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Old Mar 21, 17, 3:30 am   #16
  
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Awesome TR. All the CX and HK pics make me want to go back to visit HK.
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Old Mar 21, 17, 1:37 pm   #17
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Hello from Galleries First at Terminal 5 waiting for my reposition to DUB for DUB-LHR-SFO tomorrow, after finishing my first RTW segment CAI-LHR. Today I am really starting to feel completely burnt out - Cairo traffic made me very, very close to missing my flight in a situation with a driver that spoke absolutely no English; the (very turbulent) A321 experience from Cairo to London was a giant letdown compared to the QR/CX luxuries I've been having; it took 2+ hours for CX London to reissue my RTW, making me cancel my dinner plans with friends in London and now I have to freak out about the electronics ban impacting my Sunday DOH-LAX. I might need some rest but the way this trip is scheduled...

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Originally Posted by ironmanjt View Post
Blown away by QR over Cathay? That has to be a first!
Perhaps it helped that I told the CC/CSD that it was my first trip with QR, and they were very ecstatic about trying to impress a CX FF.

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Originally Posted by roadwarrier View Post
This looks epic!
Looking forward to the rest of your TR!!
Thanks roadwarrier for your encouragement.

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Originally Posted by caimaster View Post


Good taste in TVB drama! Part 1 was much better than part 2.
Haha thanks caimaster. I ended up binging up til ep45 after my DXB flight. Shows how I fly with CX too much......it's a giant pity they are taking it away next month so I won't finish the remaining

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Originally Posted by Charlie26r View Post
Fantastic TR G-CIVC, I'm really enjoying reading this adventure. Oh and there are plenty of my fave places to spend time mentioned too...the lounges!
Thanks Charlie26r for your kind words.

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Originally Posted by avneeshj View Post
Awesome TR. All the CX and HK pics make me want to go back to visit HK.
Thanks avneeshj. Indeed even as a local from HK I just love HKG and its lounges, and CX!!!! Any time any where.
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Old Mar 22, 17, 3:39 am   #18
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Flight 4: CX 745 HKG-DXB Business Class

Oh dear, there is so much CX. But this is the last CX segment of this whirlwind trip. I didn't enjoy it as much and of course it was of shorter length so there's less to write about.

Apart from SFO-LHR in BA Y, this sector actually had been keeping me quite worried over some time because I heard about frequent theft activities on routes between the ME and HKG. So I may have looked very cool all the time...

I was worried that 'thieves' may have made their way to the J cabin. There were around ~10 op ups tonight as I was stalking EF along.


This was the 3rd last CX departure for the night, the lounges were closing down and HKIA felt eerily quiet as I walked to the gate. It seems that most of the flight was occupied by Chinese migrant workers/people visiting them, but there were some Arabs and businessmen as well (excuse my ignorance)


Boarding was called 30 minutes before departure. Because of my nervousness - perhaps combined with the uncertainty heading to the 'unfamiliar' places from ones that I do all the time (JNB, HKG), and the tremendous difficulty of placing my carry on into the A330 overhead bin, I was sweating all over and just took water as PDB. The HK flight purser was speaking to me in English all the time which made me somewhat uncomfortable...and pax were speaking to her in Cantonese!



I picked the front-most seat 11A over the mini-cabin in the back again as I was afraid of potential theft. It also features a larger footwell as on other fleet types. We rolled off from a very dead HKG less than 15 minutes after scheduled departure time, and soon after that fast track arrival cards were distributed, in addition to kits that were given on ground.



This flight was surprisingly done the most to-the-book in terms of greetings; the filipino SP and ISM Marilex both gave dedicated personalized greetings thanking me for my loyalty. Unfortunately the service interaction was minimal as you can see I can't even recall the name of the SP. Oh well.

I continued to binge-watch At the Threshold of an Era when the supper service commenced. It seems that although the departure was of an ungodly late time, almost everyone partook in it, maybe because they kept most lights on.



