This morning I said good by to Alana. It is hard to see my new friends leaving but will spend the afternoon with Lucinda hanging out before I join my new group.
I check out of the hotel and we jump into a taxi to go to the hotel Pharaohs. The guy from reception at our last hotel has told the taxi driver the address, but some how I don't think this has helped as we are driving round in circles, he is LOST. In the end he asks someone in the area and eventually we arrive. I check in and drop my bag off in the room. The rooms are like the Ritz compared to what we are used to up to now. Air conditioning that works, a fridge and a bathroom that is the size of the room I stayed in at Mt Sinai.
Lucy and I head out into the city hoping to head to the markets at Khan al Khalili. We head to the Sherrington hotel for for a coffee and something to eat before our big adventure. We finish our coffee and grab a taxi to the market and the driver drops us off at the mosque over the road from the market. We decided to have a walk around the mosque and as we enter hand our shoes in at the door. After a few minutes of walking we are approached and asked if we would like to go up into one of the towers. We accept the offer and are asked for 40 Egyptian pounds which is about £5. We are taken back to the entrance to get our shoes and then led to a padlocked door a man arrives with the key and we are led up the spiral stone stairs and the door is closed and locked behind us. We walk out into the sunshine on one of the lower levels we have a fantastic view over the mosque. We take a few photos and start climbing the stairs again stopping at each level the sight of the vast city of Cairo gets more and more breath taking until eventually we reach the summit and we can see right across the whole of Cairo. We head back down and are are shown around some more and then our guild tells us that is the end and asks for some baksheesh, I hand over a tenner and he says it's not enough so I give him £20 and he asks for £50, I say no and that is all I can afford and we leave. We wander round the market. They sell everything from tourist souvenirs, spices, cloths, fruit and even fireworks. We go into a jewellery store and Lucy looks at the rings. The guy who owns the store is called Mohammad (is everyone here called Mohammad!!!!!) he chats to us about the revaluation and how he wants his country to become better to encourage the tourists to come back and feel always safe and welcome. we wander some more and then jump in a taxi and head back to the area of my hotel. We decide to find a place to get a drink and end up in a restaurant called the Sea Gull. We sat out in the open air on the edge of the Nile and watch the world go by whilst chatting and drinking a few ice cold beers. We finish our beers and head back to my new hotel for the welcome meeting. I have invited Lucy to stay with me for the evening as this is her last night in Cairo before she heads off to Greece. We meet 2 of my new travel companions, who are a husband and wife from New Zealand but have been living in the UK for the past 2 years. Our new tour leader is called Tam ( not Mohammad what s going on!!!). We have our meeting and head out for dinner to a local restaurant and after head back to the hotel. We ask Scott and Rachel if the would like to join us for a tea and a shish but the decide to go to bed. Lucy and I head off again and find a bar to have mint tea and shish. I walk Lucy up to the main road and say my goodbyes as she heads off to our old hotel for her last night before leaving tomorrow. I get back to the hotel and reflect on the trip so far, it's a real shame the girls aren't coming with me and I will miss there company. We have had so many laughs together and shared so truly amazing sights.