Friday 31 August 2018
After a gruelling long flight from Melbourne to Dubai, followed by a more pleasant flight to Cairo our travelling group of nine (Conrad, Ian, Robert, Judy, Daniel, Lewis, Carole, Janet and yours truly) have been warmly welcomed to Egypt. We were expertly shepherded through Cairo airport by Kerrid to be met outdoors by our tour guide Sherif. The drive from the airport to the hotel took us through the Presidential area of Heliopolis. We passed the sprawling Dead city cemetery to be amazed to learn that people live here among the tombs of the ancestors. 24 million people call Cairo their home! (Population of Egypt is 97 million). To house so many people we saw what Sherif called ‘Randoms’. These are towering apartment blocks built on any spare bit of land. Some are so close to each other that you could probably reach out and shake hands with your neighbour across the gap. There is one colour in Cairo and that is ‘mud brown.’
Other sights on the journey to the hotel included the impressive Citadel build by Saladin in the tenth century. We crossed the Nile into Giza and caught a tantalising glimpse of the Pyramids before turning into our hotel for the next two nights – aptly named the Oasis Hotel. It boosts lush green gardens and a spectacular pool. A relaxing place to recharge the batteries before heading to the Cairo Museum and the Coptic Quarter tomorrow.