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Entries in Egypt (6)

Saturday
Aug082009

Chilaquiles or Foul?

Yes, both are famous breakfast dishes. Foul, no not chicken, is an Egyptian dish consisting of beans and meat in a brownish sauce (more than likely the cooking liquid of the beans and meat). It is served with several condiments, parsley, spicy somethings, onions, ground spices, olive oil, and other stuff. I pretty much had it each morning when I was in Egypt. It's filling, but is it something I look forward to? Not so much.

I tried it everywhere I went and it pretty much tasted the same everywhere. Think of loose, watery refried beans that haven't quite been totally pulverized and add some ground beef and you have foul.

I am looking forward to some Chilaquiles when I return to the States.

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Wednesday
Aug052009

Let My People Go!

Yes, I hiked that famous mountain just a week ago. HestonWas it a religous experience? No. That mountain has more people, hawkers, trail stands, camels, and camel dung than I care for. Was it a cool sunrise? Yes. The walk down was the great part. A series of steps made by a devoted monk was a much better way to see the mountain when compared to the camel road up.

Sinai The logistics in summer basically state you arrive around 1:30 a.m.ish to hire a guide. The guide thing is just a way to raise revenue locally. No guide is necessary up the camel road (or the 3750 steps either, just follow the crowd). My guide, Jamal, was an ok dude. He smoked a lot, prayed just before sunrise, lives in the local village, and speaks English well. We made it to the summit in about 2.25 hours. Actually, we stopped just short to take a nap just before sunrise (the taxi ride left me a tad rattled. The taxi driver was a bit of a speed demon on every curve).

Anyway, the trip down offered a few good opportunites for photos. It also had the benefit of only a few people.

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Tuesday
Aug042009

Report Card for Egyptian Sites

Here is a quick report card for the major sites around Cairo:

Giza Pyramids = B+ (so many people and hawkers it was bothersome) They are the neatest to see. Supposedly they are cleaning it up in the next year to get rid of the camel hawkers and general hawking. If so, increase grade to A- because you cannot go inside them.

Saqqara Step Pyramid = B- (good, not great and hawkers) Plus a lot of reconstruction.

Dashur = A (actually had the place to myself and walked inside the pyramids) Best spot on the 2 day trip.

Memphis = F (don't bother it sucks and I wonder how it makes it on the regular trip)

Coptic Cairo = B+ (relaxed, the welcome mat is out, no hawkers)

Egyptian Museum = C (if you like no air conditioning, the chance to contract TB, and a total mob scene, this is the place for you) Lots of stuff in there. The King Tut stuff was the coolest.

The Citadel = B- (go inside the Mosque, its cool and out of the sun)

This is me at Dashur and it's 110 degrees, and no, there is no shade, thanks for asking. Oh, right, just like Fresno in summertime. Thanks for the cotton hat Dad. It provided evaporative cooling that does not work with polyester hats, useful in the mountains, not the desert.IMG_1311

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Sunday
Aug022009

Hell Boat

I don't often complain, but fuck me, this boat trip sucked.IMG_1810 The boat that I speak of travels from Aqaba, Jordan to Nuweiba, Egypt each day sometime in the middle of the day, God willing. From the start of my day, until I arrived at my hotel, it took 12 fucking hours to get where I needed to go. Sure this included the taxi ride from Petra to Aqaba {2 hours}, the Taxi from Nuweiba to Sharm el Sheik {2.5 hours}. Lonely Planet can kiss my ass on their information. Oh, and I wasn't the only poor bastard that felt this way. I spoke to several other English speaking individuals and couples, who have the same kind words for our friends at The Planet.

My advice, take the car back to Amman, Jordan and fly back to where you need to go. Don't waste you time "getting into the spirit of travel".

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Monday
Jul272009

A Coke and a Smile

I have made it out of Italy and on to Egypt and Jordan. While this won't get posted until Tues, July 28, I am writing from Petra, Jordan (the site from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, ending scene or the latest Transformers movie). Anyway, I've updated my photos on Flickr (ask me if you want access to them) and am trying to get decent internet to upload (and backup) my photos. Not everyplace has had the best upload capability, especially Italy.IMG_1440[1] I'm in front of the Mohamed Ali Mosque in The Citadel in Cairo. Coke and Pepsi are served here.

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