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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Farewell to Cairo

We are at the Cairo airport, waiting patiently for our 4:15a.m. flight to Amsterdam and then on to Minneapolis.

We are at the "secret" restaurant row on the third floor departure lounge in terminal 1. All International flights depart from somewhere else except for KLM, as near as we can figure out. Actually there are several other airlines that depart from here too but getting accurate information from anyone at the airport is difficult, to put it mildly. Trying to find the departure area for KLM can lead you and a taxi driver on quite a tour of this giant airport complex. There are at least three departure buildings. There are no signs with airline names on them. Go figure.

We've done it enough times to know that you follow the signs to "arrivals" and then look nearby.

We had a personal escort to the airport this time via good friends Moody and Mona. Even with local help it is difficult to find the right spot since new roads appear and signs are cryptic.

We made it past the first security man who really would like to see "a ticket, please" - not one of those newfangled e-ticket itinerary sheets. (What if we hadn't brought it?) Checked our bags, passed passport control, hit another unsmiling security man (by now we had boarding passes) and headed for the third floor.

The "secret" third floor lounge has a Cinnabon, Starbucks, Beano's, Coffee Bean & Teal Leaf, and a McDonald's. Bring Egyptian pounds - nothing else is acceptable.

We are sitting in the Beano's. For 52 Egyptian Pounds (a bit short of ten bucks) we got two "iced mochas" One small, rapidly disappearing ice cube in each. A little unmixed chocolate on the bottom - you do the stirring. Linda's was delivered by spilling a few drops on her pants and hand. "No problem," said the server - easy for him to say! We really wanted the fresh lemon with mint but they didn't have it this morning. The danish was hard and hot from the microwave.

Next time, we'll try the Cinnabon. We were tempted by the Beano's lunge chairs. They are very comfortable. Fortunately, we also have two sandwiches apiece courtesy of Mona. Two eggplant for Linda and two cheese for Tom. And we have a stock of sugar cookies because Linda baked again this morning.

One other plus for this area - Free Internet Access! Connect to "CAC Wireless Powered by Avit"

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