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.
There was a nice view of the city from the restaurant and park.
It also overlooked our next stop, the Citadel and Mohammad Ali Mosque.
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.
Below is the interior of the Mosque. The picture does not do it justice.
There was a nice view of the city from outside the Mosque.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Below is a picture of the hotel I stayed at in Cairo last night.
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.
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.
While there I took a stroll around the area on the local mode of transportation.
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.
It's mind boggling how these could have been constructed over 4500 years ago.
Below is the Sphinx.
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.
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.
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.
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