“Mustafa, where are you traveling this vacation?”, “Umm, maybe Egypt.”
This segment has been repeated so many times that my friends are sick and tired of it. They were like, give it up man, you are never going there.
Finally, I made it last week. I decided that I am going to Egypt no matter what. ^_^
Everything was last minute, we booked the flight tickets 4 days before the flight, and I got my re-entry visa just one day before.
My dear friend Tamim went with me and it was a great trip.
We left Jeddah on Tuesday early evening to “Burj Al Arab” airport in Alexandria. When we got to the airport, we were kind of shocked to be honest. It’s an international airport but it is as small as any bus station here in Saudi Arabia. We took a taxi from there to Alexandria train station “Sidi Jaber” and then to Cairo. At around 11 pm, our friends were waiting there and we had a nice dinner by the Nile. I stayed with my old high school friends while Tamim stayed with his brother. The next day, in the early morning, we went to visit the Pyramids. I was surprised that they are near the city; actually the area was part of the city itself. From the pictures we have seen, and movies, I had the idea that they are in the middle of the desert. Anyway, we got there and started walking and taking pictures. The weather was very nice, sunny but not hot.
After that, we went to an area called “Al Tahrir”. This area is very similar to those you would find in England.
How can you go to Egypt without trying traditional food? .. right, that’s what I said. We went to this nice place for “Kushari” which is called “Thom and Basal” (that means Garlic and Onion in Arabic). It was one of the best “Kushari” meals I have ever had. The next plan was to go and visit the traditional areas in Cairo. After a short rest for about an hour, we went to the old downtown. You can visit the two most famous places “Al Husain”, and “Al Azhar”. We walked there, visited the two mosques, bought some souvenirs, and of course had tea in the famous coffee shop called “Al Fishawi”.
What a long day ha? The next day, we decided to take the boat to visit a town called “Al Qnater”. The boat took around 2 hours to get there, and then we walked around the village. The area was nice but the people were not very friendly.
When we got back, we had to rest for a while then I went out with friends to sit by the Nile and have some food. The view was mesmerizing and the weather was very nice.
The next 2 days were spent in Alexandria and we stayed in a nice hotel for the first day and in a crappy hotel for the second day. We visited the famous places in Alexandria like the Library (which was really huge and neat), King Faroq’s Palace and “Al Muntazah”. Alexandria is a more organized city than Cairo but both were fun.
Funny side notes:
I was wearing short sleeves during the whole trip, and there were mixed emotions regarding that, some people felt sorry for me, and some felt angry with me haha. The funny thing is I was not cold at all.
Normally when you eat a big meal, you feel like sleeping. When we got back from the Pyramids and had the big meal of Kushari, my energy got all back and I was ready to do anything. Compared to my state before the Kushari, I was a dead man. 🙂
We almost wrote a book of jokes about the second hotel we stayed in. It was one of the funniest nights ever.