Sunday, December 03, 2006

Egypt - The finale

We headed back to our favorite breakfast place on Saturday morning. Yummy, yummy and there were actually other people there. The other mornings we had the place all to ourselves. After breakfast we headed to Islamic Egypt. Our major stop was the Citadel of Salah al-Din. From there you can see a good overview of the surrounding area. We had been told that around 90% of the population is Muslim. You could tell by all the mosques and the calls to prayer that we heard EVERYWHERE.

They also had a Military Museum that Stephen enjoyed walking through. Several neat exhibits and ancient weapons.

There were also several groups of school children and we were surrounded by them at several different points. This group wanted our picture so I took the opportunity to take theirs as well!

We then took a taxi to Khan al-Khalili Market and walked the length of the major road that runs through it. It was loud and chaotic, with the merchants calling out in several languages until they guessed which nationality you were.

I could have stood the noise and done some shopping but this is what we were walking in:

Yes, that is ankle deep trash! I couldn't stand it and as soon as we spotted a taxi we were out of there. We headed to the hotel and spent the afternoon resting.

That night we took a dinner cruise. The buffet was decent. I enjoyed trying lots of "local" salads. Then the entertainment started! They had a belly dancer, several male dances with sticks, and a whirling dervish. He was the best.

Then of course they pulled me out there and I had to dance, much to Steve's enjoyment who said, "if you don't post it - I will!"

We were about "Cairo-ed" out by that night so we scheduled a private car to pick us up at the hotel at 3:30am. We were told we had plenty of time. We arrived at terminal 2 by 4am for our 5:10am flight. This would have been fine if terminal 2 was correct. It wasn't. So we had to take the shuttle to the parking area to change to the terminal 1 shuttle. By the time the driver had his sunrise prayer time in the back of the bus, we arrived at the correct terminal around 4:30am. This was about the least organized airport I have ever seen! We made it onto the plane with no joke 2 minutes to spare! Steve was bummed because he still had 200 Egyptian pounds and we hadn't had coffee.

We took off and thought we were home free. I conked out and when Stephen woke me up he said we had been diverted to Constanta airport due to the weather in Bucharest. Major bummer. We had to wait about 2 hours there. The airport was evidently shut down since we were the only ones there, no lights were on and no heat! No coffee shop either.
We got back to our apartment around noon. Stephen made a large pot of coffee (our first of the day!) and we all ate lunch. Now we have to wash clothes and pack. I already have one suitcase full!