The supper offering was actually a bit different from the European/JNB standard offering - pita replaced grissini, and there was a third Arabic hot entree instead of a light meal option. Being somewhat nervous and uneasy I decided to play safe and chose the Chinese option of steamed halibut which was a bit on the bland side. I paired with a glass of Billecart, a bubbly that I really like.



Perhaps my looks really expressed my feelings so the SP came around and asked if I was okay or wanted anything else like cheese. I said I was fine. I think I did take a praline or two but the meal service soon wrapped up and given the tiredness of my 18-hour layover, I guess I dozed off soon.

Although I was somewhat sad I couldn't switch to the QR HKG-DOH nonstop, I thought to myself at least on CX I could get a solid night's sleep. Unfortunately that wasn't the case as ~2 hours to arrival the lights were turned on again and I was awoken by a lot of banging and clanging of cutlery when we were served 'continental breakfast':




I found that rather pathetic compared to HKG-Australia flights which have a shorter block time but you still get 2 hot meals. If this was 'light' then it would have made more sense to do it discreetly like how it was done on JNB-HKG without having to disturb the pax. Later, I expressed my dissatisfaction with the ISM who profusely apologized by at the same time was defensive by saying that this was the 'preferred option' by most pax. Not for me I guess

Once breakfast was done it was hard to get back to sleep again so what I could do was to enjoy the sunrise over my first glimpses of the Arabic lands:


We had a bit of ATC hold but landed and arrived at the gate ~10 minutes ahead of schedule. Despite the haze, both the skyline of Dubai and the A380 array at DXB were stunning sights for a first-timer. We taxied to the renovated(?) Concourse D where I was the first off the plane after the ISM apologized again as we were waiting for the jetbridge to be connected. Next up, much better times with my first QR experience....

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I wasn't able to say that the crew were giving their very best on this flight. I mean, they were doing their required jobs and duties but maybe that was it. The greetings, while substantial and appreciated, did not help much for my enjoyment of service after all. Which once again reaffirms that these greetings are not the most important but rather how the service is actually delivered.
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Old Mar 25, 17, 7:44 pm   #19
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These 12 days actually flew by in a flash - must say I did enjoy hopping from one plane to another continuously, but the past few days got my tangled in a lot of unnecessary stress.

I was 2 minutes from missing my CAI-LHR flight due to traffic snafus (which would mean the entire DONE possibly going down the drain)...

A similar thing happened when I decided to venture to central London, only to find out that there was no tube to LHR T4 for the next 30 minutes. I bailed and took an uber enroute, making it to the counter when the flight was already boarding. My agnails were cut from all these flying and blood was literally oozing out as I was panicking in front of the agent.

A weather storm at DOH meant my 1h 15m LHR-DOH to DOH-CDG ended up being 10 minutes. The 2h 45m CDG turnaround became ~1h and invalidated my CDG lounge visit

And now I'm about to head to the last sector DOH-LAX + LAX-ORD, with laptop ban and SSSS in full force...

Anyway, this is unfortunately not reported live anymore, but I'll try my best by posting the rest of my travels as quickly as I can

PS I really want to post some drafts that I've already written but the wifi at Al Mourjan is WEAK! If my laptop survives I'll post about a few onward journeys at LAX, at the FL or QF F if they don't card me again

Last edited by G-CIVC; Mar 25, 17 at 7:50 pm
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Old Mar 26, 17, 5:48 pm   #20
  
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Great report. Can't wait for the QR segments as I will be flying iad/cpt in J in sept.
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Old Mar 26, 17, 9:55 pm   #21
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60,000 of flying -wow! Hope it was a wonderful trip - thanks for taking time to post it all - looking forward to the rest
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Old Mar 27, 17, 3:35 pm   #22
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Wow. Amazing trip and report!!!
Hope I could afford RTW during spring break too.
Btw, thank you for telling us about the JNB secret. 4k usd from JNB-USA is such a steal! I just have to credit them to AS for the 100% bonus.
Too bad it becomes 15k usd for JNB-YYZ...
Maybe I should follow your JNB runs if I ever get admitted to grad school in the states.

