Archive for July, 2008

Last Day in Egypt

Today is my last day in Egypt and I am so ready to move on.  I’ve spent the last fours days staying at an awesome hostel (Wake Up! Cairo Hostel) doing some fun things like a Nile Dinner Cruise complete with belly dancer and one night we all went and saw the new Batman movie.  I met some really great people from around the world including Americans.  Amy and I had not met any Americans when we were traveling together.  In fact, Egyptians would guess I’m from England, Germany, and believe it or not Sweden (twice!) before they would even think of American.

I’m not sure if I would ever come back to Egypt.  It may be because of the heat or it could be that I’ve pretty much seen all I want to see.  You really have to be into Egyptian history and such to really appreciate all the sights.  Otherwise, just stick to Cairo and the Giza Pyramids and for your own sanity come during the cooler months.  Right now, I feel cooler but I’m not sure if the temperature has dropped or I’m just used to it all.

The first day in Cairo, Amy and I had koshary- a cheap, traditional Egyptian meal.  We didn’t take to it so well and hadn’t eaten it since.  Luckily, I’ve had the opportunity to try it again and with success!!  Around the corner from the hostel is a great koshary place packed with locals.  And the best part is that it’s so cheap- less than a dollar.  Koshary has rice, pasta, spaghetti, tomato sauce, lentils, chickpeas and dried onions.  I found out that the extra sauce that comes on the side is not tomato sauce but a very spicy chilli sauce.  I only found this out after the outside of my upper lip started burning.  Another thing, Amy and I forgot to do was to mix all the ingredients together.

I leave for Dubai tonight.  It will be around 100 degrees F at midnight when I arrive.  In fact, for the entire time I am there it will be in the low 100s but will feel like the low 110s with humidity.  The overnight lows??  Low to mid 90s.  Yea!!  By the time I get to so-called hot Singapore I’ll probably be cold.


Awaiting the Next Part

Well, Amy and I made it safely back to Cairo from the backpacker town of Dahab.  Dahab is a laid-back little town with loads of restaurants (some good, some not so good).  We splurged and stayed at a nice resort with a swimming pool and private beach.  The sea water is so salty you could float without really trying.  It was an odd feeling.  I can only imagine what the Dead Sea (which is even saltier) would feel like.  Oh, and we could see the Saudi Arabian coastline from the waterfront.

We took the one-hour flight as opposed to the nine-hour bus back to Cairo.  Amy left this morning so I am once again on my own for awhile.  I have come to realize that I really overestimated how much time I need in places when I planned this trip.  So, now I’m stuck in Cairo for four more days with nothing really to do because I’ve seen all I want to see.  Luckily, I’m staying at a great hostel where I don’t even really need to leave (well except to eat but even the fast food restaurants here deliver).

Welcome to Alaska!

We get welcomed to Alaska when ever Egyptians find out that we are Americans.  It’s been as hot as 120 degrees in some places.  Not fun at all.  We are also one of few Americans traveling to Egypt.

Amy and I have done a lot in the last two weeks.  We’ve finished up traveling the Nile Valley and now have what is called “Pharonic Phatigue”.  We are now resort hopping and working on our tans – even me!

Here are some highlights:
Getting to go into one of the Great Pyramids of Giza
Camel Riding
Heat Stroke at Karnak Temple
Two nights floating down the Nile on a motor-less boat (felucca)
Swimming in the Nile
Sweating it out in the UN-airconditioned Egyptian Museum
44 degree C sun scorching heat
Snorkeling the Red Sea

Sorry for the long time between blogs.  Amy and I have been running from one air-conditioned place to another and sometimes all we want to do is rest after being the in the heat.

We’re heading to Dahab – the backpackers place of Egypt – and Amy leaves in a week.  I leave for Dubai soon after that.

Hot, hot Cairo!

Amy and I arrived in Cairo on Thursday and have been trying to get over this horrible jet lag.  Seven hour naps during the day and marathon card playing until the wee hours.  Today, I actually set my alarm for an afternoon nap.  We will hopefully get a full night’s rest tonight.  Our hotel is wonderful and our room opens to the pool.

I met our tour guide, Marwuan, on Thursday (Amy was sleeping).  He gave me a map of the area and a sheet with useful Arabic phrases.  So far we are really good at saying “No, thank you”.  On the map, it shows a “deaf KFC” next to a “fussy atm”.  What is a “deaf KFC”?!  We did make it through two Egyptian meals before we headed to that KFC where everyone is hearing impaired (go figure!) and you had to point at what you wanted.  It did make ordering easy.  It’s a great concept KFC is doing because deaf people in Egypt would not have a job otherwise.  Prejudice is apparent as when we entered some guy on the street told us they were idiots and that we cannot talk to them.  Luckily, we remembered the sign language for “thank you”.  So, ha ha, ignorant man we communicated with them.

On a simlar note, food is really cheap here.  On our first night we went to a take-away place and ordered two kosharies and two drinks and price came to under $5.  There was so much food.  I got Amy on videotape eating her first Egyptian meal.  Quite entertaining (if you know Amy you know what I’m talking about)!

Amy is adjusting well (for those who don’t know this is Amy’s first trip overseas).  But, it was comical when she realized Egypt and Cairo was much more than one story mud huts.  Yes, Cairo has skyscrapers.  Oh, and we got to see the Pyramids from the airplane during our descent.  And Amy is quite the bargainer.  We went to the bazaar today and Amy bought a couple of things and did her thing by driving the price down much better than me when I first started out.  She was really pleased when I told her the approximate cost in US dollars.

So far we’ve only seen a couple of minor Cairo sights.  We hired a taxi one day and went to Old Cairo (where the Christians and Jews lived) and the Citadel where Amy got to go inside her first mosque.

Tonight we meet our tour group and tomorrow we’re off to the premier Cairo-area sights – the Great Pyramids, Sphinx, and the Egyptian Museum.  We are both looking forward to the start of the tour and not having to plan our days and plus it will force us to stay awake during the day.

Everyone is welcoming saying “welcome” as we walk by much like when I was in Morocco.  One guy wants us to tell everyone in America that “Egypt is safe.”  And I would like to say that it is hot, hot, hot!!

Where’s Stacy?

Stacy is in West Virginia and totally amazed by the power of Math. (Nerd, I know!)


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July 2008
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