Saturday, November 3, 2012

The First Day: Our Journey Begins

We sent the children off to school early on Monday, October 22nd. While they enjoyed class parties celebrating Halloween, my husband and I packed and prepared for our trip. My husband picked up the kids at lunchtime and then the compound limo took us to the airport.

At the airport, we met our fellow travelers, the C family. The kids were so excited to travel with friends. Our flight to Cairo was a short 2 1/2 hours. I'm not used to such short flights, so this was a pleasure. We traveled with Saudi airlines and they surprised us by serving a full meal. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Saudis like to eat.

When we arrived in Cairo, we saw a group of Hajjis boarding their flight to go to Mecca for their sacred pilgrimage.

We were met by some representatives from our hotel who got our visas processed, helped us collect our luggage, and then got us out to our mini-bus. I'm glad that we had someone to help us because the crowd was crazy, with lots of noise, people crowding in on us, and people that were trying to "help" us by pulling our suitcases, which we refused. I don't think they would have stolen the suitcases, but were expecting us to tip them for their "generous" service.

Once in the mini-bus, we relaxed as we drove to the hotel. We stayed at a resort close to the airport, so it didn't take us long to arrive. Near our hotel, we had to go through a roundabout that astonished me. People were walking around on the street while cars zipped around the people. There was even a butcher stand set up so you could pick out your favorite cut of meat for dinner. It was chaotic and energetic.

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