. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: July 1, 2000

Saturday, July 1, 2000
Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka to Cairo, Egypt
United Arab Emirates's FlagEgypt'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 - Magic Hotel

Today's Travel:
Countries: United Arab Emirates, Egypt
Region: Nile Valley
Route: Emirates Flight 077: Colombo - Dubai; Emirates Flight 401: Dubai - Cairo
Start: Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka
Stop 1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
End:Cairo, Egypt
Linear:3661 miles
Weather: Mostly Sunny

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 1178
Linear Dist: 229675
Countries Visited: 70
Regions Visited: 262
More stats...
Hotels: 400
Friends / Family: 302
Camping: 126
Hostels: 261
Transit: 75
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 4124

Journal Entry:
Despite my best efforts I didn't get any sleep on the plane. In Dubai I wandered through the duty free shops. I was in a dangerous buying mood, but managed to restrain - thought the prices were good. Wandered upstairs to try and check in to the transit hotel - but British Air has booked out the entire hotel since they have a delayed flight. Great - no sleep last night, and now a nine plus hour layover...

Sat down in one of the cushy chairs outside the business center - away from most of the action - and worked on my H/PC for a couple hours. By then I could hardly keep my eyes open so I got up in search of coffee. I checked at the hotel just in case... and they had a room. It is by far the most expensive room I've ever stayed in (when you look at it by the hour - US$ 70 for six hours), but it's also as nice as any room I've ever stayed in. Had a great five hour sleep, then a long hot shower and it was incredible how much better I felt. I still felt a little scrambled, but at least I was capable of rational thought and could keep my eyes open.

In Cairo the immigration was a nightmare - at least a thousand people waiting on three officers - chaos does not even begin to describe the mob. They added two more officers, but it still took over an hour to get through. Last time I came into Cairo I flew in - but I can't even remember going through immigration so it couldn't have been bad. An Egyptian woman explained to me that it was because the crowd was mostly local and Egyptians are used to waiting. Looking around I realized that she was at least partially right - there were only two other obvious foreigners in the mass. Luckily customs wasn't an issue at all - whereas the Egyptians who were coming from Dubai were searched thoroughly.

Before, in Cairo, the problem was getting away from the taxi drivers, but now there are just too many people and it took me a bit to find one willing to take me at a reasonable price. It was after seven by now and the sun was a huge deep red ball as it set. As we drove by the spectacular Noor Mosque the sun was setting and the twin minarets and dome of the masque... well it just felt right to be in Cairo.

I was worried about finding a place to stay, but the first hotel I'd picked out of the guide book had a room - and it's in the same area of Cairo that I've stayed in before so I know my way around. I arranged for a four AM taxi to take me to the airport to meet Amy, then went out and walked around before coming in to try and sleep - difficult with the nonstop traffic noise.

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

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