Alexandria\Cairo We were delayed for 5 hours at this port. ARGH! Very frustrating. Booked a tour with Ayman the guide. (NCL was $500 for the 2 day-hotel included pp, ours was $100 per person plus $40 entrance fees and $60 for hotel-$150 pp)He was fantastic. He was happy and did not seem put out at all for having to wait. The driver was happy too. He was very personable before (with emails) and on the trip. He was an open book and we felt comfortable asking any question about him, his personal life, culture, religious views, political views, etc. He was knowledgable and made sure we were happy and satisfied with each stop. We skipped the Mosque because of our delay and it was closing. Went to the Egyptian Museum. We weren't sure we wanted to go there, but so glad we did. Ayman showed us the highlights. We spent most of our time with King Tut's exhibit and then wandered on our own. This was a great place to take pictures outside in front of the museum. People of all walks of life were there. Great memories. We also bought papyrus\banana leaf pictures here for $1 each...gifts for the kids teachers. We then went to the Khan el-Kahlili market. We went into the mosque there and enjoyed our shopping experience. I could have spent hours and hours here, but it was the championship soccer game between Egypt and Ghana and we were strongly advised we needed to get to our hotel before the end of the game. We got what we needed and Ayman was extremely helpful in getting us great prices: camel w\real fur for $6, soccer shirt $5, t-shirt $6, pashmina shawls for $2.25 (I bought 15 for friends at home), head beads for my girls $1. We were happy. Man were we very happy to be home before the end of the game. Egypt won, and there was celebrating like we've never seen before. It was so fun to see. 1000's of fans in the streets waving flags, blowing whistles, lighting aerosol cans with fire, the streets were packed. I guess everyone was very excited and the celebrating continued until 3am. We stayed at the City View hotel which was not your 4 star hotel, but a great experience. The staff took us out and showed us where the atm was, about 3 blocks away. We ate dinner at a fast food place called Felfella chicken shwarma $1.50, lentil soup .60, rice pudding .60, drinks .60. It was great. We walked around with the crowds for a while and then thought it best to get back. Enjoyed the Internet at the hotel to connect with the kids.
Breakfast was included with our hotel price. Simple but tasty...breads, pastries, cheese, cucumber, tomato, eggs, fruit, etc. When Ayman came to the lobby to get us, he mentioned this was a great hotel for the price and location...compared to others he had seen. Visited the Saqqara pyramids, walked down to the tomb chamber. Easy climb, just climb in backwards. Ayman was terrific with his explanations and insight. Off to Giza. Loved taking pictures along the way of locals, donkey carts, kids playing, shops... The pyramids were awesome and the camel ride a must, the sphinx so cool. We felt like we had the place to ourselves. It was so deserted. Loved that! Bought a few more trinkets and then Ayman took us to another place for lunch. We ate falafel sandwiches and visited on our 3 hour trip back. Again, we talked with him non-stop and he was so gracious. Highly recommended.