So much for keeping to my schedule. Unsurprisingly, our availability of internet is inconsistent. Also when we do have it, we don't like to spend a ton of time indoors on a computer unless we have to (Jake has work to do) and I don't like stealing his computer to blog (my tablet doesn't do weebly unfortunately). 

Well this blog probably should be about Tunisia and its summary since we are now in Cairo Egypt! However, I may make that the next post because I feel so overwhelmed with how amazing Egypt is in just the few hours we've experienced it, I have to write about it instead!
Sorry for crappy phone pics, our seat window was really scratched up and I've been to wary to bring out my real camera in Egypt turmoil, but I'll feel it out better and may get better pictures later:
I had been pretty stressed out about coming here. I had no idea what to expect and kept hearing different things from everybody. Few tourists having a good time but suspiciously not even mentioning any political problems. And then Morocco and Tunisia locals being VERY concerned for us being there. I was a bit of a mess. But once we landed, all the weight lifted off my shoulders. Things didn't seem tense in the airport. People weren't looking at us weird. Everything felt normal.

Then we ran into some Americans in front of us in line to get our passports stamped and we asked them where to get our visas before entry. After chatting a bit and realizing where we had some commonalities, we felt even more at ease and I was especially looking forward to meeting people and see the area. After baggage claim, we exchanged some phone numbers and got our Egypt SIM card to call locals and our new American friend, Ryan later. We were unable to reach our first couchsurfing host, so we were forced to look for a hostel and decided to turn to our dreadful hit-and-miss Lonely Planet guide. We chose Wake Up! Cairo and proceeded to learn the bus routes. Taxi drivers had been bugging us about every 3 seconds the entire time we were in the airport but I must say, they were much more pleasant to deal with than any Moroccan people. Maybe it's our now-expertise on dealing with haggling people.

With some help from locals here and there, we found the right bus and headed downtown. It was nightfall by the time we were on our way, but the sights of Cairo were not lost on me. 

This place is breathtaking from the first moment you lay eyes on it. Flying over it reminded me a bit of Manhattan and driving through the city on bus was oddly everything I'd imagine Egypt to be. It feels old and new at the same time, like imagining infrastructure and architecture of ancient Egypt but now modern. Difficult to explain, picture what Vegas might interpret Egypt to be as. The buildings are beautiful and reminiscent of European style, yet they are their own type as well. And dirty. Let's not forget we're still in dusty northern Africa. I felt very poetic last night gazing at every streetcorner, fountain, government building, and mass amount of cars that put L.A. and NYC traffic to shame. Today, I've lost my words, but to summarize, I now understand why people have been seeking to come here for hundreds and hundreds of years and why it holds amazement and wonder and curiosity after all this time.
Where I was questioning my every turn in Morocco and even Tunisia, wondering why I wasn't enjoying myself abroad like I felt I should being the self-proclaimed world traveler I am, Egypt in a few minutes on a bus reminded me full force why I this is my biggest passion. Beauty emanates from every pore here (even through the midst of a new revolution and grimy environment) and the history behind every corner is palpable. 
29/8/2012 01:04:12 am

Your trip is getting better with each update, I love it ^_^

Hope Young
29/8/2012 03:39:47 am

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Lauren! Not sure when you will get this, so it's a day early. Yeah, I was a little nervous about you heading into Egypt because of the military unrest. I guess Egypt wants to be a democracy and that is always a battle when it comes to certain groups of people--in this case, the muslims. Lots of these countries have a difficult time making political transitions. If things get too scary, might be a good time to move on to a friendlier country. I can't wait to look at your passport when you get home. I have had mine for seven years, and there are NO stamps in it.......Lots of love to you on your BD! Mom

29/8/2012 05:24:09 pm

Yeah, it seems only Sinai is in upheaval at the moment. We have felt quite safe and unaffected in Cairo and Alexandria. Though our next stop Luxor is supposedly not the safest for tourists around night, but we will be with a local (couchsurfing) while there for two days and I don't expect trouble.

You're going to have to come with me on my next adventure mom!

30/8/2012 06:03:02 pm

Your blogs are reading so well now. Your words are really descriptive. I feel like can see what your describing. I remember as a little kid how much you liked Egypt. We got you books and trinkets, all relating to Egypt. I think it was a teacher you really liked that got you started. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying being there. Can't wait for pics. Love Dad.
PS I got your Passport info that you E mailed me for a JIC

30/8/2012 08:32:26 pm

Haha, yeah dad, I know Egypt inspired me a lot as a kid, but being "grown up" now, it feels so different yet still surreal to be here. Liiike, al I think about are politics, but a few museums we went to kind of reminded me of what I liked about Egyptology as a kid and I felt like I was doing past-Lauren a solid for coming here.

Also, it was the teacher I hated most who was obsessed with Egypt and got me obsessed about it. Mrs. COLE haha. Weird that hating her I still managed to like her passion for this place.

30/8/2012 06:05:52 pm

Oh yeah, Happy Birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birrrrrrthday dear Lauren. Happy Birthday tooooooo youuuuuuuuu


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