Cairo - Paris of the middle East

 After a very relaxing stay in Dahab my path led me to Farouan Hammam. At this place even the ancient pharaohs enjoyed the hot water flowing from caves. Since I arrived at nightfall there, sauna had to wait until morning. 3 Britains on trip to Africa with her Land Cruiser, a handful of Bedouins and soldiers and I were the only people on the ground. No hotels. No "normal" tourists. We camped wild, enjoying a starlit night at the campfire.

The sauna in the morning was then a really hot pleasure. And to cool down only a few steps to jump into the sea. Saunas takes time, so I left the place at noon. The choice of the road to Cairo here is not particularly difficult, since there is only one main road going through a tunnel under the Suez Canal. After I drove on a more or less well-developed "Highway" to Cairo. As early as 40 kilometers from the city you can see the smog that hangs over the city.

Getting closer to Cairo means to get in contact with the feared traffic chaos of Cairo. But I think that the reputation is worse than the reality. Yes, it is very full. But it works. Everyone pays attention to what happens in front of him. Rear-view mirrors do not need. The horn is the main instrument on the vehicle. Just to inform the others that you are there. Paying attantion to this, makes driving in Cairo even fun. Motorcycling in Cairo? A suicide mission? No! A bit like rush hour in the Ruhr area, but without the annoying trafficrules. Sometimes there are marks on the roadway. But it is best if they are not respected. Traffic lights, you have now and again. But I have not figured out yet for what they are used. In any case, not to the market rules. Only to the instructions of traffic policemen you should pay attention. Mostly ;-)

The first days I only walked through the streets surrounding my hostel and have taken care of the formalities for the Sudan visa. Without a letter of recomondation from the German Embassy there is no way to get it. And this embassay is really "GERMAN". First you only get a waiting number. Then the security check. Inside, everything is clean, neat and tidy. After only 20 minutes I recieved the document.

The Sudanese embassy is there already otherwise. A small door, accessible by a muddy side street is the entrance to a dirty low-ceilinged room with 3 switches and a copier - the course will be paid separately. The VISA costs $ 100U. At my request if this was not a bit much the employee had told me:

It is not necessary to go to Sudan. If you don not want to pay, you can go!

Nice, or?! After paying then the announcement:

Come back tomorrow at 10!

The receipt for the $ 100U is filed together with all my documents. Next morning by 10 I got my visa. I have never seen again my receipt. No idea how much I have paid a bribe!

I could save money for the Admission to the tourist attractions. My Kolping membership card is always recognized as a teacher pass of Catholic organization. 50% discount!
Meanwhile, I visited the Pyramids of Giza and Saqquara. Really very impressive. Intrusive Touts are best ignored and the question of where you are from always helps to answer "Latvia". They have no idea of it, so they stop talking to you. Basically you should not be alarmed by anything. To cross a road you really should only comfortably walk off into the right time. Just do not be hectic!

Impressive is the diversity of Cairo. 20 million people. Skyscrapers and slums. The Great Pyramids, and even greater Shoppingmals. Cairo Jazz Club. "Old Cairo" with tiny streets and even smaller restaurants. Foul, hummus, Tehina, Felfella. Even enough to eat on the street for 0.90 euros, or a coffee from Starbucks for 3 euros. Everything is possible! 24 hours a day.

Thus, I will spend a few days to explore Cairo and renew my visa for this impressive country. Today I will visit the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at the German school. A piece of home in Africa!

As always, of course, again uploaded many pictures and updates the route.