We enjoyed a late breakfast in the hotel before heading out to the Egyptian museum – the restaurant had the most delicious juice we had ever had. Not exaggerating. Pure mango and pure strawberry juice. We also ordered it for room service this morning before heading to the airport.
The concierge promised it was “very safe” to walk to the Egyptian museum. And thankfully, it seem that way. Although, crossing the street in Cairo is risking your life. I’m quite sure they don’t have traffic laws. They definitely don’t have lines on the streets/highways, so it’s just a free-for-all of cars, trucks, horse/donkey drawn carriages, people riding horses/donkeys, men pulling rickshaws, and people just casually walking in the middle of the road. And I thought the traffic/driving in China was bad. I figured crossing the 4/6 lane highway was safer than taking the tunnel under the road. I was a little concerned since the revolution did take place right in front of the museum. There were bombed out buildings all around.
The museum was very interesting. We hired a tour guide inside the museum. He was funny, he only had an hour before his scheduled tour so we were literally running around the museum trying to see everything in an hour. It was actually our kind of tour. We spent some time after the tour continuing to explore. Of course, we had to stop and see the mummified animals. We couldn’t even bring our camera into the museum so no pictures.
Also worth noting is the security at the museum. They have armed guards at the gate to get into the museum. We walked up and they asked us for our passports. Ours were in the safe at the hotel. They guard said “where are you from?” “US. We’re American.” “Oh, ok. You can go in.” They also have metal detectors everywhere but they don’t do anything when people walk through them and they beep. I don’t quite get the point.
We stopped at the Intercontinental on the way back to the hotel for a nice little Thai lunch. Good food. Beautiful hotel.
Back at the hotel we arranged a car to take us to the market. I was a little anxious but again the concierge reassured us it was very safe. And it was. He did tell us not to where anything of value though because you would immediately get charged more. We didn’t bring the camera for that reason. The market was HUGE! We were only there for 1.5 hours but could have been there for hours. We didn’t even make it to the fabric/haberdashery which is probably a good thing since we only brought two carry-ons and I’m running out of room in the flat for sewing stuff. We had a great time there. Everyone was super friendly and not TOO pushy. Of course, they want you to buy their stuff but I didn’t feel unsafe at any point. They were much less grabby than the stall owners in China. I also learned my lesson the previous day and dressed more conservatively on Saturday. Apparently t-shirt and shorts when it’s 85 is not appropriate. Not that anyone actually said that to me but strangers were taking photos of me all day on Friday. They probably don’t see many people as white as me, I could seriously use a tan.
All the guys at the market were telling Pete what a lucky guy he was. HAha. Of course, they are strictly sucking up hoping the compliment will get you to stop in their stall. My favorite line was “Tell me how I can take your money”. Tourism is drastically down since the revolution and everyone was desperate to make sales. As I said, it was a lot of fun.
Pete took a really quick swim when we got back to the hotel. And we stayed in the hotel for dinner and had a relatively early night since we had to leave for the airport at 5:30am. The hotel was gorgeous and the services was unbeatable so we were both happy to stay “in” for dinner.