We got to Egypt a couple days ago, and what a different world it is. On one hand, we were pretty excited since it was our first time in Africa, let alone Egypt. Then we were reminded of the culture as soon as we got through customs, when the taxi touts started yelling at you. We hit a taxi, and headed to our hotel. The first thing you notice about Cairo is the congestion. There are 25 million people in Cairo, which is 1/3 of the population. There are people everywhere, and cars everywhere, and they are pretty much equal on the road.

There are no traffic laws, or lights. We didn’t see one light between the airport and the hotel, and it’s 13 miles away. There are no lanes. A three lane highway in the US would be 5 lanes here, and you don’t stay in your lane, rather inch up anywhere you can to try to get ahead. The air is thick with dust and pollution, and honestly it made it hard to breath if you are not used to it.¬† We had a nice cab driver who filled us in on things we were passing, until we got to the hotel and asked for a tip….on top of his tip! Welcome to Cairo.

We knew that we were in a different part of the world when they checked all cabs for bombs before entering the hotel and then going through a metal detector before entering the lobby. I guess it makes you feel more safe, but something that we are not used to. We checked in to our room, which has a view over the Nile, which is pretty cool. Again, we got a great room at a great rate, which thanks to my printing out all the confirmation numbers, saved us half of what they tried to charge us at check in. I think they were a bit shocked Hilton agreed to such a low rate for our room. Mulkeen 1 – Cairo 0.

I’ll post some pictures later as Fotki is not liking the Cairo internet connection as of yet. Today we are seeing the Pyramids and the Sphinx, should be pretty cool.