Cairo-taxisI hadn’t even collected my luggage at Cairo International before I was cheekily offered a cab. A polite refusal was not easily accepted, but eventually taken. Then as soon as I set one foot outside of arrivals I am pounced on by about twenty dodgy guys who wanted to give me a lift in their personal cars.

All were brushed off eventually and I found a quiet spot to compose myself before approaching the legitimate rank to start round three.

Taxi FailAbout a dozen guys wanted to get involved as soon as I got close and took turns trying and then failing to get my surfboard in their respective saloon cars through the side doors.

I eventually found a hatchback that could accommodate my board by inserting it from the back, and having loaded my gear was then faced by all of them wanting tips for helping me. At this point I just laughed at the request, which was followed by all of them doing the same thing because they were just taking liberties and seeing if they could get away with it!

trafficThe taxi ride from the airport was testament as to how crazy the traffic is here in Cairo. It is as mental as it was in Hanoi, but with cars instead of mopeds.

I am handed my driver’s phone on the way to my hotel so his boss can give me the hard sell about taking tours with him. Getting off the phone then proves easier said than done, and is only successful after I take a contact number suggesting I might ring back.

WP_20131129_046I had a few preconceptions about what I might find upon arriving in Cairo and some of these were correct, however many of my ideas have already been challenged considerably.

Possibly the last thing I was expecting to see upon arrival was people playing croquet at the sports club located below the balcony of my hotel room. It is not the only thing I see however, because from my vantage point I have a fantastic view of the city.

Cairo_CitadelThe video camera on my phone can’t quite pick out the Saladin Citadel up on the hills in the distance on the far side of the Nile in the footage. It was fortified in the twelfth century by the Ayyubid ruler Salah al-Din (Saladin) to protect it from the Crusaders, and in particular his British sparring partner Richard the Lionheart.

I am delighted my eagle eyes can view it clearly from here though, because I didn’t think I would get to see it due to my limited time here.

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