I would never have guess that our first holiday destination during the pandemic would be visiting Egypt. After not travelling for 15 months , I felt weird packing our luggages which has been kept at the farthest back of our storeroom.
Going to airport seems very surreal but we are actually heading to Egypt. On a normal day, Egypt is packed with tourist but these days, the crowd has definitely toned down a lot.
Many would question our decision to travel at this time especially when we are bringing two kids that are not vaccinated (Both Steven and me has been vaccinated). I guess we just wanted something other than staycation over this spring break and as the weather is getting really warm in Dubai, the weather in Egypt is perfect for visiting. After watching a couple of YouTuber’s vlog on travelling to Egypt during the pandemic, it seems that Egypt is beckoning us to go.. and so, we did our Covid PCR test and book our ticket upon getting a negative results.
We flew via Emirates direct flight and Egypt is 3.5 hours away. Keep printed Covid PCR test results in your hand carry as it will be check at check in, when boarding the plane and also upon arrival in Egypt. Custom is cleared in 30. mins which is pretty fast. Upon arrival, there is a counter to check your Covid test results and you have to hand in the health declaration form that you would have filled in on airplane.
Next proceed to one of the bank counter just before the border control to purchase a visa which comes in a form of sticker at USD 25 each (paid in cash). Stick the visa on ourselves and get a stamp at border control. Then proceed to get your luggage. At this area, you can get your money changed into Egyptian pound at a better rate than in Dubai.
Once you are out, there are lots of limousine service (able to book online) or can book an Uber. There are many telco service to purchase a SIM card, if need to.
We go straight to our hotel and there are security dogs sniffing the car and our luggages before we check in. Covid-19 precautions are done in the hotel, with mask on and sanitiser provided.
We got our room upgraded to a Nile River and Cairo Tower facing room. It has two double bed and perfect for our family.
After a quick rest, we walk over to Cairo Tower where we had our lunch. Security check is done before entering the compound, water bottle is not allowed. They will label and keep your bottle for you to pick up after the visit. After lunch at one of their cafe downstairs, we bought ticket(EGP 200) to go to the observatory tower. They had crowd control in place so we waited for a good 30 minutes before it is our turn to go up. Cairo tower is the highest tower in Egypt and the view is good but the observatory area is small and windy. We spend only 30 mins enjoying the view before heading back to our hotel. We manage to catch a glimpse of the Giza Pyramid far far away in the horizon.
There is a revolving restaurant on top of the tower that has a separate lift to go up. If you bought tickets for observatory, you can also choose to have some snacks or coffee at their coffee shop just one level below the observatory. Price are reasonable for tourist attractions but the windows are not very very clean so not insta-worthy!
Had our dinner with a friend at Casa Mia, an Italian restaurant. We were shocked with its huge portion. Apparently, the standard food portion here is American size. So, we learn something- must share dishes when we order the next time!
Ending first day blog with a sunset from Nile River: