Monday, May 4, 2009

Day One Cairo
I did not have a very good introduction to Cairo because our pilot pulled out of the landing and amid screams of the passengers we ascended and five minutes later we were told that the sand storm was too blinding to land on that runway and we would make another approach from a different angle. Luckily we landed the second time but deplaned in no man’s land and took buses to the main terminal. The sand storm was still kicking up and we all covered our heads with whatever we had to keep from inhaling.
After over 20 hours in route and no sleep, when I saw my name on the Le Meridien sign I thought all would move swiftly…wrong. The young man was an expediter to help me get through the system which included taking my temperature and passing a number of checkpoints. Troops and police were everywhere. It was a good hour before I was in the car.
You all know how I can get car sick well let me tell you I have never had a ride like the one from the airport to the hotel; a four lane highway turned into two and then one but cars, trucks, buses, bikes and even some donkey and horse driven carts shared the road with thousands of pedestrians. There were no lanes or rules of the road and horns blared. It was difficult to see much because of the sand and pollution but you could smell plenty. After another hour and 15 minutes we arrived at the hotel which is directly across the street from the Pyramids. The entrance to the hotel was blocked and a bomb sniffing dog was walked around the car before we were able to pass through to the hotel entrance and I had to go through security screening before I could get into the lobby. I was definitely not in Kansas anymore.
It is now 9:00 PM Cairo time and I have lost track of the time in CA and body clock so I will try to sleep and be ready for my 9:00 AM tour of the Pyramids including a camel ride (a photo op for sure).

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