Results tagged “Castles” from Eurasia 2012

Slept in til the alarm went off at 6am so that was pretty good.

Another pretty good breakfast although no beef bacon today :(

Drove through Tahrir Square (nothing much happening at the moment there).

Our first stop was Salah Al Din Citadel, a big old fortress that apparently was never attacked, so is in remarkably good condition.

Didn't really see anything much of the fortress except the outer walls, but instead went to the Mosque of Mohammed Ali.

There were a whole group of very scantily clad girls in front of us, so they were given robes to cover up. They were also the ones throwing their shoes down soles-down on the carpets inside the mosque. hrmm.

There's a pretty good view from outside. Should have been able to see the pyramids but it was too hazy today.

Next stop was a shopping area with narrow alleys and bazaars. But apart from some stuff near the entrance square, nothing much was open, and I wasn't really interested in anything anyway.

Met up at the meeting place in this nice cafe, which was a little reminscent of something out of a movie. All it needed was ceiling fans!

Back through the CBD and back through Tahrir Square.

To the Egyptian Museum.

Security here is pretty strict here as well - xrays at the courtyard entrance. You can take photos in the courtyard but not inside. So if you want to take your cameras in to photograph the building, you then have to leave your camera at the checkpoint at the outer entrance, where you get a token for retrieval.

So into the building, another xray bag check.

We had the guide for a while and he took us round and showed us a few things. Then he gave us an hour to explore, but we asked for an hour and a half. Of course you could see maybe 5% of the museum in that time. hrmm. So we went in to see Tutenkamen. Spectacular! And all the stuff in his tomb - amazing! Then went and saw the royal mummies (100LE extra). Then some aimless wandering. There was this creepy guy in the animal mummy room who kept staring at me wherever I went, so really couldn't concentrate on the room until he eventually left :(:( So did our wandering then left, then came back to the hotel.

Had to fight the internet connection (it's ~$18 for 24 hours :( ) but the connection in my room was stuffed so had to get onto tech support for them to fix it. Blah.

At 6:30 we got picked up to go to a Nile dinner cruise.

Getting food was quite chaotic, but was nice enough (they carved up a *massive* turkey! - or maybe it wasn't massive to American standards, but looked pretty big to me!).

There was a belly dancer, and a whirling dirvish, and some singer. But after dinner we all headed up on deck to watch the lights. The boat mostly went round in circles in a little section of the Nile, so didn't get it to see all that much.

After two hours we got back and headed back to the hotel.

Radio silence for a few days after this - not even mobile phones or credit cards work anywhere south of Aswan.


Distance covered on the GPS: 50.2 km
Steps walked: 11720
Photos on the Canon:
Photos on the Sony:
Videos:
EGP Spent:

Pretty quiet day today.

Breakfast was no more inspiring than yesterday. Checked out and was not sorry to see the back of that hotel.

We stopped briefly at the rest stop we stopped at on the way down. Then continued onto Karak Castle, built by the Crusaders.

I wasn't in the best of moods (lack of sleep and annoyance with hotel and hitting my head on the bus didn't help), so didn't take many photos.

Had lunch in a little restaurant in Karak, I think that belonged to a relative of our tour guide.

Our guide said he hated coming to Karak because of the traffic, and we could see why. We had to walk a couple of hundred metres up the hill because someone had just parked in the road so there wasn't enough room for the bus to get past. Then after lunch we had to get around this tiny corner with cars parked all around it. It took a miracle and some pretty skillful driving for the driver to get us out of that one! On the way down the hill we were going slow enough through all the traffic to actually watch the people going about their business, and looking at all the stores. It was actually pretty cool.

Then continued to Amman airport.

First step is security getting into the airport itself - everything is xrayed, metal detector and brief frisk search.

Getting through immigration was relatively painless, and then had two hours to kill. We were in a spot that was close enough to the Royal Jordanian lounge to pick up their wifi, so sat and read news feeds on my phone.

They didn't open the gate itself until just before boarding, when it was security again to get to the gate.

Had a little Embraer 195 jet that was only about 1/2 to 2/3 full. And it conveniently has a small hook on the seat in front for hanging GPSes :)

Had a grumpy flight attendant who made us all put our backpacks in the overhead lockers, which is a first for me - every other flight I've ever taken I've been able to keep it under my seat.

It was pretty hazy and cloudy and the aeroplane windows were filthy so didn't see much, but did fly into Cairo from the south east, then looped around to fly across the city and land. We saw several pyramids and our hotel so that was pretty cool.

Getting through immigration at Cairo was also relatively painless. Withdrew some money and paid 95EGP for a Visa (cash only, not credit card - lame).

Then the tour bus to our hotel which took at least an hour.

This hotel is pretty damned fancy, but at least lives up to its price tag (which incidentally I have no idea what that is). This is the nicest of the "fancy" hotels we've stayed in. Haven't figured out how much the internet is here, it wouldn't connect me properly.

I am *exhausted*. Didn't get to bed til after 11pm, then woke up at 5am. But this afternoon I came down with the cold that's been going around the group (Dad's had it pretty bad the last couple of days). There's a 5am wakeup call to go to Alexandria tomorrow. I debated skipping it, but at least there'll be five hours on the bus to snooze.


Distance covered on the GPS: 1013 km
Steps walked: 13690, but I'm taking off 5500 due to bumpy roads screwing up the count
Photos on the Canon: 107
Photos on the Sony: 173
Videos: 1
JD Spent: 0.9
EGP Spent: 97.5