And onwards to London
June 09, 2010
Up at 6, packing, breakfast, and a pre-booked taxi with Madeline and Carson to the airport. When we got close our driver tried to convince us there was a parking fee or some such for dropping us off... yeah right - we had agreed 75LE already and only gave him as much.
Cairo airport departures are a little strange. The checkins counters are on the other side of the security scanners and x-rays. I already had a print out of my ticket, and Carson got through with a print out from the travel agent, but because it had no names on it, Madeline didn't, and Carson had to head back out - I didn't actually see them again before I left which was a little sad as I didn't get to say goodbye.
The second strange thing - although I believe this is more common than not and Melbourne is an exception - is the gates themselves have another round of security, with seating just past them. It seems like useless duplication to me - why not scan everyone instead of different terminals at each gate. What made it more annoying was the fact there were no shops one you were through this final security check, and waiting at the gate for it to open. This meant you couldn't have a water bottle with you at all, unlike Melbourne where you can purchase them once you are past security and everything is fine then. There was a rather large pile of water bottles next to the x-ray machine by the time boarding began.
Flight was straight forward, Heathrow was straight forward, just purchased an Oyster card with 20 pounds and caught the underground in. Less than half the price of the express to paddington, although did take almost 3 times as long.
The London rail network isn't as confusing as it first appears from the maps - all stations are very well marked and it's easy to find your way between lines - just follow the colour coded signs.
Before long I was walking from Marleybone station to Phoenix hostel.