The Plan

Right now what I am setting up is 4 days in Cairo to see the pyrimids, and such, then taking a overnight bus to Sinai for a week of scuba diving in the Red Sea. Then the bus back to Cairo to leave April 14th.

Cairo update: -

Well this happened so long ago that you will just get the highlights.

Flew into Egypt and was held up at airport for 45 minutes while customs looked at my passport. No reason for the delay was given and all other passengers from my flight went right through. Maybe they thought I was CIA, since the whole problem with Israel and Palestine had just broken out. Someone, presumably official since nothing was taken, also picked the lock on the wire mesh securing my checked bag and also broke a zipper off that was secured by a separate combination lock.

The flight had started in Nairobi with Egypt Air claiming they had no record in their computer of my ticket. Luckily there must have been a seat free since they let me on the flight. When I went to confirm my onward flight in 2 weeks, this was also missing from their computer and they could only put me on standby. Since this might cause me to miss my cruise in Athens if I was bumped a day I chose to get a confirmed seat a day early and just make my trip in Egypt shorter. I don't remember if I have previously mentioned this, but at this time my flight out of Athens to Kathmandu was still in limbo after Gulf Air stopped serving Athens and rerouted me on a different airline leaving before I would be back in Athens. I supposedly have this fixed if I can manage to find someplace to pick up new tickets on Olympic Airways. Because of weekends, etc. I only finally got this done the day I was supposed to leave Athens, but 19 days of trying to reach airlines and ticket offices exist between now and then which I will delete since it all worked out eventually. Anyway, the point of this diatribe has been to warn prospective travellers that in my opinion the airlines in this part of the world leave something to be desired. :)

Next couple of days were spent in Cairo. You need a day to see the tombs at Saccara and the Pyrimids at Giza, and maybe a half day to see the Cairo museseum (sp?). Otherwise Cairo is a big, dirty town, with crazy traffic. Many roads have no lane stripes, and they are ignored when present. Cars just drive anywhere with the road varring from 2 to 5 lanes depending on how much traffic there is, not how wide the road is. I saw cars changing tires in the middle lane without pulling over to the edge, everyone just weaves around. Taxi's and private cars stop in the right lane of freeways without shoulders to take on or put off people. There are no lights or crosswalks, when you want to get to the other side of even 6 lane freeways you just start walking out into traffic, trying to scoot across one lane at a time while the cars and trucks weave around you. I tried to find old women to follow across on the down stream side :) There is also the constant husseling going on I have come to associate with Arab nations. Learning about other cultures is probably good for you, but some just tend to grate on the nerves. In the interest of maintaining a bias neutral tone I will skip the examples. Anyway, if you come only plan a few days, I can't see why you would want to stay any longer. Spent a couple of nights walking along the Nile riverbank, but not much to see, I was just bored.

Took a night bus to Sharm el Shek, which is just a tourist spot on the tip of the Sinai penisula. Stayed at a all inclusive resort with pools and facilites that would get approval from Nat and Krista back in Idaho as suitable accomodations. Seemed like way too much luxurory to me, with movies on the TV, air conditioning, etc. Spent most of my time scuba diving, which was really good. Talked to the divemaster from Wurtzburg Germany of all places about working during the high season. May come back sometime to see if I can get work, seems like a good place for a season or so. Otherwise, you can go on some dessert jeep drives or to climb Mt. Sinai, both of which I skipped to do more diving. Really interesting landscape around in a dry martian, moon crater, sort of way. No vegatation except around the resorts where they plant and water. After a week it was back to Cairo and then out. Final summary: Egypt is a nice place to visit, it is cheap, safe, easy to get around. Good diving and some nice tombs and pyrimids if you can ignore the locals. Was probably more impressive before National Geographic exposed us all to what the pyrimids look like in pictures and TV shows.

-Left april 13th for Athens.