Posted by: Waheeda Harris | January 6, 2015

First glimpse: Hello from Cairo!

I’m in Egypt – home to one of the oldest civilizations on earth. And I have to admit, I’m still a bit in shock that I’m here!

Egypt - Cairo hotel view

The view above was from when I arrived this morning at the Cairo Marriott Hotel. Its located on an island in the middle of the Nile River, which bisects the city between Cairo and Giza.

It seems a bit unreal to be here – a place that I studied as a child – and finally get to experience as an adult. My first impressions were of a dusty city, with crazy traffic and yet with a unique rhythm. As my driver explained – there are rules, but the drivers keep changing them to suit the situation. If a car accidentally hits another car, the drivers get out, shout for awhile and then agree it happened and move on. As my driver termed it – its just a quick kiss between cars.

My exhaustion after a 10 hour flight meant I was happy to crawl into bed and sleep away part of the day, losing my window to explore the hotel’s neighbourhood as a storm rolled in this afternoon. But as I wandered this massive hotel complex, I spotted the king in the marketplace window:

Egypt - King Tut for sale

And as I sipped my mint tea and sampled some cold mezzeh, I heard the adhan, the call to prayer come over the city at sun set. And that’s when it hit me – I am in Cairo. How lucky am I!

Egypt - Cairo night lights

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