Cairo Travel Guide
Obviously, the episode was filmed long before the recent turmoil in Egypt, not that it would have mattered much to the show's producer Ricky Gervais, who purposely tries to make each journey as uncomfortable as possible for his sidekick Pilkington.
iPhone Travel Apps / Free Stuff / Cairo Travel / Taxis / iPhone / Egypt Travel / Emergencies / → All Tags
This may be a long shot, but for those whom it touches, it could be a lifesaver:
The maker of one of our favorite favorite iPhone Travel Apps (Tokyo Teleport), is offering their newest app, Cairo Taxi Guide, for FREE right now in order to aid any foreigners in Egypt who are perhaps not so well-versed in Arabic.
The premise is simple; search a glossary of landmarks, museums, and really everything else in Cairo in order to discover how to say that you'd like to go there, in Arabic. The app provides clear taxi cards to show to your driver, so that you aren't literally just taken for a ride. They've also released similar Taxi Guide apps, priced between $5.99 and $9.99 each, for Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
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It's located right at the Sadat metro station in the center
Conflicting reports from major news outlets today tell us that anywhere from 200,000 to 2 million protesters have converged upon Tahrir Square in Cairo, where the anti-Mubarak chanting and demonstrating has reached a fever pitch on this, the ninth day of protests in Cairo. And, in the news, it's all Tahrir Square, Tahrir Square, Tahrir Square...but what is the significance of this spot, where exactly is it, in relation to the rest of Cairo, and why are the protesters coming here?
The answer is simple: protesters are gathering at Tahrir Square because, in a bustling and crowded city like Cairo, Tahrir is one of the biggest open expanses in the city. Plus, it's located at a major traffic nexus, for subway and other transportation. But most importantly, Tahrir is the historical site of past protests, including that against the War in Iraq. If you want to know even more, Tahrir is very important to the modern Cairo, as within the vicinity of it are many western 4- and 5-star hotels (like the Hilton, Intercontinental, Kempinski and Four Seasons), the Egyptian Museum, the American University, and essentially, the heart of tourism.
If you, like us, are curious about exactly how many people are in Tahrir Square today, check out WIRED's great article that works out approximating it.
Travel Hell / Airports / Cairo Travel / Egypt Travel / Political Travel / CAI / Delta / EgyptAir / → All Tags
Where are you right now? Since it's Monday, you're likely back to work and daydreaming of somewhere else. Well, take a moment today to be thankful for the fact that you are not one of the desperate thousands trapped in the humanity of Cairo International Airport as the place has broken down into chaos. MSNBC noted one particularly crazed moment at the airport: "By midday, an announcement filtered through the crowd instructing groups of Danish, German, Chinese, British and Canadian passengers that their governments had sent planes to evacuate them, prompting a nervous stampede toward the gates."
With many airlines temporarily cutting off their Cairo routes "until further notice" and a large percentage of both airport and airline employees unable to even make it to the airport to carry out their jobs of getting people out, CAI more than qualifies as a complete sh*tshow. Let it also be known that with the internet down, for those travelers still in Egypt rearranging travel plans is no small feat.
The couple was in Egypt to attend the End Human Trafficking Now International Forum on behalf of their own foundation, DNA. The conference was held in the southern city of Luxor last weekend but, as soon as it ended, Demi and Ashton headed north to Cairo for some R & R.
He may be in Dresden today addressing issues of Holocaust denial, before he rounds out this week with a visit to the D-Day beaches of Normandy, Obama made sure to drop by Cairo University to deliver a hotly debated speech. Thankfully he brought his khakis and set aside enough time to day trip out to the Pyramids of Giza and the 600-year-old Sultan Hassan mosque. During a private visit to the Spyhnx, Obama even joked that were he a typical visitor, he'd get on a camel.
Need to check your e-mail before heading to the Pyramids? Let your stomach show the way at Cairo International Airport to free WiFi.
The airport's own Aviation Information Technology Company offers a free signal in the terminals, but the best signal is in the Terminal 2 food court. Just like in Santiago, no purchase is necessary to partake.
Eat up all the free bandwidth you want, but make sure to tell us afterwards.
· Natural Wonders Travel: The Green Returns to Egypt [Jaunted]
· World's Greatest Train Travel: Olde Africa, Bathtubs Optional [Jaunted]
· Airport WiFi Map [Jaunted]
Marriott is running an online contest right now that asks "How many major pyramids are located at Giza?" If you couldn't figure it out from the photo they show right next to the question, the answer is three.
