Friday, January 29, 2010

From Africa to Asia and Back

By Claire
We enjoyed another long, fantastic day visiting the Suez Canal. Tarek picked us up and acted as guide and driver today. We drove along the Suez Highway to Suez City where we saw the Red Sea for the first time and a tiny view of the canal from a park. Foreigners are not allowed in that area. A bit disappointing.

Red Sea in Suez City

Suez Canal

We came to the first of two checkpoints and had to show our passports; we were on our way to Sinai, on the Asia side of Africa. We drove through a tunnel under the canal and arrived on the other side to almost complete desert with the occasional green area.

First sighting of a "ship in the desert."

Camels along the way--a classic with palm trees included.

We came to the Suez Canal Bridge, also known as the Mubarak Peace Bridge or the Egyptian-Japanese Friendship Bridge.

This is the bridge with the best views of the canal--but you aren't allowed to stop or take photos! Tarek told me when I could get a quick shot and when to put my camera down.

Signage along the way

We arrived to green farms and far less desert back on the African side and stopped for lunch. We ordered chicken sandwiches, at least that is what the waiter translated for us, and fresh mango juice. We had seen miles and miles of mango farms along the way. It was the best mango juice I've ever had.

We enjoyed lots of interesting sightings along the way. Far too many for me to capture from a moving car. I wish I could have gotten the one of the bus with men literally hanging off the sides.

Tarek asked if we would like to see where typical Egyptians live, including himself. He gave us a tour of his neighborhood and showed off all the amenities.

Giant mall with everything you could possibly need.

Another mall with huge food court that seats hundreds with outside seating.

Back in the city, we saw the Baron Palace, named for a famous Egyptologist from Belgium and done in a Hindu style.

I never thought I'd see all that we did this week. It's been a very active week and we are frankly amazed at how much we saw. We really enjoyed being with Tarek today. He's a wonderful driver!

Expenses for today:
Tarek, €150 plus €13 tip
Lunch, €6.45

All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out other dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. ~ T. E. Lawrence


Carol said...


Karin said...

Egypt seems to be an experience of a lifetime! Another world! WOW! Etc, Etc. Your pictures are wonderful....they capture everything you are writing about perfectly! You are very lucky to get such a good driver and guide. You definitely should write a book!

Karin from Paros in Prague