Note: I was in Cairo for an overnight layover back in March. I wrote this shortly after and never posted it. Oops. Better late than never?
It was a long day. After spending half a day in Rome’s airport I was off to Cairo. My overnight layover of 15 hours was just too long to want to spend at the airport, so I sucked it up and stayed in town. I had toured Egypt two years ago on my first backpacking trip. The sites are lovely, and I had a great time, but I despised Cairo. Polluted and dirty, combined with an insane amount of traffic and touts, I was not exactly looking forward to it. Upon arrival, I bought my visa from the bank and exchanged 15 Euros for 102 Egyptian pounds (EP). On my first trip, I took a taxi from the airport into town for 70 Egyptian pounds (or about $10 USD). Half asleep the night before this flight, I Googled public transport from the Cairo airport to the city center and, always up for an adventure, decided to give it a whirl. Why not? The website said that I could take air-conditioned Bus 356 from Terminal 1 and get off at Ramses Station for just 2 EP! I scrawled a quick map in my sketchbook, noting 3 roads, Ramses Station, and my hotel. (more…)