Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Egypt- Pt 1

The transit hotel in Dubai

Sunset over the Nile

The view from the room

Here goes my much delayed posting on my Egypt trip. Way overdue mainly because of fatigue, plain laziness to write and anyway I had already written about my childhood dream of riding a felucca.


Well, the only way to start is the beginning and the Etihad flight would be a good way. First time to the middle east and the Abu Dhabi was a 12 hours stopover. Did not fancy staying at the airport staring into space or sleeping like a refugee so decided to spend a little and booked a transit hotel. Expensive i.e US$170/room for less than 12 hours but it was worth every penny because flying in tired and in a cramped airport was what it was like.

So we flew into Cairo the next day fresh and well fed with a good Western breakfast only to reach Cairo International Airport which looked like it was like a blast into the past. Hmm the last time I walked into airport like that was in Beijing way back 15 years ago i.e the pre-Olympic days.


Chaotic , filled with people and loads of army personnel , it was nice to see Nora ( we called her Nora throughout the trip only to find that its' not Nora), smiling and holding a placard with our name. Welcome to Cairo and smack into the traffic. 5 to 6 lanes of cars on each side back to back . Hey, KL is a breeze. This is Cairo, dusty, noisy and so full of character. We passed Sadat's memorial and I'm instantly reminded of the conflicts that this country faced and seeing guns, military personnel , fighter jets are everyday fare. We are so blessed that in Malaysia it is peaceful . Somehow, I wasn't afraid in fact extremely intrigued and wanting to soak into every minute of this fascinating country.
We got into the much anticipated Semiramis Intercontinental beside the Nile River. Again more uniform soldiers around the hotel and the luggages all had to go through the security scanning machines. Finally, checked in after hassling the receptionist about our "platinum status" . This time, the best they did for me was a Nile view river but Ray and Chris got the Macdonald view room.

Of course, I quickly snapped pictures of the sunset over Nile. It's my first sunset of the Nile. Excited because it is everything I imagined it to be. Huge, orange but yet not perfect unlike Hawaii. The dustiness and emerging fog blurred it provided the mystic allure that I have always imagined Egypt to have.

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