Cairo Journals

Round The World -- Destination 1 Cairo

A January 2004 trip to Cairo by parkerc

Windsor Photo, Cairo, Egypt More Photos
Quote: This was our (my girlfriend and I) first destination in a one year around the world trip. We chose Egypt as our first destination, so we could take in a Wonder of the World from the outset.

Windsor

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Hotel | "Windsor Hotel"

Windsor Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
This hotel was previously a British Officers Club and as such is one of many buildings throughout Cairo with classic colonial architecture. Like all of the other colonial buildings, the Windsor Hotel has seen much better days. However this lack of maintenance and upgrading has meant that the Windsor Hotel has retained many of its original features and much of its charm. This was the hotel that Michael Palin stayed in when he went Round The World in 80 Days and was the primary reason that we choose this hotel. (It has also featured in a few films.) He found it a wonderful hotel with many quirks, charisma and helpful friendly staff. This was very much the case when we stayed there and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 20, 2004

Windsor
19 Sharia Alfi Bey
Cairo, Egypt
591 5810

Windsor Hotel

Restaurant

Windsor Hotel Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
The restaurant at the Windsor Hotel had a varied menu including most western dishes. There’s pasta, pizzas, fish, steak, and some Egyptian dishes. The prices were between EGP 7-15 for appetizers and EGP 10-25 for a main dish. The pasta (Bolognese and Napolitana) was very good value, if a touch uninspiring, but the pizzas are to be avoided (soggy and very un-Italian). The chips are cooked like your nan used to cook them and are well worth a taste, as is the tomato and feta dip, which is served with pita bread. The drink prices are standard for Cairo, but relatively expensive compared to the food prices (EGP 15 for a bottle of beer.) The actual restaurant lacks ambience and atmosphere...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 20, 2004

Windsor Hotel
19 Alfi Bei Street
Cairo, Egypt
20-2-5915810

Giza Pyramids and The Sphinx

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Attraction | "Pyramids & The Sphinx"

Giza Pyramids and The Sphinx Photo, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
Quote:
We joined a tour organised through our hotel to the pyramids. This was the easiest way to get there, as they are a way out of town. The tour included a couple of trips to places on the way, such as City of the Dead, which includes a visit to an old temple. It is so named City of the Dead, due to the amount of tombs in the area. You also get to visit the obligatory papyrus shop on the way where they try and sell you overpriced pictures after an interesting(-ish) demonstration. The journey to the pyramids involves you driving through some very run down areas, where a lot of people are living on the streets. Once at the pyramids you have a choice if you want to visit them on horseback, on a c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 21, 2004

Giza Pyramids and The Sphinx
Giza Plateau
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

Cairo Tower

Attraction

Cairo Tower Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
This tower is a good way to see Cairo from above. We went at twilight and it was interesting to watch the city lights come on and the sun go down. When up top, you may or may not see the pyramids, depending on the light and the amount of smog on that day. We could just about see an outline, with the air quality being reasonable that day. The cost was 50 EGP, which included a drink and a slice of cake in the rotating restaurant. We tried to get a ticket without the cake and drink, but were told that this ticket didn’t allow us to the top of the tower!!! There is an extra cost for a video camera, but cameras are free. You can buy an all-inclusive meal ticket for the rotating restaurant if you...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 21, 2004

Cairo Tower
Next to Al-Ahli Sporting Club
Cairo, Egypt

Mosques of Cairo

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Attraction | "Mosques in Cairo"

Quote:
As you would expect, there are several mosques in and around Cairo and we were accepted into all that we tried to enter, provided that we were wearing suitable clothing. On occasions, females were only allowed into certain rooms via a specific entrance, with males going into the ‘main’ room. Every mosque that we entered was ‘free,’ but all expected a donation when you went to retrieve your shoes on exit (there are no shoes to be worn inside). It’s therefore important to keep some smaller notes on you, as on one occasion I only has EGP 20 and expecting change certainly isn’t the norm. The main mosque within Cairo is the Al Azhar mosque, which is featured on the 50 plasters note. On o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 21, 2004

Mosques of Cairo
Cairo
Cairo, Egypt

Egyptian Museum

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Attraction

Quote:
The Egyptian Museum is situated next door to the Hilton, within its own grounds. It’s free to enter the museums grounds, which are a respite from the mayhem in Cairo in themselves. To enter the museum costs 20 EGP (10 EGP for children) and there are guides outside plying their trade, and an audio guide available inside. We shunned the guides, so cannot comment on them. The museum is sectioned into a chronological order, and we managed to find our way round easy enough. Whether or not museums are your sort of thing, the Egyptian Museum is a must see for the Tutankhamen room alone. There is one room set aside for Tutenkhamen’s tombs, masks, and artefacts. All the Tutankhamen’s exhibits were ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 21, 2004

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

Dining Out in Cairo

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Dinning out in Cairo can be a very difficult experience, unless you are willing to splash the cash. Without a Lonely Planet or Rough Guide in our possession, we ventured out on several occasions to find places to eat and were relatively unsuccessful in our quest. Most of the food outlets in Cairo are of the food stall/hole in the wall variety with descriptions and prices in Arabic and the locals in a scrum around the counter. Finding restaurants with the ability to sit down and eat vegetarian was a fruitless task; the three or four restaurants we did find were either empty (not a good sign) and/or had a limited (and Arabic) menu. The few exceptions to this were the plethora of eating establish...Read More

Travelling by Coach

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Story/Tip

Quote:
When we were in Egypt, we had planned a trip from Cairo to Sharm El Sheik on the Red Sea Coast. Rather than fly or use a tour operator, we planned to use public/private transport when we arrived in Egypt. East and West Delta are the main coach companies in Egypt. Unsurprisingly, East Delta serves the east of Egypt and West Delta the west. There are some other coach companies, such as Superjet, but we thought the Delta coaches looked in the best condition. We unintentionally found out there are several bus stations in Cairo, with Abbassia being the main one. You can probably arrange the tickets through your hotel, but we decided to walk to the station to buy our tickets, as it didn’...Read More