We left Addis Ababa at the terrible hour of 12:30am to fly to Cairo with a stop in Khartoum, Sudan. Needless to say, on arrival at 5:00am, we were very tired. We caught a taxi to the Movenpick Pyramid Hotel, owned by a Swiss company. On our drive, as we neared the hotel, we could see the outline of the Giza Pyramids through the morning mist. They were more perfect than we imagined. Our friends the Foxes checked in several days before and after sleeping for a few hours, we met them and had lunch. Our week in Cairo was a mix: we hiked around the pyramids, rode camels across the desert, toured the eccentric Egyptian Museum, walked the Islamic marketplace and rode a ferry up the Nile. Our hotel was very comfortable, located about 20 minutes away from the confusion and pollution of downtown Cairo. The downside was that Todd’s back went out again (!!!), so he had to spend a few days at the hotel while the rest of the family went exploring. We found an elderly taxi driver who became our trusted transportation in Cairo and took us where we needed to go without hassle. His name was Omar - like Omar Sharif he told us.
Kona Moment: The cats in Egypt are terrific. The marketplace is full of them and they are tame and fairly well cared for. Thousands of years ago cats were worshipped here. Also, there is the story of the prophet Mohammed who was sitting in prayer or meditation and a cat fell asleep on the edge of his robe. Rather than wake the cat, he cut the robe. Apparently, based on this, Muslims like cats.
Starbucks: None, but there is a KFC that has a great view of the Sphinx and the Pyramids at Giza. Also, the KFC had air conditioning, which was a plus since it was very hot.
Weird McDonalds Menu Item: The McFalafel Sandwich. (Yes, really)
Cultural Moment: Riding camels through the desert next to the pyramids was awesome. We were amazed that people can ride such long distances in the heat through the desert. The camels make a terrible noise when they are made to kneel down so you can climb aboard. Katie’s camel kept trying to bite Lauren. One of the pyramids is names “Kapfryn”, which when pronounced sounds like “Katherine”, and Katie loved this.