Splendours of Egypt

Egypt has always been one of those destinations we dreamed of visiting, but browsing through travel brochures and checking out travels ads, it always seemed a tad expensive — until 9/11.  Cruise prices seemed to have dropped almost 50% after that date and now it seems to be within the boundaries of our budget. 

So, we were tremendously excited when our Alitalia flight from Rome touched down at Cairo International.  The airport was busy and somewhat chaotic, but once you tuned in to the fact that this is a totally different continent, then you relax a little.  The immigration official looked stern and probably resenting the hoards of people that needed to be processed, however when I greeted him with ‘salam alaikum’, I got a little smile from him.

After we cleared Customs, our guide was there to greet us.  The 20 km drive to the hotel was interesting.  The traffic was highly congested and to the left and right of the road, high rise blocks of building competed for space.  The thing that got me was how dusty and grey all the buildings looked, until reminded by Tony that yes, 90 percent of the country is desert.

It was great when we arrived at the Marriott Hotel, our home for the next few days.  It’s wonderful to be starting our holidays from the luxury of this historical hotel.


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