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All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2009:

We docked in Port Said, Egypt at 7:00AM Friday Morning.
This was the start of my 2-day overland adventure in Egypt.
I would not return to the ship until tomorrow evening in Alexandria.
Once we were off the ship we traveled in a police escorted convoy to Cairo which took 3 hours.

In the four minute video below I drive through the city of Port Said, Egypt on the way to Cairo.

Our first stop in Cairo was at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities.
The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities contains many important pieces of ancient Egyptian history.
It houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities, and many treasures of King Tutankhamen.
Photography of any kind is strictly forbidden in the museum, you aren't even allowed to take a camera in the building.

The eleven minute video below was captured from the bus window while driving around Cairo.

After leaving the museum we went to lunch in beautiful Al-Azhar Park.
This park is listed as one of the world's sixty great public spaces by Project for Public Spaces.
After a delicious lunch I took a walk through the park and admired the view of Cairo.
Cairo's Al-Azhar Park Cairo's Al-Azhar Park Cairo's Al-Azhar Park

From Al-Azhar Park you could see our next stop, the Saladin Citadel & Mosque of Muhammad Ali.
View from Cairo's Al-Azhar Park View from Cairo's Al-Azhar Park Cairo's Al-Azhar Park

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha or Alabaster Mosque is situated on the summit of the citadel, this Ottoman mosque,
the largest to be built in the first half of the 19th century, is, with its animated silhouette and twin minarets, the most
visible mosque in Cairo. The mosque was built in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad Ali's oldest son, who died in 1816.
The Mosque of Muhammad Ali in Cairo The Mosque of Muhammad Ali in Cairo The Mosque of Muhammad Ali in Cairo

Thanks to the relatively clear skies, you could see all the way to the Pyramids from the Citadel.
View of Cairo from the Citadel View of Cairo from the Citadel View of Cairo from the Citadel

The Saladin Citadel of Cairo, part of the Muqattam hill near the center of Cairo, was once famous for its fresh breeze and grand
views of the city, and was fortified by the Ayyubid ruler Salah al-Din between 1176 and 1183 AD, to protect it from the Crusaders.
View of the Pyramids from the Citadel Me at the Saladin Citadel of Cairo The Saladin Citadel of Cairo

In the eleven minute video below I visit Al-Azhar Park, Citadel of Salah El Din and Muhammad Ali Mosque.

Next we were taken to our hotel, the Sofitel, which was located on an island in the middle of the Nile River.
Sofitel Hotel on the Nile River in Cairo View from the Sofitel Hotel on the Nile River in Cairo View from the Sofitel Hotel on the Nile River in Cairo

I had a great view of the city and the Nile from my balcony.
View from the Sofitel Hotel on the Nile River in Cairo View from the Sofitel Hotel on the Nile River in Cairo Night view from the Sofitel Hotel on the Nile River in Cairo

We had a couple hours to freshen up at the hotel before venturing to the Pyramids for the Sound & Light Show.
After the light show we had a very nice dinner at an historical old hotel in Cairo.

You can see the Sound & Light Show in the ten minute video below.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON OCTOBER 30, 2009
Hello folks,

We docked at Port Said, Egypt this morning before sunrise. Port Said is the north entrance to the Suez Canal on the Mediterranean Sea. Once off the ship it was a three hour drive into Cairo. We traveled in a police escorted convoy and there were two security officers on our bus. The drive into Cairo would have been longer without the escort because we didn't stop at red lights and they forced the traffic to the right to let us pass. Cairo is a small little village of 25 million people. Our first stop after getting into town was the Egyptian Museum of the Antiquities. The museum contains artifacts dating back to 1700 B.C. Most of King Tut's treasures are here. No photography was allowed, you weren't even allowed to bring a camera into the building.

Our next stop was lunch at a beautiful park overlooking Cairo.

Cairo's Al-Azhar Park

There was a nice view of the city from the restaurant and park.

View from Cairo's Al-Azhar Park

It also overlooked our next stop, the Citadel and Mohammad Ali Mosque.

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali in Cairo

The Mosque was very impressive. We had to delay our visit a couple hours due to Friday being the holiest day for Muslims and it was being used for noon prayers.

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali in Cairo

Below is the interior of the Mosque. The picture does not do it justice.

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali in Cairo

There was a nice view of the city from outside the Mosque.

View of Cairo from the Citadel

Our guide said we were lucky that we had an unusually clear day and we were able to see the Pyramids from the Mosque. I didn't realize they were that close to the city.

View of the Pyramids from the Citadel

Next we checked into our hotel. I will spend the night here and join back up with the ship tomorrow. Our hotel in on an island in the middle of the Nile River. From my balcony I have a fantastic view of the city and the river.

View from the Sofitel Hotel on the Nile River in Cairo

View from the Sofitel Hotel on the Nile River in Cairo

View from the Sofitel Hotel on the Nile River in Cairo

I have to close now. We are about to leave to go out and see the sound and light show at the Pyramids which will be followed by a swanky dinner at a posh hotel.

Tim


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2009:

Saturday morning I took a Nile River breakfast cruise and sailed through awakening Cairo.
My cruise on the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt My cruise on the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt My cruise on the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt

The Nile is a north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world.
My cruise on the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt My cruise on the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt My cruise on the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt

Watch the seven minute video below to see my cruise through Cairo on the Nile River.

