Foreigners are not allowed to buy train tickets at the ticket counter for some reason. I don’t know why, it is the only place in the world I can think of that has this rule. An alternative is to just board the train and buy the ticket on board, so that’s what I tried. The downside is you aren’t guaranteed a seat but I didn’t have much choice. The train got pretty crowed and I was kicked out of any seat I found soon after. I found behind the last row of seats was a little bit of room. There was a steel pipe that came out of the floor and ran horizontal and I could sit on that. Later more people squeezed onto my non-seat. I spent the time alternating between standing and squatting down on this pipe, one of the most terrible experiences I’ve had on a train.
After this 10 hours of torture, I exited the Cairo Station and made my way to a hotel. The buildings were about 80 years old, an elevator with no inside door which was a little scary, and the ceilings of the rooms were very tall. But overall, not too bad. I got a private room, free wi-fi, and free breakfast.
I visited the Egyptian Museum (no photos allowed) which was huge and tiring. Another day I made the trip to the Giza Plateau. It actually took two days. The first day I couldn’t find the bus, so I gave up. You had to stand in the correct spot in the middle of a highway and wave the bus down. In addition, you have to read the Arabic numbers on all the buses. I did write them down on a piece of paper so I could figure it out.
At the Giza Plateau I realized I forgot my water bottle. I also didn’t have enough cash to buy water plus take the bus back, so I had to skip water this day in the desert. I walked and walked until I found the entrance and behind the wall I could see the Great Sphinx and behind that I could see the three most famous Pyramids in the world.
I spent a few hours walking around the Sphinx and Pyramids, dodging requests for camel rides. Turning around you can see all of Cairo and behind the pyramids there was sand as far as you can see. After a few hours I had the chance to go inside the Great Pyramid. They only let a few hundred people inside each day, so I thought there would be a long line. But there wasn’t much of a line for tickets. I’ve read about the inside of this pyramid a long time ago and it was good to finally experience it for myself. (photos)