Last edited by qsh; Mar 27, 17 at 8:21 pm
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Old Apr 1, 17, 5:04 pm   #23
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Flight 5: QR 1025 DXB-DOH First Class

Let's pretend I had a very very very long stopover in the ME and now we'll continue. In reality first week of school is always hectic and I was also sorting out last-minute options for a quick trip home next weekend (OMG, ended up going for JL F!), but here goes:

My idea of DXB was the busiest airport in the world, but perhaps this was only for the Emirates terminal or another time of the day. The airport was eerily quiet and I walked into the QR lounge where it was completely empty.




Soon, the very friendly Indian host came running from the service corridor to welcome me. She informs me that I will probably be the only one for a long time as they only expected three passengers and it was more than two hours to departure time.

Apparently the DXB lounge is a ‘premium’ new QR outport lounge but it was not as fancy as I thought (e.g. CX TPE, also a ‘feeder’ port lounge, may be better). Anyway, having a lounge all to myself was amazing! But it was also a bit creepy at the same time with 4-5 staff that checked on me quite often (non-intrusively) that made me feel bad not ordering/requesting anything from them. Well, given the rather tight and windowless confined space, I think the designers have done their best:



I soon settled at a semi-private lounge that is for dedicated F pax, with its own mini-bar and some not-so-private partitions. But everyone eligible flying out of DXB should be an F pax so…I don’t know.



The food area was very impressive and I can’t imagine all this food going to waste. Although there were quite a few restaurant-style seating areas, I was informed that everything is buffet style all day long however. After I took what I wanted from the buffet, one of the servers offered to carry all my stuff over to my semi-private lounge area.






Here’s the bathroom and shower area which was again very meticulously appointed (in fact as nice as those at Al Safwa) and although I did not take a shower, the entire bathroom suite was refreshed after I entered it. Very impressive!



The second and third passenger never showed up so I bid each of the staff farewell. They were actually very engaging and were fascinated to know about how I managed to end up there coming from HKG (although they all asked if I flew EK) :???:

I headed out around 50 minutes before my flight and boarding, even for a short hop to DOH, did begin punctually at T-45. I was excited to know that this A320 would be equipped with the long-haul B/E Diamond seats. It’s hard to elaborate here using words but the padding and attention to detail in seat comfort and design is so well thought out and really gave me a great first impression of QR. You can see that the seat padding is smooth and I can imagine in flat bed mode you will never feel the contours and bumps of how it folds up.





The pre-departure service for this 50 minute hop featured a welcome drink of any choice, hot/cold towel offered, menus distributed, a mini amenity kit with socks and eyeshades, Arabic coffee and dates…wow wow wow! The cabin lead (whose name I unfortunately didn’t catch) came by and said hi, and was very excited to learn that it was my first ever trip with QR. She then said she would be sure to impress. There were two crew for 12 in F but we only had four passengers and I was the only one that wanted food I think, judging from the order-taking done before departure.




We soon rolled off after a rather lengthy taxi and viewing a plethora of EK A380s. The Dubai skyline, while not like HKG at all, was stunning if only the haze weren’t that strong. Hey so I still managed to do a little bit of sightseeing







Once the seat belt sign was turned off, the CC came to set up my table and asked for my drink order. Again, not having any knowledge about QR, I opted for the So Jennie non-alcoholic bubbly which tasted great. The food platter was then presented in a tray-less porcelain plate of six partitions. I can only say that every item was incredibly tasty, didn’t feel like airplane food at all and the lamb kebabs of my choice (vs falafel) were well heated.



I had wanted to try the flat bed position but before I got to settle myself the captain announced preparation for arrival. First world problems of a flight too short…

We landed at a very deserted HIA (presumably because all the morning departures had left) and deplaned without having to go through security for connecting pax. Interestingly I think most pax were O/D since no one was after me as I could see.


