Arrived today, exhausted after the long flight. i’mstaying Downtowm at the CECILIA HOTEL.its definitely down market but it has a nice common room 6 floors up and its thick walls are well insulated from traffic noise. its clean and staff speak ENGLISH and are very helpful.
Mohammed from PINK LOTUS TOURS met me at the airport and put me in a car with one of their drivers Ahmed to drive me here. its about 1/2 an hour away. He fled when he say the place. He is picking me up on Saturday at noon. The first thing I did was asked for water and someone was sent to get it.Then I showered and went to bed at 6.30 pm.
I woke six hours later and wasn’t sure if it was day or night – there was a lot of street life and noise. Determined it was midnight. I had arranged breakfast in the morning, so went back to sleep and woke at 8 am.
My trip here
Ethiad Airways was good from Brisbane at 10.30 pm. It was a long flight but I had 3 seats after a couple with 2 children asked if they could sit together, I was in the middle, so they moved to the back leaving me with room to lie down and sleep. So I slept reasonably well. we flew over Alice Springs, Broome, and south Of Ceylon and India. To Adu Dhabi, in United Arab Emirates. which is on the Arabian Gulf, I think. It was very Hazy, either fro sand or salt in the air or pollution or a combination. It was sunrise but much longer in hours than overnight and was on an estuary or delta with endless sand and water channels.
From here we flew to Muscat which is Further south and on the coast. It is dry desert with water channels, so it must have rained here at some time. Again it was very hazy and the airport had a tower block which may have been a hotel for overnight travellers.
A long wait for the flight to Cairo which was on Oman Air which is what I’d booked on. It apparently partners with Etihad, and not as good, the food was very mediocre. Muscat Airport had a very interesting ethnic shop where I brought some Rose Water. I had coffee and cake while waiting and paid in $US 15, I changed some money into Egyptian pounds. The exchange rate varies a lot according to Mohammed.
He gave me flowers at the airport. I haven’t had anyone give me flowers for years! A sweet gesture. I know he’s looking out for me. He told me to use Egyptian money and negotiate and not to do anything until Ahmed picks me up on Saturday.
the room at the Cecilia Hotel is air conditioned. ‘Faded grandeur’ best describes it. It’s 6 floors up with a lift, and the entrance is very suspect at night, but the people are nice and breakfast was good. I’ve sorted out the SIM card and now have phone access and internet,.