The two previous questions in the game asked why they celebrate Carnival in Rio (to mark the beginning of Lent) and who officially opened the Sydney Opera House (Elizabeth II). Tomorrow's quiz is about Rome, and judging from the difficulty of the questions so far, we're throwing out these potential answers: The Forum, The Colosseum, Romulus, Julius Caesar, Trevi Fountain and Italy.
[Photo of the famous Giza Pizza Hut: noaman]
In a desert land, water calls for a party: Get your tickets now for Cairo's Wafaa Al-Nil Festival, which celebrates the annual flooding of the Nile which irrigates fields and ushers in the season of akhet, or flood.
The ancient Egyptians used to celebrate the flooding by sacrificing young girls to assure a rich harvest. Nowadays, relics may be dumped in the water in Coptic ceremonies, but no person will have to go in if she doesn't want to.
And nowadays the flood coincides with the Cairo International Song Festival, for which composers and arrangers come from all over weekend to display their "wares" and compete for cash prizes.
[Photo: Ahmed Abbas]
Think of this week's pick, "Jumper", is like a "Quantum Leap" for this generation--and for the big screen. Hayden Christensen plays a young man, David Rice, who has a genetic anomaly and can be transported anywhere, anytime and be stuck doing anything. Rachel Bilson is along for the ride.
Rice soon discovers that this gift has been around for centuries, and that he's involved in a war between "jumpers" and those who have sworn to kill him.
This one was shot all over the place because that's what you get with being constantly transported. We've chosen to focus on a cool spot: Cairo, Egypt.
Where To Stay: Mena House Oberoi Once a hunting lodge for Khedive Isma'il, the Egyptian ruler, Mena House is the place to stay in Cairo. If you can splurge on a suite, this is the spot to do it; the larger of the 523 rooms feature period furniture and insane views of the Pyramids themselves. Don't miss the stunning gardens and four on-site restaurants. The only drawback? It's about 45 minutes from downtown so plan to stick around for the evening.
Where To Eat (and Be Seen): La Bodega The hot spot in town, La Bodega ain't your corner deli. It's the hipster hangout with elegant high-ceilinged rooms and homemade specialties from the kitchen including gazpacho and glazed duck. If you can't swing dinner, at least spend some time at the bar.
What to See: Pyramids at Giza About 45 minutes by bus from Cairo, you do not miss the pyramids, one of the seven wonders of the world. Revel in their sheer size and age, but be careful with the locals, hawking everything--aggressively--from cold drinks to souvenirs to tours.
Airport Security / Animals / Smuggling / Snakes / Security / → All Tags
No matter how often we warn people that flying with crocodiles, chameleons or basically any animal is not really the best thing to do, there are always people out there who just won't take our advice.
Over the weekend, a young Saudi guy leaving Cairo was caught with snakes and crocs in his hand luggage, claiming he didn't know that transporting live reptiles was illegal. (Surely he'd wondered why normal people don't do it?) Along with a cobra that nearly slithered away, officers found no less than 250 baby crocodiles. That's a lotta reptile. We repeat again: leave your crocs in the river at home.
· Reptiles Found in Saudi's Luggage [BBC]
· Travelin' With Crocs [Jaunted]
· Croatian Misunderstands Chameleons [Jaunted]
· Man Pulls Off Ultimate Feat: Sneaks Monkey onto Plane [Jaunted]
Dreaming at your desk about quitting for a round-the-world jaunt? Travel writer and comic book artist Marie Javins went around the world in 2001 without a single plane trip, relying instead on unmetered taxis, bike tours and the occasional walking stick. Her website for the trip, Marie's World Tour, contains some of the greatest travel-related dependent clauses ever, like "Ever since I had walked away from the Ethiopian truck accident..." from her November 29 entry. And it's worth noting her route, which included two nights in Almaty, Kazakhstan -- way before Borat was born. Marie's a trendsetter.
After a series of fantastic jaunts including a trip to Antarctica, Marie has settled down for the moment in Cairo (after all that, you can't just move to Podunk!), where her blog No Hurry in North Africa describes running into New Yorkers abroad and trying to plan her next adventure. Until she goes off and does it, you can relive her world tour online; its Africa leg is available in book form.
[Photo: Marie Javins]
· No Hurry in North Africa [Official Site]
· Marie's World Tour [Official Site]