"Just home from Egypt with Ted! Absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend the trip. Would do it again with Ted, in a heartbeat." Eve, Oct 2023​

Booking for the GnT Egypt Experience November 2024 tour is open – limited places

Includes a day at the Grand Egyptian Museum

Tahrir Square 2012

Tahrir Square 2012

My first visit to Egypt was in 2012 with a package tour. I had been working on a book about a possible link between Moses and the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten and realised I needed to visit Egypt. I had planned to join a big tour but it proved to be too expensive. I found a more realistic package tour and began crowd-funding. Many people graciously helped and supported this effort and I eventually found myself on a plane to Cairo. I was to spend one week with the package tour followed by a few days on my own. As you read through my emails to my generous sponsors, please understand this was my first time in Egypt and before it had cast its spell on me.  

To all my fellow travellers and explorers on this wondrous adventure, for I feel that you are all part of this journey, thank you.
Arrived in Cairo at just after 6 in the morning on a cool winter’s day. Was met by a rep from the hostel I am staying in. It being a Friday in a Muslim country, the roads were comparitively empty, however it was still a nerve-wracking experience, as there seems to be no attention paid to lanes, traffic lights, road markings or signs – he who hoots loudest wins. My driver said in his broken English; “You have to drive friendly in Cairo – or you will die”.

The hostel is indeed a hostel and I am only staying one night then moving to another hotel nearer the Giza plateau before heading south to Aswan.

The area I am in at the moment (GardenCity) is home to most of the big embassies and is full of old buildings and narrow tree-lined streets and it is easy to get lost. Its only a few minutes walk to the Nile (west) and not far from Tahrir Square (north) which is were the demonstrations and protests are happening – I was warned not to go there on a Friday. The whole square is filled with the tents of the demonstrators, but everything looked peacefull. Most of the roads leading to Midan Tahrir are barricaded with barbed wire or, in some cases, huge concrete blocks. I headed back to the Nile in search of coffee and ended up at the old Grand Hyatt which looks across the river. Because Fridays are holidays, nothing is open, and coffee was an expensive affair.

My first impressions, and I haven’t seen much, is that Cairo is rather like an old lady, who once was beautiful, but has allowed herself to slide into neglect and decay – it’s all a bit sad. This place has a madness all of its own.
’til next time.

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