The Pyramid of Djoser, or step pyramid is an archeological remain in the Saqqara necropolis, northwest of the city of Memphis.
It was built for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by his vizier Imhotep, during the 27th century BC.
The Pyramid of Djoser, or Step Pyramid Local Arab at the Pyramid of Djoser, or step pyramid Local Arab and his camel at the Pyramid of Djoser, or step pyramid

This is the oldest Egyptian pyramid consisteing of six mastabas (of decreasing size) built atop one another.
Me and my camel friend at the Pyramid of Djoser, or step pyramid The Pyramid of Djoser, or step pyramid The Pyramid of Djoser, or step pyramid

In the four minute video below I visit the oldest of Egypt's Pyramids, the Step Pyramid of Sakkara.

The Giza Necropolis stands on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo.
This complex of ancient monuments includes the three pyramids known as the Great Pyramids.
The Giza Necropolis Me at the Great Pyramids of Egypt Me at the Great Pyramids of Egypt

The lower left photo is The Great Pyramid of Giza (also called the Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Cheops).
Built in 2560BC it is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis.
The middle photo is The Pyramid of Khafre, second largest of the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids of Giza
and the tomb of the fourth-dynasty pharaoh Khafre (Chephren).
The lower right photo is the Pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the three Pyramids of Giza.
It was built to serve as the tomb of the fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Menkaure.
Pyramid of Khufu (also called Pyramid of Cheops) The Pyramid of Khafre Pyramid of Menkaure

The is no shortage of folk selling their wares at the Pyramids. The most popular of which is a camel ride.
My camel ride at the Giza Necropolis My camel ride at the Giza Necropolis My camel ride at the Giza Necropolis

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a statue of a reclining lion with a human head that stands in front of the Pyramids.
It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 240 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 66 feet) high.
The oldest known monumental sculpture, believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians in the third millennium BCE.
Pyramid of Khufu (also called Pyramid of Cheops) Great Sphinx of Giza Great Sphinx of Giza

Along with these major monuments are a number of smaller satellite edifices, known as "queens" pyramids.
The Giza Necropolis Great Sphinx of Giza Along with these major monuments are a number of smaller satellite edifices, known as

In the eight minute video below I visit the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx.

We had a nice lunch at a hotel across from the Pyramids before our 3-hour drive to Alexandria.
Drive through the Egypt desert at sunset

We arrived in Alexandria in the early evening and joined back up with the Royal Princess.

We sailed away around 8:00 which you can see in the six minute video below.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON OCTOBER 31, 2009
Happy Halloween!

Saw the sound and light show at the Pyramids last night. It was a nice program that lasted about 50 minutes. After the show we had a nice dinner at a classic old hotel in Cairo. Today began with a breakfast cruise on the Nile River.

My cruise on the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt

Below is a picture of the hotel I stayed at in Cairo last night.

Sofitel Hotel on the Nile River in Cairo

After our cruise we drove out to the Step Pyramid of Sakkara. It was built in 2800 B.C. for Pharaoh Zoser and is the oldest of Egypt's 123 pyramids. Also in the picture below is yet another critter I am bringing home.

Me and my camel friend at the Pyramid of Djoser, or step pyramid

Next it was back to the Great Pyramids in Giza. The Great Pyramid of Cheops, the one on the left, is the biggest and was completed in 2500 B.C. It is built of 2,300,000 limestone blocks weighing 2.5 tons each. It's base covers 13 acres. The middle Pyramid is Chephren and is only slightly smaller than Cheops. The small pyramid on the right is Mycerinus.

The Giza Necropolis

While there I took a stroll around the area on the local mode of transportation.

My camel ride at the Giza Necropolis

I figured the camel I picked up in Sakkara needed a playmate so I got him a friend. I heard the camel groan when I got on letting me know that I have spent too much time at the buffet on the ship.

My camel ride at the Giza Necropolis

It's mind boggling how these could have been constructed over 4500 years ago.

Pyramid of Khufu (also called Pyramid of Cheops)

Below is the Sphinx.

Great Sphinx of Giza

After walking all around the Great Pyramids we had lunch at another beautiful Cairo hotel. This one was across from the Pyramids. Next it was a 3 hour drive to Alexandria where the ship has been all day. We watched the sun set across the desert on the way back. We sailed away at 8:00.

It has been four fun, but very long days in a row in Israel and Egypt. There are three days left of the cruise. Sunday and Monday are sea days as we sail northwest across the Mediterranean and eventually into the Adriatic Sea. On Tuesday we will be in Croatia. The cruise ends in Venice where I will spend a couple days before flying home and completing my trip around the world in 37 days.

Tim

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2009:

On Sunday we were sailing northwest across the Mediterranean Sea.



MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2009:

On Monday we were sailing northwest through the Adriatic Sea.



TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2009:

On Wednesday our call in Split, Croatia was cancelled due to weather.

In the short one minute video below the Captain announces the cancellation of our call in Split, Croatia.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON NOVEMBER 3 , 2009
Hello folks,

A bit of a disappointing end to the trip. The last two days we have been crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Weather has been cold, windy and rainy the whole time with some rough seas. Today we were supposed to visit Croatia, but the weather is even worse today. So the Captain had to abort the call here in Split, Croatia. This will now be the third sea day in a row. Below is a beautiful picture of Croatia from my balcony this morning.

Great Sphinx of Giza

Unfortunately that is all I will see of Croatia. I really can't complain about the weather. For five weeks the weather has been great. This is the first bad weather of the whole trip. Unfortunately the forecast for Venice is not good either, rain both days. If I get a cheap Internet connection from the hotel in Venice I will send a report from there, otherwise I will send a final email when I get home this weekend.

Tim



Click on the arrow above to continue to my next adventure, VENICE, ITALY.

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