After 4 days in Hurghada we were ready to head back to Cairo to see the museum and to finish our 30 day stay in Egypt. We arranged for a car through Emo Travel and unlike our first great experience with them had a horrible one this time around. Our pick up was supposed to be at 12:00 pm – when the car didn’t show up by 12:15 pm we called and got a few different excuses as the time passed. Our driver didn’t arrive for another 1.5 hours.
The driver proceeded to use his phone for either calls, texting or surfing the net (and at times combinations of the above) . When his speed started reaching 160 km/hour and we nearly skipped off the road, Rob asked him to stop using his phone. After explaining that he was using his phone to check traffic (on the only road back to the capital), he obliged if only for a short period of time. The craziness ensued including a drive through a pedestrian only bazaar in the city where a fight broke out over our car’s presence there.
The next day we spent at the Cairo museum – an impressive assembly of haphazardly placed collections of antiquities including the Royal Mummies. One can marvel at these treasures for many hours – just be prepared for few signs and very little guidance. A guidebook or a guide would be very helpful.
A new much more organized museum called the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is promised to open in 2023 – we look forward to seeing that one! The GEM Museum will soon be opening its doors at the foot of the Giza pyramids near the capital. Inside, visitors will be able to get a close-up look at more than 100,000 pieces, including every last piece of Tutankhamun’s treasure.
In my opinion this will be the perfect combination: one can stay near the pyramids in Gyza and would not need to go to the filthy congested capital for the museum. Everything will be in one neat area.
On our way back from the museum we got lost – quite lost. Our offline maps had stopped working that day. We zigzagged through dark alleys and bazaars, dodging cars, motorbikes, buses and bikes. The air was thick with pollution and noise from incessant horn blowing.
Egyptians horn to say hello, goodbye, you are in my way, beware I am coming through, watch out I am about to hit you.
Many things still haunt me: The cacophony of loud horns. The sight of people sleeping on the streets (because they don’t have anyone to help them).
The desperation in dogs eyes as they look for their next morsel of food from a garbage pile. The abused horses and donkeys.
And I am eternally grateful for the kindness of many Egyptians who helped us along the way.
Wrap Up - Cairo Museum and Final Thoughts on Egypt
Egypt has so much to offer! The antiquities, pyramids and stunning art is endless! Much of it is housed in the haphazard and disorganized Cairo Museum.
2023 promises to bring the new Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) which will be located close to the pyramids. I think that will help tourists a lot! Because schlepping through downtown Cairo is not something I wish on anyone! It is a congested, filthy city with which I have a love hate relationship.
My favorite place in this country will always be the magical and splendid Abu Simbel. Have you been? If you plan a trip here, then Abu Simbel and the south of this country are an absolute must!