A Travellerspoint blog

Al-Qahirah (that's Cairo to most of you)


View 2004 Lebanon, Syria, Jordan & Egypt on alexchan's travel map.

Finally we face up to Cairo [Cairo-travel-guide-1231804] again, after 12 years of detesting the place. It has changed ... cleaner and greener. People are less obnoxious and the hassle or rip-off factor not quite as bad. The traffic is still as bad and the four of us have to follow locals in order to cross the road. So here's a little lesson to travellers ... "If you don't like a place at first, give it another chance. But not too quickly."

Righty ho. On the big bird to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow, then connecting to Singapore.

5550_11661288676944.jpg5550_11661288743046.jpg

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Egypt Comments (0)

Finally, a little luxury


View 2004 Lebanon, Syria, Jordan & Egypt on alexchan's travel map.

large_5550_1166128857151.jpgThe Concorde Sharm El Sheikh. Flash hotel at amazing value by booking early. Unbeatable sea life just off the jetty ... no need to swim far to see all the colours of the rainbow underwater.
This part of the trip is what most of our friends call a "normal holiday". We checked in at a gorgeous resort on the Red Sea riviera (if you recall the ad, "Where everybody wears a smile"). We couldn't believe that anything in Egypt could live up to that kind of advertising ... but it did. The resort, food and their obliging staff can't be matched by anything we've experienced before. Best of all, everything is reasonably priced unlike, say, Fiji. And the meals here don't come free with food poisoning like at the Royal Sheraton in Fiji.

Snorkelling just metres off the hotel beach, one can see a variety of colourful marine life. Quite effortless really ... just float face down and see everything go past ... like a big TV screen.

5550_1166128857151.jpg

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Egypt Comments (0)

The monastery


View 2004 Lebanon, Syria, Jordan & Egypt on alexchan's travel map.

large_5550_11661288534208.jpgSt Katherine's monastery, where the biblical burning bush still lives on.
Please note that links to external sites were correct when this blog was written. However, they may no longer be valid.

We crossed over from Jordan (Aqaba) into Egypt (Nuweiba) by an extremely modern ferry. Upon arrival into Nuweiba [Nuweiba-travel-guide-1236638], we asked why we bothered coming back to Egypt. It was absolute chaos at the port ... a cross between a medieval scene and maybe a CNN's protrayal of deepest and darkest Africa. There were people bringing all sorts (matresses, broken furniture, modern electronics). Took 2 hours to get through as customs wanted the passenger manifest before letting anyone leave the port ... and the magic piece of paper somehow got delayed.

Nuweiba was only a port of entry for us ... we headed up to St Katherine [http://www.cameldive.com/pictures/katherine-big.jpg] immediately. We were met with lightning and hailstorm in the Sinai desert! St Catherine's head is kept after she was beheaded for her faith on the Catherine Wheel. They had an interesting museum of icons and paintings ... I like the one of Jesus holding a new testament (which was written after his death), the cover of which had a crucifix (which he would not have died on yet). Makes the lunar landing seem real doesn't it?

Most people come also here to sleep on the Mt Sinai (known locally by Arabs as Mt Musa as that's where Prophet Musa (pbuh) (aka Moses) collected the 10 commandments).

5550_11661288534208.jpg

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Egypt Comments (0)

In Lawrence's footsteps


View 2004 Lebanon, Syria, Jordan & Egypt on alexchan's travel map.

Please note that links to external sites were correct when this blog was written. However, they may no longer be valid.

Coming a close second (in terms of being a highlight of Jordan) was Wadi Rum [http://www.elet.polimi.it/upload/bregni/photoart/jordan/wadirun_truck.jpg] of "Lawrence of Arabia" fame ... otherwise for the sheer mountains in the desert. Camped there overnight.

5550_11661288358094.jpg5550_11661288448518.jpg5550_11661288402776.jpg

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Jordan Comments (0)

The Rose-Red City


View 2004 Lebanon, Syria, Jordan & Egypt on alexchan's travel map.

large_5550_11661287997743.jpg"Petra by night" ... our first glimpse of Petra was in the soft light of hundreds of candles (sitting in sand-filled paper bags). Magic! Gotta plan for this as it doesn't happen nightly.
Please note that links to external sites were correct when this blog was written. However, they may no longer be valid.

Petra [http://www.atlastours.net/jordan/al_deir.jpg] was obviously the highlight of Jordan. We took a different approach by not visiting each and every ruin in detail. Instead we hopped on a donkey each and wandered around the whole expanse of the site to fully appreciate the scale. After being on these sure-footed animals on hairpin bends beside 200-foot drops (cliffs), I've got utmost respect for them. Perhaps I'll never call anyone a dumb ass again.

To be honest the donkey rides were pretty hair-raising and it was a bit much for Kim's parents. We were assured by the guides that the route was "flat", only to discover that they meant "no steps but steep". For the wrong people, it is definitely heart-attack material. We were also told it was very safe but we read in the paper later that someone had died falling off (the cliff, not a donkey) the day before.

5550_11661287997743.jpg5550_11661288095555.jpg5550_11661288176849.jpg

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Jordan Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 11) Page [1] 2 3 »