Friday, 13 April 2012

#1. Cairo and the Pyramids

A couple of weeks ago I left on a school visit that was a bit further away than usual. I had been invited to the MES (Modern English School) in Cairo. 

I'd never been to Egypt before which made it even more exciting.  When I arrived in Cairo airport it was midnight local time but  the school had organised someone to meet me and take me to my hotel. 

The very courteous gentleman who met me at the airport called me 'Miss Linda' and apologised several times because I had to wait in a bit of a queue.  He escorted me through the formalities and then drove me to my hotel.  In fact everyone I met in Cairo was so polite -  I think I could get used to being called Miss Linda!

I had a day to get acclimatised and the school had organised that the school bus would take me to the Pyramids.  It wasn't too hot thankfully.  I was on horseback, although I'd not been on a horse for a good number of years, and escorted by a very knowledgeable young chap (not the little boy holding the horse in the photo!) .

The horse was pretty tame and not prone to taking off on its own, for which I was extremely grateful! 

I did worry at one point if it was a good idea to go horseback riding at the beginning of what would be a busy working week but I had surprisingly few aches and pains!

 We passed some camels but I was happier to be on a horse!

It felt quite strange to be there standing beside the pyramids and the sphinx. 

It was  an amazing sight but there was a bit of a feeling of Deja Vu because of all the pictures I had seen of them in the past.

 On the way back my driver asked if I wanted to stop and take pictures as we crossed the Nile.

 It was a little difficult to understand him as his English was a bit limited, but he was happy to stop whenever I wanted to.

I didn't have a lot of free time while I was in Cairo as I had a very busy schedule at the school but it was great to have had the chance to see a little of it.

The following morning the school bus arrived very early to take me to the school.  It was my first real experience of Cairo traffic and I discovered it was an exciting business.

Most drivers seemed determined to drive across the car in front of them, to come within a hair's breadth of the cars to either side and to drive with one hand on the horn. It was quite amazing that they always seemed to avoid crashing into other cars at the very last minute. 

I love to people-watch wherever I am and the drive to and from the school each day provided lots of opportunity.  Despite the need to be constantly watching the traffic on all sides I saw one chap with what looked like a wall clock on his lap and a cloth in one hand. It appeared that he was trying to clean or polish the face of the clock as he drove along! 

There was a stall in the middle of one road with what looked like huge bunches of garlic cloves complete with long green stems, piled high on a cart and a young boy trying to sell them, another road had two chaps trying to sell leather cowboy hats to drivers whenever the traffic came to a halt.

There were many fascinating sounds and sights to see and hear but it was now time to meet the children and teachers at MES


  1. Cairo traffic actually sounds positively terrifying!

  2. It was amazing that despite how chaotic it looked I rarely felt unsafe! Perhaps the drivers are much more aware of other drivers than we are here, they have to be!

  3. Sounds as if this was one of those times of blessing when your writing life suddenly takes you to a remarkable place you might never have seen otherwise - let alone horse-riding again.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful experience, Miss Linda!

  5. Yes, it certainly was, Miss Sue!