Downtown CairoJuly 22nd, 2008 | Posted by in 01-Egypt
It has taken a day or so to adjust to life outside of the UK, and now that we are here, we are loving every minute. This a quote from the lonely planet which sums up Cairo in a nutshell.
“Let’s address the drawbacks first. The crowds on a Cairo footpath make Manhattan look like a ghost town. You will be hounded by papyrus sellers at ever turn. Your life will flash before your eyes each time you venture across a street. And your snot will run black from the smog. So blow your nose, crack a joke and learn to look through the dirt to see the city’s true colours”.
This is so accurate, but in a nice way. We have been overwhelmed by the friendliness and attitude towards us and other tourists. It is death defying trying to cross the streets, but when the police see that we are waiting for an opportune moment, they stop the traffic to let us cross. Every 100 yards we are greeted with ‘hello, welcome to Egypt’ accompanied with a warm friendly smile. The clapped out black and white cars are the taxis, a sight for sore eyes.
We are really enjoying having to haggle for everything, we have it off to a tee. In our hotel in the evenings we share stories of our haggling abilities and many are impressed how much we can haggle the taxi drivers – we have been able to get fares for half or more than others to standard destinations. A typical fare is starts at E£15-20 but we always haggle to E£5 – that’s 50p for a 20min ride – I’m in heaven. This place is truly amazing.