It’s 11:00pm in Cairo, Egypt on Friday, Febuary 25th. I am with a group of 12 who decided to travel after majority of their group members decided other options. We started out with a group of 93. These 12 passengers wanted to travel to Egypt now, so I decided to travel with them. They, or I should say we are excited to be here. The feeling is electric and we have nick named ourselves the Marines (“the few, the proud…..”). We flew via Frankfurt on Lufthansa Airlines on an A360 and while there were plenty of empty seats, our flight was fuller than we expected. When our flight landed, I it felt different than all the other times I’ve flown into Cairo. Quieter, not as hectic, I felt more noticed but in a good way. I received more smiles from guards and officers and I could feel their excitement that we choose to come.
We were first greeted by our ground company before we got to passport control. Greeted with Egyptian flags, flowers and a joyous welcome, it’s apparent that Egypt wants tourists to return. We boarded our bus and headed to dinner at the Al Azhar, a park where families come to dine and spend time together. Everyone was extremely friendly. After our Egyptian Dinner of lentil soup, hummus, garlic yogurt, babaganoush, grilled shrimp, fried fish and oriental rice, we headed to our hotel, The Conrad Hilton. Oh, I have to tell you about the freshest mango juice. it tasted like they took a fully ripe mango or two and pureed it. After our long day of flights this was extemely refreshing. As we pulled up to the Conrad Hilton I was a little jarred by the lack of room lights. While I expected low occupancy, I’ve never seen Egypt like this, especially a hotel the size and caliber of the Conrad Hilton. it’s usually bustling with business men and tourists. We pratically have the hotel to ourselves. Well, I’m calling it a night because I’ve been up and traveling since 7am central time from Chicago and it’s now been a day and a half without rest and tommorrow we have an early start to a long day of touring starting with the Pyramids of Giza. Can’t wait to see who else is there!