On Sunday took the train down from Alexandria. Only had to “tip” two police officers today. I have learnt that the worst question in the world you can hear in is “Hello Sir, what country are you from?”.

In New Zealand, you ask somewhere where they are from as a genuine conversation starter. Here it is a prelude to a mugging. You see they have craftily picked a question that is hard to avoid without being rude. You are obviously from somewhere and your instinct is to say where from.

The moment you do, it is all over. Like a limpet the person attaches to you talking about how good New Zealand (land of milk) is and how much they like New Zealanders and just for you they will tell you something about the local facility. Never mind you didn’t want to know, or already did know. You are then obliged to hand over some money for this favour.

My suggestion is to carry lots of small currency. cai1

Anyway once I got to Cairo, checked in at the hotel, and discovered the swimming pool is one of those ones with a bar in the middle of it. Nice.

I’m not sure I have mentioned this before, but to respect local customs I have not worn shorts outside at all. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Now I have avoided the very hottest months but it has still got up to around 30 degrees, and even in shorts that is hot – especially for me who still has an internal thermostat attuned to Dunedin climate. So swimming pools are a welcome relief.

cai2 This is the view from my room.  What a great location to be staying. Met up with a friend, and we enjoyed the view from the balcony for hours.


Decided to go to the famous National Museum of Egypt. Even better learnt it was only a couple of kms away, so could walk there, avoiding a taxi driver negotiation.

The bridge over the Nile has these lion statues at each end.


The Cairo International Film Festival is very highly regarded, and a source of pride to many in Egypt.


The Cairo Tower. It is 187 metres tall and has a restaurant at the top. It is mainly used for TV signals


This is the famous Egyptian Museum. The sheer amount of artifacts is staggering, and you could easily spend days here. The treasures from King Tut’s tomb are amazing, as are his two gold coffins. The wooden outer coffin and the mummy itself remain in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Everyone says this is a must see, and they are right. Both the quantity and quality of material is vast.

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