Overall I considered this a preview of QR and what to expect on my upcoming ~40 hours of QR F/J experiences. I felt that the hardware were certainly very well polished, but I can’t say that the service is on par with CX (yet) – I think the fact that I can’t remember the CC names tells you so. They also sounded absolutely uninterested when they made the announcements. On CX, if the younger CC spoke aloofly when they do their Cantonese PA, they will get screwed by the ISM for sure…Oh well, the flight was very short tho, so I reserve further judgments.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 5:28 pm   #24
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Originally Posted by jmj9905 View Post
Great report. Can't wait for the QR segments as I will be flying iad/cpt in J in sept.
Thanks jmj9905. Apart from DXB-DOH-CAI that I'm writing about now, I ended up flying LHR-DOH-CDG-DOH-LAX with QR, all in one go. This gave me some variability in the service levels and enjoyability of QR but I was positively impressed overall. You will like it (and stay tuned for those reviews coming!)

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Originally Posted by Madone59 View Post
60,000 of flying -wow! Hope it was a wonderful trip - thanks for taking time to post it all - looking forward to the rest
Thanks for your positive encouragement Madone59. It was a trip to remember only somewhat screwed up in the end by...DHS in terms of the laptop ban, SSSS, secondary screening and grilling at CBP upon arrival...but all in all it was fun and awesome

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Originally Posted by qsh View Post
Wow. Amazing trip and report!!!
Hope I could afford RTW during spring break too.
Btw, thank you for telling us about the JNB secret. 4k usd from JNB-USA is such a steal! I just have to credit them to AS for the 100% bonus.
Too bad it becomes 15k usd for JNB-YYZ...
Maybe I should follow your JNB runs if I ever get admitted to grad school in the states.
Thanks qsh for your compliments. In fact I wasn't the one that 'discovered' ex-JNB with CX on the CX forum. Guess it still exists because the currency appreciated a lot, and it was too far for most of us to take advantage of. In fact it started with YYZ/YVR having even cheaper fares than US, but guess they already took that away. You can look into PEY too if just for miles.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 6:32 pm   #25
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Lounge review: Al Safwa First Class Lounge @ DOH

A picture is worth a thousand words, and I am sure this applies here particularly for Al Safwa. I don’t know how to appropriately describe the ambiance and atmosphere once I stepped into the lounge, but an ‘OMG’ simply does not reflect enough on how much I was impressed by it. It only helps that there was virtually no one when I entered the lounge, and service was attentive as I got offered a drink while waiting for my nap room to be ready.





I asked for a nap room to hopefully take a shower, refresh a bit and take a quick power nap since I slept little on the HKG-DXB redeye. Both the shower and the bedroom were tastefully appointed and I certainly agree with other FTers that Al Safwa would make a perfect layover hotel. You get your key card and the entire space is really all for yourself. I would appreciate more amenities like those Aesop stuff in the showers at the Pier F in HKG however - there weren't any facial items available here, but I understand that a paid spa is right there next door









I then woke up in time for lunch and I noticed the passenger flow had definitely picked up. Still, the ambience and tranquility remained unchanged probably thanks to the cathedral-like ceilings that wiped out any background noise and clutter.

As other FTers may know dining at Al Safwa is definitely not its strong spot due to a lack of a proper kitchen and I really didn’t find too many options appealing. I ended up ordering a salmon steak followed by pistachio cream cake. The salmon was a bit too well done and the pistachio cream cake tasted a bit too artificially sweet. I paired the salmon with a glass of Pommery Louis Cuvee 2002 champagne on offer that day and found it to be on par with the other fine champagnes although I think I would secretly appreciate Krug better, actually I don't know that much about drinking ☺








Again, whatever I write will not do enough justice for this lounge. In fact I just cannot offer any comparison with other lounges because the scale of this Al Safwa experience is just completely different, I forgot that I was at an airport. I’ll let more pictures do the talking. I wish I can be back soon, but throwing away 18000 Avios to get in is a bit too out of budget for me at the moment. Hopefully one day QR will offer F again on HKG route then it might be easier still...BUT I WILL BE BACK!

