BUMBLING TOURIST

Cairo to Luxor Egypt | DON’T DO WHAT WE DID! (Overnight First Class Train Trip)

Here is a video we made of our journey from Cairo to Luxor on the First Class sleeper train

After walking for four hours through what can only be described as Cairo’s city of garbage, we arrived at Giza station. From Giza station we took the metro to Ramses Station, where most overnight trains leave from, and where our overnight sleeper train to Luxor would later leave from. 

Ramses Station in Cairo Egypt
Luxor Train station

We tried to buy water before entering the station, assuming water would be pricey on the train. The first vendor we found wanted 180 Egyptian pounds for 2 waters, or $14 Canadian. We tried at three different stalls, but it seems that surrounding the train station is also not the place to buy water. We gave up and decided to enter the train station, except we didn’t get to enter… a “nice” security guard wouldn’t let us enter the station and instead ushered us into the “tourist police” office. He made us super uncomfortable, which I am sure was mostly our fault. The policeman offered us food and drinks, but we had just come from the most touristy place in the world, and our guards were WAY up. We couldn’t help but say no to everything he offered and sat in awkward silence as he occasionally tried to show us something or ask us questions in Arabic. After about 15 minutes of awkward silence, the policeman let us leave and we went back out onto the street and the busy market. 

Ramses Train station

We were finally able to buy water at a reasonable price, and headed back into the train station. This time upon entering the station we skirted the “tourist police” office and made it through security into the train station. 

First Class overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor Egypt

We went to the top floor where the food court was to sit and have a bite to eat. The station was BEAUTIFUL, and looked like it was decorated in an art deco style. We ordered two lime and mint drinks and two potato crepes and ate them as we watched the trains and people down below on the tracks. The crepes were filled with fires, cheese, peppers and olives, a somewhat weird combination, but delicious and hit the spot. 

First Class overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor Egypt

At about 7:30pm we went down to board the train (the train would leave at 8pm) but the board showing all the arrivals and departures did not have our train on it yet. This seemed odd, so I went and asked for help. The person at the desk that I asked looked disgusted to be talked to by a tourist and wouldn’t help, so we walked away… we stood awkwardly in the main area of the train station, hoping we could figure out which platform our train left from before it left in a few minutes’ time. 

First Class overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor Egypt

Just as we were getting desperate, a police officer came over and showed us where to go. It turns out that we had to go through a tunnel under the tracks and to a second set of tracks we didn’t even know existed (it was platform #11 incase that is helpful to anyone). 

First Class overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor Egypt

We boarded the train as it arrived, and went in search of our bunk numbers. All the room doors had numbers except ⅞ was missing and my bunk number was number 7, Jives was number 5. We struggled to figure out what was going on, and ended up just sitting in seats 6 and 5. It really looked like we had booked ourselves in two different rooms. Eventually the carriage attendant came by and we tried to ask if it was ok to stay where we were and he said yes. It really looks like we booked two rooms instead of two beds, but we are not certain, it would certainly explain the price we paid when we booked the train. 

First Class overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor Egypt

The train left right on time and the attendant brought us dinner right away. We booked the vegetarian meal which included: fries, boiled potatoes, carrots and bun and some plain rice with a side of tzatziki like sauce. 

First Class overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor Egypt

The room was a lot like the room we had on the train from Thailand to Laos, with a bunk bed, the bottom seat of which converted to chairs to sit and eat at. The room also had a small wash basin and mirror with a single electrical outlet. We decided to go to bed pretty early around 9pm. The sleep wasn’t terrible, just not too constant, as the train stopped and started many times.

First Class overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor Egypt

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