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April 26, 2002

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Leaving isnít easy; Eritrea has no open borders or frequent flight service. A 3 AM flight carried us to Cairo. We avoided losing our shirts to the cabdrivers by taking a bus into the city center. On the 5th floor of a decrepit building we found the Magic hotel and dropped off our stuff ($10 per night isnít bad for a downtown Cairo location next to the museum). Armed guards in white uniforms, guns slung around shoulders, stand on each city block Ė enough security men to stage an invasion of Delaware. Cairo takes no chances with terrorism. To fill the day we visited the Giza pyramids. Same scam as last year: man boards bus, asks the time (heís wearing a watch), makes small talk, tells us to get off the bus early and heíll lead us to the pyramids, instead he takes us to his shop. This time we know enough to say no.
Even Cairo's slum areas can be picturesque.
It may be a cliche, but it's hard to resist taking your picture with the pyramids and sphinx.