Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences (21 Mohamed Mazhar Street)

Enjoyed having a week off from touring a new city. This is my fourth time in Cairo and the newness seems to have worn off and its now like any other big city. Except, it is Cairo, and it is a very big city with many people, cars, and many buildings that go on for miles and miles into the horizon. Cairo isn’t a city for everyone, but if you want to see the pyramids, you have to land at the Cairo airport and drive through the city. An amazing experience and I always feel safe when I visit.

Hussein and I met at the hotel and we arrived within five minutes of each other. He was coming from Luxor and I was flying in from Madrid. Good planning? Think it was more like a good coincidence.

Hussein has been showing me now to relax and reminds me I don’t always need a plan. We specialized, during our stay, in doing as little as possible. For us, it was a high point of the day to order room service. And when (not too early) to order a pot of coffee and the croissants we shared each morning. We went to McDonald’s few times, but otherwise ate meals in our room.

Hussein’s English keeps improving and his accent is very slight, but still has many nouns to learn. (He makes up words or phrases to fill in the gaps.) My Arabic is virtually non-existent. When I listen to it, I can pick out some English words that many languages now incorporate into their everyday language. We have it worked out where I talk to the hotel staff and he talks to everyone else while we travel.

This summarizes our six days in Cairo. Sleep, eat, talk, watch a movie on TV, or go outside and look at the view of the Nile and Cairo. And it all ended today when Hussein returned to Luxor and I’m flying to London for a week before I leave for U.S. on the 15th.

After arriving at the airport, traveling to London didn’t start off very good. I knew it was going to be a close connection to change plans in Athens, but when we were over 30 minutes late taking off from Cairo, I knew that my connection to London would be in doubt. When I was proven right and informed while we were landing, all I wanted to know is how long of a wait will I have. I could have taken an earlier flight, but delays in finding my luggage caused me to miss the check-in time with the other airline. But I got a flight that left almost 4 hours later than my original flight.

The delay allowed me to get a bite to eat and to call my brother. He is looking forward to entertaining me while I’m in Oregon and has a number of adventures planned. I’ll start making a list and timetable to track my visits.

It was a good flight from Athens to London. The flight arrived a little early and I made it through Passport Control within 30 minutes, found my luggage and headed towards the entry to the Heathrow Express train. On my way to the train I asked for directions and the guys who gave me directions asked why I wasn’t taking the underground. It then occurred to me that it was late in the evening (fewer passengers) and the underground ride would be almost as quick and far less expensive.

I got off the underground at a station near to my hotel and hailed a taxi to take me the rest of the way. I was given an upgrade to a larger room on a higher floor and was in my room 90 minutes after I landed. We had a small meal on the plane so I really wasn’t hungry. Nor did I want to unpack. I was in bed not too much later after that.

The only thing I must do tomorrow is send back a signed copy of a document that our attorney sent to me a few days ago. The hotel in Cairo didn’t have a scanner, so I asked if I could send when I arrived in London. Other than that, I’ll make arrangements tomorrow to visit with Prean and Viktor and some of my other London friends.



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