Michelle and Charlie's Around the World Trip 2004-2005 travel blog

It is hard for a ship to plow through land, but someone...

The building of the Canal Authority. Statue of Liberty originally was meant...

The Suez Canal at nght

the Canal at day

 

the Nile delta

feluccas on one of the big lakes in the Nile delta


At this point we were ready not to see tourists for a while. The original plan was to go to Luxor from here, but neither the 12-18 hour overnight bus ride, nor seeing even more tourists sounded appealing. We changed our plan and decided to go check out the Suez Canal and Alexandria. We took a bus to Suez first at the southern end of the canal. When getting close to the North end of the Gulf of Suez we could see the boats lining up to the canal. From what we saw from the bus Suez has little to offer for visitors. Large parts of it give you the impression that someone randomly started to build something and left it there 1/3rd done. A change of bus at Suez and we were now going along the canal towards Port Said at the Mediterranean end of it. The ride was pretty, because fresh water irrigation channels turned the region into one big date palm tree grove. At times when there is no vegetation I am scrambling to take a picture of large boats seemingly swimming in the desert.

We get to Port Said and with Michelle's now razor sharp bargaining skills get a well priced ride to a hotel. This hotel is so far our best find, for $6 a big room with a fan, a fridge, a TV (albeit only snow instead of channels) and our own bathroom. We go out for the evening and are very happy to finally see women being out on the streets, not only men, and having a life. Granted that they were still all covered up, but here it was not oppressively hot and at least they were not locked up. We went on a night cruise on the canal. Mission accomplished, not only was it fun but we were the only non-locals near and far.

Next morning another view of the canal, the French colonial architecture of the area that have seen better days but still looked good and the building of the Canal Authority. A fun little fact for our American readers: the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty originally planned to put the statue up at this end of the Suez Canal, but eventually the local ruler decided that it cost too much. After that with the help of French donations did she find herself in New York harbor.

From here we took a bus to Alexandria. The ride follows the cost line, crossing the two major branches of the Nile, passing in between the sea and the huge lakes on which there is still sign of the delta life. Feluccas are gliding, fishermen are working, there are huge piles of plants that the ancient Egyptians made their paper and their boats of. And of course even more palm trees.



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