San Diegan Caught In Egypt's Chaos - NBC 7 San Diego

San Diegan Caught In Egypt's Chaos

The airport was packed with people trying to get out at the same time



    When George Wiley and his 23-year old daughter arrived in Cairo, Egypt last Wednesday, it was supposed to be the beginning of a dream vacation for the two history buffs.

    "It was a great opportunity for me to learn about the pyramids and travel with my daughter,"Wiley said at his Carmel Valley home.

    They were there for only one day when they began hearing about protests near their hotel at Tahrir Square.

    "We received some communications from people back home saying to be careful of the protesting and we were joking, 'Yeah, there's a lot going on.. five people on the street corner and so on,'" Wiley said with a smile.

    Tourist Captures Egypt Protests on Camera

    [DGO] Tourist Captures Egypt Protests on Camera
    Carmel Valley resident George Wiley is safely back at home after being caught in the storm of protesters in Egypt while on what was supposed to be a dream vacation.
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011)

    But within hours, the hotel became surrounded with protesters.  Wiley started videotaping the chaos on his camera.

    Thousands of people can be seen challenging police on a bridge that spans the Nile River.

    There are also shots of burned out cars and smoldering buildings.

    George and his daughter moved to another hotel farther away and safer, so they thought.

    "There were a lot of gunshots outside the hotel, some explosions," Wiley said.  "That's when it really sunk in and we really wanted to leave at that point."

    George and Heather had also lost their lifeline to the outside world, the Internet.  That's when George's wife began calling the travel agency.

    "She said 'I can tell you this, they changed hotels, and they're supposed to be flying home tomorrow,'" Kathy Wiley told NBCSanDiego.

    By Sunday morning, George and Heather had finally made it to the airport, but they were faced with a mob of people trying to get out of Egypt.

    "It was just chaos at the airport at that point," Wiley said.

    Hours later, they were able to catch a plane to Germany, ending a trip that was historical in more ways than one.

    "It was a different kind of history, it was more current than ancient, but it was a lot of fun," Wiley said.