The lounge is designed in a way that the main 'walkway' is like a cross, and lined on all sides are various functions like sitting areas, dining, nap room and spa complex, duty free store(!), business center, media room(!), family area, art collections...



When you enter, the mirage-like business center is to the side

Duty free is on the other side. It has everything you can think of.


The reflecting pool is to the left, the restaurant behind it. Bending beyond the restaurant is a 'terrace' that adjoins the entrance podium area.


If you went straight ahead instead the help desk was there, along with storage lockers. Further ahead was a second restaurant area with sushi and salad bar offerings, which looked like artwork.


Across the area where the 'cross' converges there were ample seating with differing levels of privacy and technological provisions. Truly amazing. The media room was tucked away somewhere on the side.





If instead you turned right at the point of convergence, it was a wide, gradually sloping ramp up towards the other entrance (for DOH originating pax) lined with collections from the Museum of Islamic Art. Tucked away on the sides included the spa and nap room facility on one side, and the duty free shop plus a family area with kids facilities, semi-private cabanas and a sweets bar(!) in one.













This just cannot be real...

Anyway, a layover of supposedly 4h 50m turned out to be way toooooo short and I reluctantly parted with the lounge towards the uncertainties that lie ahead, QR F and Egypt. I must have picked the right time to transit through DOH as even the public spaces were vast and lacking of people, the 'unreal' factor continued to last.

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Old Apr 1, 17, 7:52 pm   #26
  
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Would love to do the F lounge but am a lowly ow sapphire. IN addition Iam flying iad/doh/cpt and they don,t offer F on that route.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 8:46 pm   #27
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Flight 6: QR1301 DOH-CAI First Class


Although I was told that boarding would begin punctually at T-45, this was not the case as I walked quite quickly to the gate only to be told to expect to wait for another 15 minutes or so. I also thought it would be a full flight but ExpertFlyer was a hoax again – it doesn’t seem to work for QR.

The chariot today A7-BEH was in pristine looking shape and 77Ws never fail to appeal visually anyway With both first and economy being half full, everyone just boarded at a rather leisurely pace. F pax had their own jetbridge and I was met at the door by a CC but not escorted to my seat.

I managed to get my neighboring seat blocked at Al Safwa and my first thoughts were OMG, this could be the best oneworld experience one can ask for pretty much (Disclaimer: I haven’t tried CX 777 F tho :P). Once again I was very impressed with the level of detail and thought put into the design of the seat (like ample storage space and variable recline options) as well as how comfortably it was padded.





I am not sure if the CC were engaged in their ground prep but it was around ten minutes or so before anyone showed up to my seat. The lead CC (whose name I again unfortunately forgot) came and said hi, and once again was very (much more in fact) excited to know that it was my first trip with QR. She then offered me a PDB of their signature lime-mint drink which was fantastic.


As like the DXB flight a younger CC soon came around distributing mini-kits, menus and hot/cold towels, wrapping up with Arabic coffee and dates before we pushed. Interestingly bottles of Evian were preset at each seat so there is no need for a ‘where is my Evian’ CX-bashing-and-b**ching thread.






As we pushed there was a little bit more to see on the tarmac including an A350 and A380 parked side by side. The taxi took some time and we rolled off to a fantastic view of the Doha skyline. I found the Barcelona-themed safety video rather amusing, both the narration and the depictions.



The CC then finished their order-taking once we were airborne and settled. I was offered a glass of Billecart with heated nuts that I gladly accepted.

Soon, they laid out the table for me with the bread basket and all that…this CX flyer is not used to meals without trays! I also thought that the tray table was very sturdy and again loved the marble-like luxury-looking decal on it.


The menu is as follows:

Drinks on offer were on par with long-haul J flights:



etcetera.

The meal service continued efficiently with what I had ordered, basically a whole full meal




I must say that every part of the meal, including the soup, prawns and chicken entrees were of phenomenal quality and did not taste like airplane food at all. Even the breads were all very tasty. The CC were buzzing around the cabin all the time offering proactive drink refills and side toppings of mustard and ketchup etc (oh, what a luxury!). I had my meal with a viewing of the Japanese movie hit ‘your name’ which turned out to be a bad idea as you really need 110% full attention to watch a foreign language movie staring at the subs.

