Trip Stats: 1,489 nautical miles from Barcelona, Spain – a total of 6,945 nautical miles since beginning the trip in Galveston, Texas, USA
This was our view as we docked in Alexandria, Egypt yesterday early morning. We were to gather at 7:15 am to meet for our tour bus assignments and by 8:00 am we were underway, skirting through the city of Alexandria as we headed out and deeper into the desert toward Giza.
Our guide, Hala, a liberated Egyptian woman with a Master’s Degree in some specialized field of antiquities from the American University in Egypt was a refreshing little rebel. It is a wonder she has not been shot. She speaks openly of her disgust for the Muslim Brotherhood, and wears sleeveless blouses as a daily protest of the oppression of women. For many years she worked in some of the small villages to encourage women to take a stand, with the only result being her ending up being banned from the villages.
Since I have not seen all of Egypt I can only speak so far of this area from Alexandria, to Giza to Cairo and back. I am not sure what exactly I was expecting, probably first and foremost that it would be a male dominated society. At least on that respect I was not disappointed.
As for the antiquities: the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx, were as I expected, old very old and all in varying degrees of decay. But hey they are over 4,000 years old and really they have never had the chance to meet Joan Rivers’ plastic surgeon.
I did not find the poverty of the small villages over-whelming, most men work hard in the fields tending their crops, the women wash the clothes and cook and many men seem to share in the tending of the children, which I am told increases at the rate of a new child every 27 seconds. The fact that most do not live is grand homes or drive-imported cars does not disturb me as much as total disregard for the precious environment.
The fruit and vegetables for sale by the street vendors had me drooling. Oh, how I wish my local Schnucks or Dierberg’s would get access to this delicious produce. It is this image of Egypt that I want to carry away with me.
We are underway soon for our trek through the Suez Canal. This should be interesting and for me exciting. I will report next from that location.