flaky pastry and nuts, and atayf which is shredded wheat with honey and nuts. The way I describe it is awfully dull -- you must taste it. You''ll either like it or not, it’s an acquired taste. This type of pastry is not unique to Egypt. Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, and Greece have the same pastries. And undoubtedly Algeria and Libya, but I didn’t visit these two countries. We went to the Oriental restaurant because it is was outside and I’m not particularly fond of air-conditioning. This...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 19, 2002

Novotel
Cairo Airport
Cairo, Egypt

Papyrus Institute

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Attraction

Papyrus Institute Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
On our tour back from the pyramids our taxi driver asked us if we wanted to see the papyrus shop (our buying will result in a commission for him). ’We won’t buy anything’ we assured him, still he stopped at the shop. We went in declined the tea and looked uninterestingly around. ’Can I show you how papyrus is made’ a young man asked us.’If you have nothing better to do’, I replied.Actually he had nothing better to do, we were the only customers. Papyrus reed is a water plant which grows on river banks in Africa and the south eastern corner of the Mediterranean. The Ancient Egyptians revered the papyrus plant because of its pyramidal shape, which signifies immortality. ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 19, 2002

Papyrus Institute
Avenue Of The Pyramids
Cairo, Egypt

Egyptian Museum

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Attraction | "Museum of Egyptian Antiquities"

Egyptian Museum Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
'..... belonged to the 4th dynasty.......... Djoser transfers the capital to Memphis ......the third plague was lice ...........the eighth was locusts..............after the murder of ramses III .....'A babel of voices. Guides forcing their voices into a higher pitch so that all in the group can hear. But do they want to hear? The eager ones stand in front position and ask ‘intelligent’ questions. Those at the back look utterly bored.I usually don’t like museums because the curator has decided what to exhibit so in other words he decides for me what I should see and what I should admire. But The Egyptian museum is a gem. The interior hasn’t changed since the day they put the ex...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 19, 2002

Egyptian Museum
Tahrir Square
Cairo, Egypt
+20 (2) 579 6974

Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu)

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Attraction | "Pyramids of Giza"

Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu) Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
I’m extremely proud of this photo. It may not mean much to you -- pyramid and camel -- but I did not pay for the privilege of taking this photo. Tourists equal bakshees. I’m quite willing to give a tip, but not for a photo of a camel and a pyramid. Invariably you will be shown "hidden" hieroglyphs, which you would have found anyway and you will be told what place is best to take photos. I hate this. I’m quite willing to tip, but only when someone has helped me in a special way. I know wages in Egypt are low and a tip is an essential extra, but it should not be an obligation. The pyramid...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 19, 2002

Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu)
Giza Pyramids Plateau
Cairo, Egypt
+20 2 383 8823

Citadel Complex

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Attraction | "Cairo Citadel"

Quote:
’We don’t need a guide, thank you’. ’I’d rather’, he made a gesture as if cutting his throat, ‘than ask you for money. Besides I’m not a guide, I’m a student’. He now pushed a card under my nose and read it out to me: Cairo University 2000-2001. ‘It’s my old card’. Yes, I could see that. The only Arabic I can read are the numbers. He turned out his pockets, ‘I must have left this year’s card at home’. I smile at my husband. I’m sure this card is real, but I can’t read it. He may well be a cleaner and this is his authorisation to enter the university. But does it matter? We are on our way to the Citadel. Our new friend follows us closely pointing out things, it’s diff...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 22, 2003

Citadel Complex
Salah Salem Highway
Cairo, Egypt
20 2 512 9619