Thursday, October 4, 2012

Travel : Egypt (2005)

I made a trip to Egypt in 2005.
Again, another great great backpacking trip.
I combined this trip to Egypt with 3 more countries.
Started in Lebanon, then entered Syria.
Next Jordan.
I entered Egypt from Jordan.
Well, I wanted to enter Israel but as a Malaysia, I'd face more problems.
Maybe next time, I'll see Israel, in the next life, maybe ! ha ! Ha !

This is the map that I created of my itineraries around Egypt.

Below is a diary when I was in Egypr.
Reading them now brings back memories
21st April 2005(Thursday) : Today is a busy busy day ! In the morning I was in Petra, then to Aqaba (both in Jordan); Then fast ferry crossing to Nuweiba in Egypt. Hurrying up to Dahab; Got conned in asking the taxi driver to take me to the nearest beach & at night, took a service taxi to St. Katherine Monastery !
Climbed up Mt. Sinai ! Enough for just 2 hours resting, not even to sleep, not even to close my tired eyes.

22nd April (Friday) : Still on Mt. Sinai, watching the sunset with a thousand people felt good; As it by watching the sunset it would cleanse our souls or something to that effect anyway...Went down the mountains, realised that money was tight ! money was running really low...Money was kaput ...! Thinking that I should hitchhike to Cairo ! Would anybody help me ? Please Help Me ! from 6 am to 9 am, I was miserable ! I thought my trip (no, not my life...) has ended. Yep ! That bad !
Then, along came an Arab plus 4 of Indians guys (working in Cairo) also waiting the bus to Cairo & I told them my problem. The Indian guy said, "You follow us !". Took a service bus to Suez. Good that I amange to passing under the Suez canal !
Then, a bus to Cairo ! Hussein accompanied me to Hilton Hotel where Pat was waiting (after I left a message to him that I would meet him right away ! Couldn't remember now whether I told him about my money problem...Maybe he knew ?).
Thanked Hussein & I was in the comfort of Hilton Hotel right away ! Swanky dinner, swanky atmosphere & swanky bedroom, with ah-so-comfortable bed & swanky hot shower !
We even had the time to go up The Cairo Tower but it was so hazy that all my night photos on that night were so blurry...

23rd April (Saturday) : Woke up early & Pat insisted that I should take a taxi to see Giza Pyramids.
Got conned there as my wallet was picked by the camel guy. Entered the 2nd tomb. The Spinx is SMALLER than I thought ! Took a metro back to Hilton, with a help of a nice Cairene girl called Nourmi.

24th April (Sunday) : Went to The Egyptian Museum in the morning; 2 hours in there. Afternoon to The Citadel & Mohammad's Mosque. Next was Cities Of The Dead, great to be able to see The Hanging Church ! At 8.30 pm, took the sleepr train to Aswan !

25th April (Monday) : Arrived in Aswan at about 9.30 am...walked to Isis Hotel amidst the hassles !
Went to Philae Island at 12 pm...& rested in the evening.

26th April (Tuesday) : Had to wake up at about 2.30 am to take the convoy to
Temples Of Abu Simbel ! Reached there at about 6.30 am. At 11.30 am, we were back to Aswan. In the afternoon, went to Elephantine Island, Nubian Museum; Met Hamdi & Serro, who took us on the felucca circling Elephantine Island ! The sunset sceneries were just so so nice !
In the evening, he met us again, telling us that the price to Kom Ombo & Edfu would be EP300 & Pat accepted that.

27th April (Wednesday) : Woke up at 6 am & the convoy started at 8 am.
First to Kom Ombo then to Edfu.
We had our own car (with a driver, of course) & by 12 pm, we finished the sights of these 2 temples !
The driver said that if we didn't want to wait for the convoy (which would be from Luxor), we could pay a policeman EP40 & he would accompany us safely back to Aswan. We said, "Okay !".
Reaching Aswan, we went to the train station right away & asking for the train ticket to Luxor & was told that we could buy the ticket on the train at 7.30 am the following morning...

28th April (Thursday) : Morning train to Luxor & reached there at about 11 am. Taxi to Luxor Hilton, nice hotel...! Walked to Karnak Temple as it's near to our hotel & the sun was blazing hot ! So, we explored Karnak Temple first before getting to know Luxor Town...
Took a horse carriage back to the hotel. Called Alaa & he suggested that we should meet after seeing Luxor Temple. I had a good time capturing the night photos around Luxor Temple but Pat was kinda grumpy as his camera couldn't did him justice in capturing the lights around the temple. Met up with Alaa...& a good dinner with him. Taxi back to the hotel. There's a black-out at Luxor Hotel ! (smile).

29th April (Friday) : On this day, we planned to see Theban Necropolis ! Huge areas with Valley Of The Kings, Valley Of The Queens, Valley Of The Tombs & on the way (walking) we even managed to see The Colossi Of Memnon...
It was at The Valley Of The Tombs where I was caught taking some photos inside the tomb ! The fine was just USD 2, paid to the guard. Ho-hum.
We also invited to the taxi driver's home, sipping tea.
Met up with Omar (Alaa's friend) who took us all on his boat to Alaa's very own nice property, which is somewhere around The Thebes Valley. Amazing chalet house just overlooking The Nile. It's for rent, of course...
Omar sent us back by his boat to the Luxor Town's shore & we hurried up to the train station. Were told for the following day that all the train tickets to Cairo were SOLD OUT ! Oh no ! How am I supposed to reach Cairo for my flight back home for the following day ?!

30th April (Saturday) : Pat suggested flying to Cairo from Luxor & the last flight was at 10.30 pm on the same day & arriving Cairo about 1 hour later. We secured the flight tickets at The Egypt Air Office in Luxor instead of at the hotel, where we would be ripped of for sure ! So, 1 whole day, we chilled out; Taking things slowly...buying some souvenirs etc etc. At about 9 pm, a taxi took us to the Luxor Airport & we took the flight.
Arrived in Cairo about 11.30 pm & we scrambled to the International Departures right away ! Pat was with me all the times, thanks Pat !

1st May (Sunday) : My homeward bound flight departed at about 1.30 am although it was supposed to be departed at 12.30 am...3/4 of the 8 hours journey home, I was sleeping !
Only had the time to watch the in-flight movie, Meet The Fockers ! Boring...I never like anything by Ben Stiller !...Or Adam Sandler for that matter !

So there !
Everybody should go to Egypt to see the ancient buildings.
But I dunno, I don't like Egypt.
I tell people that.
The people there were friendly.
They were friendly because they want something from you.
I always have that feeling traveling throughout Egypt.
Maybe other people will have different experiences ?

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