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Day 41: Side Trip from Athens to Cairo

Sunday, May 16, 2010
Checked out at noon and asked our friend George at the hotel if we could store our big suitcase for a week (really 10 days). Kate had already charmed him so no problemo.

Went to lunch at Goodys and then headed to the airport. Lucky that we went early since it took us over an hour to get there on a confusing subway trip where we had to change trains a few times. Check in and flight were perfect with no hassles. We had one scare when we saw the airport sign with a different name and we thought we were going to the wrong airport and almost freaked out.

Cairo was hazy, dusty, and exotic. We had a big hassle at the airport because the hotel van never showed up. The airport was in the middle of nowhere and there was no public transport, only taxis. We had to borrow cell phones from random people to call the hotel and at first they told us the van was there and then they said he wasn't and we should take a taxi. I asked if they were going to pay for it and they said yes, up to a ridiculously low amount.

We got a taxi, Tarik, and he gave us the normal hustle for a private tour the next day. I told him that the hotel would be paying his fare so he came up with and started arguing with the hotel guy who kept telling me that we agreed to pay too much. I told him that there were no taxis for the amount he gave us, 50 pounds (about $10). I let them work it out and we went to the room which was large and comfy with strong A/C.

That night just walked down to McD's for snacks. The streets of Cairo are full of people all the time and there are police on almost every major corner directing traffice. It's as hot as an oven here even at night so far. I think most of the people come out late at night to avoid the heat.

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