Surviving the Pyramids and Cairo.

February 09, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 

In my previous post I mention that you can ignore the travel warnings about Egypt. But maybe it’s best to stay out of the big cities when they do protest. Although most places south of Cairo might be safe to travel too, you can give Cairo and the Pyramids a skip when you visit Egypt.

 

You might think it’s an insane recommendation to give the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World a skip, but my experience there was probably my worts travel experience so far. And until the tourist police start doing their job, be prepared to be hassled like nowhere else in the world.

Pyramids of Giza panoramic

On our way to the Pyramids, about a hundred meters from the entrance, still driving in our taxi, touts stood in the middle of the road trying to block our way. When the taxi driver passed them, the touts jumped on the back an started slamming the car until the driver stopped. Now we had to listen to those idiots trying to convince us that we HAVE TO take a horse & cart because the taxi driver is not allowed to enter the Pyramid site. Nonsense! After about 20min we finally got rid of them.

 

Buying the ticket at the main entrance was probably the only place where you will not get hassled, and stupid me thought it would be the last of the serious touts.

Pyramid and Camel

We were hardly through the gate when the touts approached us again. They started with the usual. Asking questions. Anything goes to try and make you feel comfortable. Your name, where are you from, is it your first time here etc. This is where you should say it’s your fourth time and you don’t need anything from anyone. But not me, oh no ... To spare you the long argument, I needed up telling the tout, I will not get on the horse, because “I don’t ride on grass eating sh1t machines”. That seemed to get him off my back.

 

At this point you might think that it was just me being unlucky, but I’ve heard even worse stories from a few other travellers. One guy even had his phone grabbed out of his hand and was picked up, yes, picked up to be put on a camel. The city of Cairo is not as bad, but if a guy offers his help, expect him to have a shop and he wants you to buy from him. That happened to me on several occasions. If you don’t buy anything, then all of a sudden, you are wasting their time.

Boats on The Nile

The Nile in Cairo

 

So if you do decide to go to Egypt, give Cairo and the Pyramids a skip. The touts will make you hate the country and it’s actually a great place to visit if you end up in the right place. Rather go and see the other more impressive site along the Nile. Better yet, go to Dahab and enjoy a relaxing holiday. The "go to Dahab" link will take you to a short video about Dahab.

Dahab Low Tide 02

Sunset view in Dahab


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