Waited almost 2 hours... but a free hotel is a free hotel. Stopped by the hotel for a birdbath, then the driver whisked me off on the 40-minute crosstown drive to see the Great Pyramid.
Once there, I was in awe – both at how close to the city the monument was – and at the majesty, scale and ‘how the hell did they do that?’-ness of the site.
A camel tour sounded like a good idea, and it was, until my Berber camel guide tried to double the agreed-upon price at the end.
Lunch was a taste of a local specialty called koshary – a delightfully spicy mix of chickpeas, lentils, macaroni and rice.
After lunch, the rest of the tour was pretty much a bust. I’d wanted to see more of the architectural wonders Cairo had to offer, but realized pretty soon that my tour guide was more interested in steering me toward kitschy souvenir shops where I was forced to listen to a cheesy spiel before being pressured to buy something.
I was too tired to protest, and semi-sulked my way through the brief Nile ‘cruise’ that was included in the tour, before the guide and I both decided that it would be better if I just headed back to the hotel early.
Another birdbath, a beer, a meal and a brief nap and I was off to the airport again.