Cairo, Egypt

Hello! I know I’m very late in sharing my photos from the Middle East trip that I took in December, but I didn’t bring my laptop with me on that trip so I wasn’t able to post in real-time like I did while I was in Japan. Then I got home and needed some time to recover from being on the go for two months straight. Now I’m back and ready to start sharing again before I leave for New Zealand at the end of this month!

I recently finished the “Egypt, Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories” 22-day trip with Intrepid Travel. I’ve done all my trips abroad with the same company because I love their mission. The groups are small (max ~12 people) and they always incorporate the local communities into the trips. They are also the world’s largest travel B corporation (businesses that meet the highest standards for social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose).

At the Cleveland airport ready for take off. I flew from Cleveland -> Toronto -> Zurich -> Cairo. It was a long day.
I like arriving in a new city at night because you have no idea what view you are going to wake up to. This view of the Nile River from the Pharoh’s Hotel in Cairo was one of the best surprises! So cool.
Basic hotel on the inside but the view made up for it.
After meeting the group we ventured off for a night in Khan el-Khalili market.
Khan el-Khalili market
Khan el-Khalili market

Pyramids of Giza

This trip to Egypt checked off so many bucket list items for me. One at the top of my list was to visit the only remaining ancient wonder of the world… the pyramids of Giza. It was amazing to see something in real life that I’ve only ever read about in books and seen in movies. There are few moments in life that make you stop and say wow, and this was one of them. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to visit. The pyramids are actually very close to the city which I didn’t realize prior.

Selfie with the pyramid

Group picture

Camel Ride

I rode my second camel during this trip (my first was in the Sahara desert in Morocco). Comparatively, I enjoyed the ride in Morocco better since it felt more authentic. In Cairo, we rode the camels for about 10 minutes to get a photo opportunity with the pyramids in the background. There are tons of other tourists around and it felt kinda staged. In Morocco, we rode the camels for over an hour out into the Sahara desert to our campsite. The scenery during that ride was incredible since it was miles of sand dunes and there were no other people in sight. That being said I’m still happy I did it in Egypt.

Great Sphinx of Giza

Kissing the Sphinx

What I ate in Cairo

Being a vegetarian it was much easier for me to eat in the Middle East than it was in Japan. The cuisine has a lot of beans, vegetables, and fruit. I did get a little tired of having falafel every day, but I was happy to always have a vegetarian option to rely on. The food was tasty and it was so cheap! I put some prices below for reference, but your money really goes so far here unlike other countries in the Middle East.

I ate a lot of lentil soup ($1.60) and Greek salads ($2.40). Both were the best I’ve had anywhere in the world. The feta in the Greek salads was so smooth and creamy.
Falafel with hummus in a pita (0.50 cents)
A deconstructed falafel ($3.20) with hibiscus tea ($2). They make falafels from fava beans in Egypt versus the typical chickpeas.
Koshari: rice, lentils, and pasta, in a tomato-based sauce with pita chips ($1.63)

Egyptian Museum

Visiting the Egyptian Museum is a must in Cairo. It’s the oldest archaeological museum in the Middle East (1902) and it has the largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities in the world. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that some of these artifacts are 3000+ years old! The US is such a young country when you think about it. The new Great Egyptian Museum should be opening this year in Cairo. It was scheduled to open a few years back but keeps getting postponed d/t COVID.

Our tour guide Ahmed gave us detailed explanations of the artifacts. He studied Egyptology at university and was so passionate about sharing his knowledge. He really made the trip fun and memorable.


Mummified cat
Mummified dog. You can still see the fur 3000+ years later!

Up next: Aswan, Egypt

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