Crossroads senior web editor Judy Koutsky arrived in Cairo Jan.
29 to begin a two-week adventure in Egypt, sponsored by Wild Women
Adventures. Armed with a laptop and digital camera, she is
sending on-site reports and photographs back to Crossroads' New
Jersey headquarters on a daily basis (or whenever she can get an
Internet connection). Agents who have questions or advice for Judy
during her trip can send email to [email protected]
CAIRO, Egypt -- Our lodging for last night and tonight is
provided by the Sheraton Heliopolis, an excellent choice for
travelers, business or leisure, who want the experience of Cairo
without the noise of being in the heart of the city. The hotel,
which underwent a renovation in 1997, is located just a few minutes
from the Cairo airport and about 30 minutes from downtown
The lobby is a visual feast of marble, chandeliers, exotic caged
birds and huge floral arrangements. The tuxedoed staff is
professional, efficient and extremely accommodating.
For business travelers, there are meetings facilities for 1,200
people, a business center, phones with data ports in the rooms and
ample desk space. For leisure travelers, there are three high-tech gyms, a sauna,
whirlpool, six tennis courts, three swimming pools and two squash
courts. The grounds are well manicured and the rooms are very
clean. This hotel looks and feels like it is brand new.
Clients can eat at any one of the nine restaurants that
specialize in Lebanese, Italian, Egyptian and American cuisine. The
hotel is wheelchair accessible.
After getting a good night's sleep, we headed to the Mohammed
Mahmoud Khalil Museum. This museum, housed in a beautiful palace,
is said to have the Middle East's finest collection of 19th century
European art. The building is exquisite, with high ceilings,
wooden floors and a beautiful winding staircase made of marble.
Works by Gauguin, Van Gogh, Renoir and Monet can be seen here. This
is a peaceful way for clients to spend an afternoon.
We had lunch at Felfela, an Egyptian restaurant that I can only
describe as incredible. It serves the most mouth-watering foods and
has an enticing Middle Eastern ambience. Hanging mosaic lights,
carved wooden tables, colorful scarves and sunlight streaming
through the roof make this a great place for visitors wanting an
authentic Egyptian experience.
When Egyptians eat together they often share a selection of
mezze (small dishes) eaten with pita bread, so that's
exactly what we did. We ordered a variety of dips including
tahini(pureed sesame seeds) and baba ghanoug
(eggplant puree with tahini), along with some staples like
waraa aynab (stuffed vine leaves) and fuul (fava
We finished the meal with Turkish coffee (very popular here) and
roz bi-laban (rice pudding). The food was excellent and
the service very friendly.
Sheraton Heliopolis Hotel: P.O. Box 2466, Uruba
Street, Cairo, Egypt. Phone: (011) 20-2 267-7730. Fax: (011) 20-2
267-7600. Commission: 10%. e-mail: [email protected] Web:
Mohammed Mahmoud Khalil Museum: Phone: (011)
20-2 336-2379. Open daily 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Mondays.
Admission: 25 pounds (about $8).
Felfela: 15 Talaat Harb Street, Cairo. Phone:
(011) 20-2 392-2833.
Wild Women Adventures: 107 N. Main Street,
Sebastopol, CA 95472. Phone: (800) 992-1322. Web: www.wildwomenadv.com. Email: [email protected]