Hilton Cairo Heliopolis…my home for a while.

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Have you ever wondered why palm trees stand so straight and tall? Well wonder no more dear reader, the secret can no be revealed,,,"Once upon a time the palm trees had a secret gathering. They complained about their never-ending job of standing straight and tall, while other trees got to slouch and sprawl. One wise old palm tree spoke up, "Listen, friends, the reason is simple. We're all secretly in love with the sun. To impress our radiant crush, we stand tall, hoping it'll notice us. And guess what? The sun loves us back! That's why it shines so brightly upon us, making us the coolest trees in town." And so, every palm tree continues to stand straight and tall, basking in the sunshine of their solar sweetheart".

 

 

 

The arrival in the reception area of the Hilton Cairo Heliopolis. I was quite overawed  by the vastness of the space.

Heliopolis, known as “Iunu” in ancient Egypt, held a profound significance in Egyptian history. Its name, Heliopolis, stems from Greek words, “helios” for sun and “polis” for city, reflecting its role as the center of solar worship.

In Egyptian mythology, Heliopolis was believed to be the place where the sun god Ra first appeared and created the world. The city housed the renowned Temple of Ra, a hub of religious and intellectual activity.

Heliopolis symbolized the Egyptians’ spiritual connection to the sun and the divine order of the cosmos. It served as a cultural and religious epicenter, emphasizing the sun’s importance in Egyptian life, a significance that persists in Egypt’s heritage today.

 

 

 

 

There were two large displays of flowers on tables in the middle of this space that stretches almost as far as the eye can see.

A reminder to stop and smell the roses every day.

 

 

 

Once you have checked-in, guests will notice that there is a secondary area which houses three guest reception desks, an ATM (in which you can use your debit card to draw local currency) as well as a jewelry store and a laundry.

 

 

 

The sign on the piano reads:

The piano is for everyone to enjoy, but we ask that you please respect it by not playing or touching it“…

This got me thinking about how the piano might feel about its forced silence.

Might it be something like this…

“The hotel proudly displayed a grand piano in its elegant foyer, complete with a sign that read, “Please Do Not Play.” A sign like that begs to be ignored and eventually one couldn’t resist the temptation any longer.

Ignoring the sign, he sat down with a flourish and played a cacophonous rendition of “Chopsticks.” Soon, a crowd gathered, and an impromptu concert erupted. Guests took turns playing, and the piano, seemingly meant as silent décor, became the heart of the hotel’s nightly entertainment”.

Perhaps the sign might eventually be changed to, “Please Play Responsibly,” proving that sometimes, rules are meant to be broken – especially when music and humor are involved.

 

 

Look up… Often the light fitting are even more spectacular that the décor at ground level.

I would not want to be the person tasked with having to clean this!

 

 

 

It seems that International hotels are able to serve alcohol on their premises. This bar, which serves all the public spaces on the ground floor, is reputed to be open 24 hours a day. I have to say that being teetotal I did not wander down at 03h00 to find out if it actually was.

 

 

 

This was a restaurant on the far left of the reception area of the hotel. Home to several restaurants, it also housed a compact business centre that provides everything from Internet access to on-site printing.

 

 

 

The roof of part of the breakfast dining room. This was accessed via the main area and I believe that it might be the smoking area.

Coming form South Africa where smoking is banned in public spaces, it took a while to realize that it is allowed here in Cairo.

 

 

 

Stepping out of the elevator and turning right to get to my room, I found this in an alcove and it caught my attention.

 

 

 

The corridor on my floor looked the same in both directions which was very confusing the first time I left my room and turned left instead of right to get bank to the bank of elevators. But I only made that mistake once…

 

 

 

My room. Plenty of space and it has a bed that is most comfortable. The only thing that it lacks is cupboard space. That being said, perhaps this is for single guests as 2 people would have an issue with the cupboard in the alcove next to the bathroom.

In fact much of the space inside the cupboard is taken up by an ironing board! Something I would never use.

 

 

 

While flipping through the sports channels, most of which seem to carry soccer, I did come across this camel race. As big here as horse racing back home.

The trainer has a remote to control the robot jockey. As he presses the remote, the robot hand whips the camel to make them run faster. Professional camel racing, like horse racing, is an event for betting and tourist attraction. They race over distances that cover 2 km, 3 km and 4 km.

And the evening period is a marathon run for distances of 6 km, 12 km. Those races are launched according to the age of each camel and utilize the motorized rider and there is also a traditional race where they are ridden by a human rider.

 

 

 

No bath in my bathroom, but a shower and a bidet, the latter seemingly compulsory in Egypt.

 

 

 

As the African sun dips below the horizon, I pause to reflect on my day filled with awe-inspiring experiences. Gratitude washes over me like a warm breeze. The cacophony of the traffic, the rhythmic beats of traditional music emanating from the vehicles as they pass my taxi, and the smiles of the people I’ve met have enriched my soul. I’ve tasted exotic flavors, explored new landscapes, and embraced the beauty of diversity.

It’s a privilege to wander in this foreign land, to learn from its history, and to share in its culture.

Tonight, as stars twinkle above, I’m grateful for the gift of travel and the memories etched in my heart.

 

 

 

To find out more about what the hotel offers, click on the logo above. The hotel is situated less than five kilometers from Cairo International Airport.

 

 

Check out the archived and current interviews… click on the image above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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