Day 4 – Madrid to Cairo

Today was a travel day. We walked to our favorite breakfast place but being Saturday, it was closed. Odd… We had a little time to kill before going to the Madrid airport for our flight to Cairo.

Even with a carry-on bag and no counter check-in, you need the full two hours to get to the gate area. It is a 23 minute walk after being on the airport train.

We were on Iberia Express, which makes Volaris look like the Queen Mary of airlines. Hard seats that do not recline, and the only beverages available you had to purchase. But, the flight attendants were helpful for the four hour flight and I had a very nice couple from Portugal as seat companions.

Upon arriving, we were met by a representative of the tour company. He got us the visa we needed while we waited to go through passport control. While waiting in line, four other flights came in, making the area total chaos. Hundreds of people were waiting to present their documents, along with screaming babies, impatient mothers, and people who just crashed the line to get in before us. So, what do you do? Not much…

Once outside the terminal, we were transferred to another guide, who drove us to our hotel in Giza, an hour away. As we were approaching midnight, the highway was full with cars and trucks as if it was rush hour. The highway was also plastered with lighted signs advertising new developments in New Cairo, an area that will eventually house government buildings and beautiful homes. Started almost 20 years ago, you could buy a house for about $200k. Now, those homes are selling for over $1 million US equivalent.

As we were barreling down the highway, we noticed that no one drives in the traffic lanes. It is almost a bumper car mentality, where the cars and trucks come within inches of another before passing to get ahead. The lines are only suggestions! We wondered whether there were many accidents but was told no. Hard to believe.

We made it to the hotel in Giza around midnight, ready to fall into bed. We couldn’t tell at night, but the view of the pyramids is amazing. We’ll check it out in the morning.

By the way, Egypt won their football match against Tunisia. The team from Tunis was staying at our hotel and the loss must not have affected them much because they were all set to party at midnight!

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