The first stop in this crazy trip is Cairo, Egypt. To get there, I will fly from Venice to Istanbul then onwards to Cairo. The whole leg was in Turkish Airlines business class.
With my 2 hours layover in Istanbul, I visited the Turkish Airways lounge. It was my first time there and all i could say was wow! I’ve been to many lounges across the globe but this was one different. First of all, it was huge! It had several levels and plenty of activities to kill time.
After a quick 2-hour flight from Istanbul, we landed in Cairo! Here are some pictures of the flight.
Paid for the $15 visa on arrival fee and found the travel kiosks on the ground floor. After some discussion (and haggling of course!) I hired a car and guide for $120 to tour me around the ancient city for a full day. This also included both my airport transfers and since it was pretty late, I told them to bring me to my hotel in Cairo, Hilton Ramses. I booked my short stay at this property for 10,000 Hilton Honor points and it was points well spent. Check-in was a breeze and the room was spotless. I slept for about 4-5 hours, showered, checked-out and went to the breakfast buffet. After a quick bite, I met with my guide Hoda who was waiting for me at the lobby.
Our first stop, the world-famous Egyptian Museum which was right across the hotel. Hoda gave me a lengthy tour of the history of Egypt, the pyramids and the famous Pharaohs. Cameras were not allowed inside but I was able to see preserved mummies, King Tut’s effects and plenty of other Egyptian artifacts.
Afterwards, we headed to Saqqara, the home of the first pyramid.
Next up, we drove to Giza to see the pyramids. On they way there, we stopped at an authentic papyrus shop where I purchased some artworks.
Once we arrived in Giza, I got with this company to take me to the pyramids by camel and horse. This was definitely the best way of getting around the area. Although pricey, this was one experience that I will never forget.
After having some shish-kebabs for dinner they gave me a buggy (4-wheeler) to explore the Sahara desert during the sunset. When I got back, it was almost time for the light show which I watched from the roof top of my guides house.
After the light show, it was time to head back to the airport to catch my next flight. I bid farewell to my awesome guide and driver. Cairo was an amazing city with so much to offer. Can’t wait to go back!
Here are some more pictures..