took us an hour to get through customs and get our luggage and meet up
with our guide Islam Falgoul, who is a very handsome, well spoken
Our hotel is in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo and so we got to spend
45 minutes driving across Cairo at night I’m a fascinating trip. The
first thing we noticed was the horns. Customized horns are very common
in Cairo. I heard horns playing Charge, The Conga, Dixie and many
others. Of course since traffic laws are something optional these
horns get a lot of use and so it is a wonderful cacaophony of song
fragments following us down the highway.
The second thing we noticed about Cairo is that it is incredibly
varied. The area near the airport in the modern and wealthy part of
town and it looks like any modern city in America. It is well lit,
lots of steel and glass and perfect highways with beatiful paintings
of Egyptiam motifs along the edges. Then we passed through the Old
Moslem quarter which looks very much like a barely modernized medieval
city. The buildings, though ancient, are in good repair. The lighting
is more atmosphereic but still present and the roads are still
perfect. Then as we came to Giza we moved into the poor area of town.
It was like we turned a corner and were suddenly in a third world
(think post-apocolyptic) county. There was almost no lighting. Every
building looked at least half fallen down. The streets were fairly
smooth but all their curbs were broken and something that was either a
canal or open sewer runs down the center between the opposing traffic
The brightest thing about Cairo by night is the towers of the mosques.
They light up the minarets with multicolored neon at night so they are
the tallest and brightest things in the whole city. It is bizarrely
reminescent of Vegas.
And finally we can see the Nile. As we cross the bridge over the Nile
we notice that many Egyptians have parked in the outermost lanes of
the bridge and brought their lawn furniture and picnic dinners. It is
and odd and touching glimpse into Egyptian social life.
Our hotel is lovely. Giza becomes nicer the closer you get to the
Pyramids. We are in a Bungalow and so it is like having our own
private little house with an adorable patio with outside eating area
complete with an overhanging tree. Interestingly enough the weather is
almost exactly like Austin. It was definately cool enough tonight for
a sweater and light jacket. The flowers planted all around the hotel
are also almost exactly the same as Austin. There are zinnias, African
daisies, vincas, and that lovely deep purple verbena which is native
Anyway, have to try and sleep now because we start at 8:00 tomorrow
for Saccara and the Pyramids there and then come back to Giza in the
afternoon for the culmination of Pyramid building.
Sent from Jen’s iPhone