. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: April 28, 1998

Tuesday, April 28, 1998
Dahab (Assalah) to Cairo, Egypt
Egypt's FlagNile Valley's Flag

Cairo, Egypt:
Latitude: 30° 3' 48" North
Longitude: 31° 14' 23" East
Altitude: 476 feet
From Seattle: 8313 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Sun Hotel

Today's Travel:
Country: Egypt
Region: Nile Valley
Route: Mini Bus: Dahab - Cairo
Path:Dahab (Assalah) - Cairo, Egypt
Linear:282 miles
Weather: Partial Sun

Available Photos:

Statue garden Egyption Museum, Cairo, Egypt

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 383
Linear Dist: 97989
Countries Visited: 32
Regions Visited: 121
More stats...
Hotels: 80
Friends / Family: 98
Camping: 39
Hostels: 133
Transit: 33
Beers: 1492

Journal Entry:
The bus ride last night ended up being a trip from hell. When I bought my ticket I was told there were only four other passangers on the mini-bus, so I figured I'd have pleanty of room to stretch out. They ended up fitting 17 people into the space for 12. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep.

The one good thing about the ride was that it got to Cairo on time (7am). I followed some other travelers to the hotel they'd stayed at before. I splurged and got a single (I deserve it after last night). I took a two hour nap and then headed out to see some of Cairo. Cairo is insane. The traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, is horrible, and everyone wants something from you. The other observation is that everyone on the street lies. I was looking at the Egyption Museum and had people (more than one) tell me that it was the other way - right past their shop. I also had people tell me it was closed, and if I steped into their (or their cousin's) shop they'd find out when it would be open again. Even people who had no obvious benifet misled me. I was walking around the museum towards where I thought the enterance should be and a man stoped me and told me it was on the other side of the building - I walked all the way around and ended up where I started. Quite frustrating.

The Egyption Museum is cool. It's huge, and on the inside doesn't feel like a museum at all, rather it feels like a warehouse full of treasure. Everything is stacked in no apparent order, glass cases are dirty (sometimes to the point where you can't see in), and the lighting is terrible. Having said that I loved it, it was exciting and you felt a real sense of discovery. The highlights of the museum where the treasures of Tutankhamun and the Mummy Room. My mom took me to see the treasures when they were on tour in Los Angeles when I was probably ten years old. It was amazing how much I remembered and it made the visit more personal. The Mummy Room charges twice as much again as the entry into the museum, and it's fairly small, but the mummies are very interesting (and also more than a bit creepy). There are the bodies of eleven kings and queens who ruled from 1552 to 1069 BC.

After the museum closed I went to the Nile Hilton and spent three hours in blessed air conditioning answering email (haven't had access since Jordan).

My initial oppinion of Cairo isn't that great. It's a big city that feels like a big city. It also has a fairly high percentage of its population that preys on visitors. Given how tired I was I might find it vibrant, challenging and exciting after a good night sleep, however I think I'll probably keep my stay to the minimum needed to see the sights.

Related Sites:
CNN: Current Weather in Cairo
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Egypt
CIA World Fact Book: Egypt

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