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Internal flights in Egypt

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by tuapekastar, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    Plan to fly Cairo - Luxor, then Aswan - Cairo (with a Nile cruise in between :) ). Egyptair seems to be the logical choice of airline, but mainly because it's the only one I know of. And they certainly have flights on those routes.

    Anyone flown with them before, or know of any better alternatives? I know there is a train that runs somewhere around there but time and convenience would probably dictate using air.

    Cheers.
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  2. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    MS is the only carrier showing on the res systems for CAI-LXR, so probably not a lot of choice.
     


  3. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    Thanks NM. At least it saves me having to make a decision!
     
  4. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    I have flown MS on a trip supposed to do LHR-CAI-SIN-SYD which turned into a LHR-CAI-DXB in 1st class

    My experience was that
    The seats were uncomfortable
    The service was dire
    The food was dire
    The non alcoholic drinks were drinkable

    The Egyptair terminal at Cairo is awful , the 1st class lounge being a bit of a respite from it

    It is probably better than taking a train given the shorter journey time

    Dave
     
  5. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    I did the same except before I caught the train Cairo - Luxor, then cruise Luxor - Aswan, then MS for Aswan - Cairo.

    I can recommend the train if you have the time as an unusual Egyption experience (just finding the right platform will be an exercise in itself). Agree with Dave Noble that MS is forgettable, but your's is such a short flight (comparable BNE-SYD) that it's nothing to worry about.

    Just prepare yourself for the onslaught of baksheesh (tip) seekers. Here is a recent article with some info :D

    48 hours in Cairo
    By David Bradbury
    from: http://escape.news.com.au/story/0,9142,17541111-5001643,00.html

    CAIRO, the sprawling city on the Nile, is home to awe-inspiring pyramids, crowded souks, fantastic cuisine and the engaging Egyptians.

    To market ... a street vendor pulls his cart along the street in Cairo.

    1. Touch down
    Cairo International Airport is 25km north-east of the city. The 356 Airport Bus leaves every 20 minutes from 6am to 11pm and costs about 50 cents. A taxi direct to your hotel will cost about $7. Make sure you get the driver to verbally agree to the price beforehand as a quick nod of the head is just the start of bargaining at the other end.

    The ride into Cairo will be your first introduction to the city's frenetic traffic.

    The 1970s-era cars, buses, other rusted Peugeot taxis and donkey carts all seem to move as one gridlocked mass. Keep yourself amused by watching drivers nudge their way into tiny kerbside parking spaces by shunting the line of parked cars along. Come prepared with large amounts of $US1 bills and plastic pens to trade with merchants and guides. Also buy a cotton scarf from the many street traders, it guards against cold desert winds and can also be wrapped around the face when a sandstorm suddenly blows in.

    2. Where to stay
    Accommodation ranges from the Nile Hilton, where a room with a view of the Nile will set you back $149, to the HI Manial Youth Hostel with a bed in a dormitory and 11pm curfew for $1.90. Hotels put on a huge breakfast buffet including French pastries, fresh fruit, fresh salad, boiled eggs, spicy meat patties, vegetable-filled pancakes, grilled tomatoes and potato patties and even cornflakes and milk. Eat a hearty breakfast as lunch and dinner at Egyptian restaurants tends to be sparse.

    3. Pyramid gazing
    Early morning is the best time to view the pyramids before hordes of Americans descend on the plateau. Visitors have to buy two tickets, one to enter the plateau for $4.70 and another to enter the pyramid for $9.40 , plus $2.35 for a camera permit. The pyramids are as mighty as every Hollywood movie ever depicted them. Stand back and imagine them as they were 4000 years ago with a polished limestone cover and burnished copper top shining in the dawn. Expect a long queue for entry into the pyramid of Khafre. The entrance is a narrow mine-like shaft that goes down at an angle, flat then up again into the burial chamber where all that remains is a massive black sarcophagus. Entrance to the great pyramid of Khufu is limited to only a few hundred people a day so a 5am head start to the queue is required. The Sphinx, as enigmatic as when it was first carved from bedrock but somewhat the worse for wear from Cairo's air pollution, sits at the bottom of the great pyramid.

    4. A bit of history
    In the remains of the ancient city of Memphis a museum holds the colossal fallen limestone statue of Rameses II. The face conveys the power and humanity of the mighty pharaoh. Nearby is Saqqara, the city's burial grounds with the Step Pyramid, the world's oldest pyramid.

    5. Zoo visit
    Cairo Zoo costs about 5 cents for entry and its park-like grounds are a welcome respite from Cairo's crowds. It is popular with young Egyptians who spend their time flirting with each other. A tip to the zoo keepers will enable you to get your photo taken with the animals, even a lion cub.

    6. Southern suburbs
    Coptic Cairo is an ancient Christian walled suburb in the southern suburbs. Its narrow, quiet, shaded streets are home to the Coptic Museum, Convent of St George and Ben Ezra Synagogue.

    7. Prayer time
    The Mosque of Al-Hakim in the Islamic north is a massive building of vast white marble floors and imposing columns. For a fee, a guide will take you up the crumbling 1000-year-old minaret. It's a little like climbing a crumbling stairwell in the House of Usher. Give yourself time before evening prayers when the attendants chase you out.

    8. Step back in time
    The Khan el Khalili, or old souk (market), is like being transported back to the 14th century with horse carts edging their way through narrow alleys and metal workers bent over fiery furnaces. Everything in the world is supposedly bought and sold in these sidestreets. Arrange transport at the other side as taxis are few, buses full and nerves quickly frayed.

    9. Tutankhamun
    The Egyptian Museum costs $4.70 and is open from 9am to 4.45pm daily. The highlight is the treasures of Tutankhamun. The sheer amount of the gold and jewellery is overwhelming as is the intricate workmanship that is not visible in photos.

    10. Snack time
    For evening entertainment, many hotels have a traditional Egyptian singer and backing musicians. Sit back and enjoy the music seated on a low divan while snacking on cucumbers, olives, dips and leavened bread with a beer or whisky. A water pipe is an optional extra.

    11. How to get there
    Malaysia Airlines offers a return airfare to Cairo from Adelaide for $1690 plus $400 taxes. See your local travel agent for details. A visa is required.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     


  6. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    Thanks for the tips guys. I did not have huge expectations of MS, but geez, sounds terrible even in International F. Glad mine are short flights.

    Will investigate train, but I don't think it's going to be possible due to time constraints.

    And thanks for the article, some useful and interesting info there. Friends who have been there mentioned the tip seekers...they almost had to fight a couple of people for the right to carry their own bags out of the airport!!

    Cheers
     
  7. Sheriff

    Sheriff Member

    May 22, 2005
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    Chris,
    The best advise I can give you when in Egypt is, if you can't boil it, peel it or cook it, don't eat it !
     
  8. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    :lol: :lol: :lol: Also don't drink anything you haven't opened yourself. I forgot to mention before that unfortunately you can't go swimming in the Nile, or even put your hand in. The water contains bacteria (small mites) that can penetrate your skin and make you real sick :cry: .
     
  9. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    Thanks for the further advice people. I had heard about the nasty Nile thingies. And sage advice about the food/water...do not want Tutankhamen's Curse! A friend (and this is probably too much info) was too scared to even break wind on an Egypt holiday when suffering a gastric upset, for fear of, well, more than wind, if you know what I mean.
     
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