12 Hours in Egypt, Memories For a Lifetime
As a boy I have always fantasised about visiting the mystical Pyramids and riding out onto the Sahara desert upon a camels back, fortunately we got a chance on a shotgun stopover in Cairo en-route to Athens earlier this year.
Our flight finally landed from Madrid at 8.30pm in Cairo. Due to our around the world flight schedule we had to stop off in Cairo for 12 hours but the rest of the story wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for an Egyptian customs officer informing us we couldn’t stay in the transit lounge for any longer than six hours.
Having our frugal plans of camping in the transit lounge for 12 hours quashed we headed for the visa office and decided to make the most of our time, bite the bullet and give Cairo a crack and see how close we could cut it before our flight departed.
After paying for the visa and passing through customs we were overwhelmed by the frantic rush of the locals to secure our business for their respective organisations. There was one calm looking man who approached us in a friendly and relaxed manner that naturally we gravitated towards. He personally escorted us to a tourism office where we haggled a deal for a driver, a hotel and a dusk tour to the pyramids. After finally settling on a price we were whisked off at lightning pace into the hustling 11pm traffic which due to an accident was backed up thanks to rubber neckers, checking out the car that had bottomed out on a traffic island (quite comical really). Finally reaching our middle of the range hotel we hit the hay in preparation for our 5.30 am pick up from our personal driver.
As soon as we could blink our alarm was blaring the sweet sound of adventure and the time had arrived for our date with the ancient Pyramids Giza which I’d only been waiting 20 years for. The driver who had worked all night arrived right on time and whisked us away in one of the more magical taxi rides I’d been on. Our representative called a local government approved guide up and we negotiated a quick 40 minute camel ride into the Sahara desert and viewing point to the humbling monuments which are the Pyramids Giza.
Into the Desert
Upon arriving our new friends Michael Jackson and George Bush, the camels were primed and ready for our journey. We bumped our way through the stables and into the gates onto the Sahara, an amazing sight in its own right but we plodded on to our viewpoint past a few other tourists on horse back. I could feel the goosebumps rising on my arms and legs as I swivelled my head to the right only to have all my childhood dreams paint me with emotion as I was finally here viewing one of the wonders of the world on camel back, what a surreal feeling. We snapped the photos that will don our walls for the rest of our lives and begun our slow gallop back to the stables as the misty heat rose over the city of Cairo and created yet another memory. After paying our guides we sped back to the airport, not before getting a quick snap and a chat about the river Nile from our driver.
Our whirlwind expedition to Cairo was coming to an end but will always remain one of the highlights of our world trip, to think it may have never happened still shocks me. Cairo, the Sahara and the Pyramids Giza are all places I will definitely return to and I suggest you get yourself there to experience this truly unique and magical place for yourself.
Create your own story, enjoy the people, the culture and the amazing monuments of this ancient city.
**This is a guest post from Jamie of D n J Go Seek – a buddy of mine who I met in Peru. Along with his partner Deb he blogs over at DnJGoSeek.com, tweets via @dnjgoseek and uploads the carnage to their Facebook page.**
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