Welcome to Egypt! This can mean two things, either it’s a tourist trap: ‘Welcome to Egypt! Where are you from? Camel ride? Horse ride? Tour guide? No? Maybe later? No? Maybe later? Want a camel ride? Okay bye, maybe later.’ Or it’s a genuine friendly Egyptian who just helped you out. There are guys who try to rip you off by letting you pay laundry per item (while they said per person) and you have the taxi driver who tells you to pay how much you think the drive is worth (and that he is 75, has 8 grandchildren and that he had a boxing career in Thailand). We are glad that we are driving through this country so we can not only experience the great tourist attractions but also the friendliness of the real Egyptians.
We think that there were about 200 camel ride guys at the pyramids. While ignoring those, we enjoyed this historic site. From the hotel we could see them already, but by walking around, climbing into and standing on a pyramid you feel its magnitude. Bucketlist, check!
The next day we went into Cairo to get our Sudanese visa. We first had to get a letter of introduction from the Dutch embassy, which was a huge fort. We could not even enter the place and had to wait outside. Arriving at the Sudanese embassy we made copies of our Egyptian visa, added these to a bunch of other papers, got them stamped and off we went (without our passports) to the Egyptian museum to see the mask of Toetanchamon. Of which you cannot take pictures because the Egyptians really don’t like you taking pictures of anything.
What the Egyptians do like?
- Security check points: everywhere, most of the time three in a row with ports that will go off all the time and at least two security guards who check your bag (which they do not very well). You even have to pull the brake on a six lane highway for a security check.
- Toet, toet! They really really like to honk, preferably random.
- Getting close, despite the culture (which would assume differently) personal space does not exist here. Especially among men.
After a long day in Cairo, we were happy to leave the smog behind the next day. We drove to the Red Sea, picked a cheap resort and landed ourselves on the beach with our snorkeling gear. Time for some well deserved relaxation…