In Cairo at Last
- Malachy Harty.
Well, it's all happening. We've finally left Cork and
we're in Egypt now. We flew from Cork early on Wednesday 13th April. It
was lovely to see Cork Harbour, Midleton and Ballycotton Island as we rose into the blue sky. We had abandoned the first leg of our overland route which should have brought us through France and Italy to Tunisia and Libya. The Libyan visa process required enormous expense which we couldn't justify and we would have ended up speeding through the country and spending our nights in upmarket hotels. We were both disappointed to miss this part of the journey.
A long stop-over in Prague gave us time to wander
those extraordinarily pretty streets, as if taken from
the pages of some magical history book, and also to
meet a Czech friend, Milan, for a coffee.
We touched down into Cairo shortly after midnight. A
warm night breeze and palm trees in front of the
terminal building were first reminders of our
destination, if we needed reminding. We shared a taxi
into the centre of town with fellow backpackers, Lucy
and J.P. passing one ugly traffic collision and all
the time wondering whether our bags would jump out
through the open boot of our ancient taxi. As an Irish expat later said, "Welcome to the capital of the Third World".