Anyway, a minor incident during the meal was that I had actually ordered the prawn appetizer rather than the prawn entrée, however I did not blame it on the young Korean CC that took my order as I did not specify clearly. The cabin lead was very quick to notice as she saw me flipping through the menu once she served the prawn course. Great attention to detail and service. She also said I could partake in the prawn appetizer too if I wanted, but I was already very stuffed by all of this! The male (I think Qatari) FA that assisted her was also wonderful, and was of the less robotic type across QR crew - walked past and gave me thumbs up with a smile and all that.

We were hitting some very bad chop where the CC had to take their seats immediately at whichever empty seat they could find. There was also spillage for everyone but it was minor at most. Because of that and how stuffed I was I delayed desserts until before arrival. Oh the wonders of DoD.

I then lounged a bit gazing at the amazing views out of the window of the Red Sea and the Sinai Peninsula, which all looked very foreign to me, but I had felt a lot less nervous now perhaps because of the great QR service so far.




I also lounged a bit in flat bed mode and found the seat to be moderately comfortable – but I believe there are extra padding and duvets for long-haul flights so I can’t compare right away, plus the pillow was absolutely amazing in terms of its thickness and squeeziness. Around 50 minutes before arrival, I opted for desserts but was still too full to take everything in. So I only took the chocolate ganache which was served with cappuccino and Godiva pralines. All I can say is that this again wasn’t airplane food to me.


Prior to landing, the cabin lead came back and chitchatted with me a bit, asking me how I thought about my first QR experience. I said I was utterly impressed with the catering, and we delved into what must have been a deep discussion as she asked me if I were also a cabin crew (I just shared with her how understaffed and underwhelming it is when it comes to meal services on CX, and how I felt completely blown away by QR in this aspect. I also commented on how comfortable the seat was and the attention to detail in the cabin design and all that.)

Our approach into Cairo gave us decent views and first glimpses of the city, and we landed uneventfully taxiing into our gate at the new deserted Terminal 2 around 15 minutes ahead of schedule.




I think at this point it was still too short of a flight to properly offer any comprehensive comparison or judgement, but I must say that the DoD concept is just fantastic - and most importantly there is enough manpower (and I lucked out on a light load too!). But for a non-business premium cabin flyer, every bit of the experience counts so that's why I was already 'blown away' by QR, coupled with the amazing offering of Al Safwa at DOH right beforehand.
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Old Apr 1, 17, 9:39 pm   #28
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Cairo and Conrad Cairo

My layover in Cairo was technically 3 days and 2 nights but in reality only the 2nd day would be a full day, as I arrived at the hotel after sunset and had to depart in the early morning heading out.

I did hear a lot of stories about personal safety so wasn't sure what to do. In the end, I purchased a meet-and-assist + hotel transfer service for my arrival and a day tour with personal guide and driver package online for only around 70 USD in total. I thought that was an amazing deal, when the hotel offered 100USD for just an arrival pick up. The quality of the services delivered were also very good, and my very knowledgeable guide (an Egyptology major) spoke perfect English and was very accommodating of my needs and questions.

I had my first taste of Egypt during the hour-long drive into town. Indeed the 'craziness' or foreignness is real - I texted my friend saying that I now consider BKK and Tokyo very similar cities after I'm here at Cairo...we were on the expressway and there weren't any traffic lanes to be seen, and PEOPLE, not just cars, were cutting through us from all angles...

Upon arrival at the Conrad Cairo I was escorted to the EL for check in. It looked rather dated but still was probably more lavish than your average US Hilton lounge. The level of English that the staff had were passable, but I had expected better from a Hilton property. But with a $80/night room rate I wasn't asking for too much...including my upgrade to a partial Nile river executive room which smelt of faint smoke. But I wasn't sure since the entire hotel had such kind of smell, and I know complaining for a change would be a waste of my own energy given how tired I already was.





I had breakfast at the main restaurant on both days. It was actually significantly better than everything else that the hotel had to offer - the ambience was not bad (had a resort feel with high ceilings overlooking the Nile) and the service was wonderful, with the manager remembering my name and preferences for coffee etc. Here are some snaps of the food (there was also a made-to-order egg station):





Our first stop was the Egyptian Museum which I found was quite eye-opening, but limitedly interesting. I really appreciated however how much my guide knew about each exhibition area and the artefacts in it. Mummies, mummies and more mummies - regretfully I wasn't able to learn a bit more about Egyptian history myself before visiting, but for avid fans of history like my Dad, I'm sure he'd be thrilled.



There must have been some miscommunication as my guide told me I'd have to pay for a separate ticket if I wanted to snap pictures, but later on as we were walking he said it would be fine to do so anyway...

The museum is right next to Tahrir Square which was where the masses gathered during the 2011 revolutions. Frankly I was more interested in that over Egyptian history but refrained from discussing or asking too much about that with my guide.


Our next stop was the Khan El-Khalili bazaar which was very fascinating, but a lot of stalls were not open that morning. I had a good grasp of the 'warmth' that Egyptians extended to visitors, especially those that wanted business





There were mosques everywhere we walked. My tour guide did a fantastic job in explaining to me the stories behind all sorts of things we encountered, from mosques to Arabic coffee and how Egyptians prefer shopping in person over e-commerce...I only wish I remembered more from the conversation!


'Architectural disorganization' is really a consistent theme across the city, and I'm surely not calling BKK exotic anymore...

Next, off we went to Giza. All I can say is, wow. I'm glad I decided to venture out rather than just staying at the hotel. I didn't schedule a visit to the interiors. But just from the outside the wondrousness is already overwhelming. In fact as I'm writing this I'm already longing for a more in-depth, slower paced second visit. But really. I might just be thankful for FT, giving me this opportunity to visit and see the pyramids, while my friends get wasted in Cancun or Miami.







The same can be said for the Sphinx, which I also found it to be similarly mind-blowing.


My guide and I then had a leisurely lunch (I've grown to love Arabic food already by then and I am so disheartened that they kept running out of Arabic choices on QR later on!!) where I got to learn a bit more about his background. It's interesting to know that none of these (Pyramids, mummies etc) actually resonate with modern-day Egyptians culturally as they have went through multiple changes in dynasties and civilizations over time. Also, I could feel his sincerity in asking for me to write a review online to let the world know that Egypt was not as bad as what the foreign world had portrayed it to be. I would say that's partially true, and I can see how much they must have been hurt because of that, but at least he told me this year there's been a slight recovery so far.



My driver then sent me back to the Conrad where I just had a leisurely afternoon catching up on some emails and pretty much did nothing but surfed the web and lounged around in the EL and my room. The EL also had an outdoor terrace which gave some fantastic views of the Nile and the skyline with the sunset.






Little did I know that my first snafu/irrop adventure was awaiting the next morning...
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Old Apr 3, 17, 9:48 pm   #29
qsh
  
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: YTO HKG
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Originally Posted by G-CIVC View Post
Thanks qsh for your compliments. In fact I wasn't the one that 'discovered' ex-JNB with CX on the CX forum. Guess it still exists because the currency appreciated a lot, and it was too far for most of us to take advantage of. In fact it started with YYZ/YVR having even cheaper fares than US, but guess they already took that away. You can look into PEY too if just for miles.

Your photos of Africa looks stunning!
I decided to try MR through Africa too. I booked the sub 6k hkd ET J BKK-ADD-DUB-YYZ-ADD-BKK (What people do when they want to fly business, but don't want to pay the full fare ). Hopefully, my ticket won't be cancelled and I could go explore Addis Ababa...
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Old Apr 4, 17, 6:47 am   #30
  
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Was nice meeting you G-CIVC onboard QR40!
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