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First Call to Antalya

After finally leaving the African Continent and one seaday, we arrived on the next Continent, Asia! Ok, just quite geographically seen, but Antalya resides on the Asian Continent.

Antalya will be our Embarcation-Port for the next few cruises, so we headed to the city center to see what we could do. The first thing was, of course, a long shuttle ride from outside Antalya to the city center. Arrived there, we walked around a bit without any plan, like we always do… As we didn’t hat much time, we just had a short peek in the old city of Antalya and then a really really expensive and really really not so good cappuccino with wi-fi. good start, Antalya…

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From Alexandria to the Pyramids

After leaving the Suez-Chanel, we were meant to stop in Port Said, but due to the unsafe conditions there, we changed our port of call and went to Alexandria. From there, we organized a crew-tour to the Pyramids in Gizeh!

Our little private Bus took us almost 2 hours from Alexandria to Gizeh, which was a really interesting tour. Just the tour itself already. As you can see in the pictures, Egypt is not in the best condition, frankly said…
Arrived in Gizeh, we entered the Pyramid-area and I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed about them. You know, you imagine the Pyramids as T H E mighty Pyramids standing lonely in the desert. But its far from that, truth is, they are surrounded by the City of Gizeh and somehow not sooooo impressive as I expected them to be. But that’s just my opinion.

Walking around the area, you really could see the state of civil mentality in Egypt. Our Tour guide said, that normally you are not allowed to climb the stones of the Pyramids and that they are guarded by Security. But, in theses times, there where a lot of people trying to get money from you, just for taking a picture of you. Even the Security guys asked. An a lot of other, poor looking youth permanently running after you and asking or begging. It was really not easy to get rid of them, because the “normal” reaction of a nice European guy is to say “no, thank you” or something like that. But as soon as you talk to them, they somehow increase in number and surrounding you completely… so the best, but for us feeling kind of rude reaction is, to completely ignore them… after a few minutes of shouting and talking and even touching you they will look for other victims…

After the Pyramids, we took the Bus and drove a few minutes down the hill right in front of the most famous cat of egypt, the Sphinx. And again, I was kinda disappointed of her, because she was quite small, not like in Asterix and Obelix. But this was probably due to the fact, that in the city of Gizeh had grown just up to approx 100m to the Sphinx.

Nevertheless, it was an experience to see her and surrounding temples. After this stop, we headed to a small museum of Papyrus, where we got shown how real Papyrus is being made, and we also bought a small piece of it, of course. Like good tourists do…

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Canalization

After leaving Aqaba, we went from one gulf into another around the corner of the Sinai peninsula, up to Suez!
We arrived there in the night and we had to wait for our convoy to gather, because the suez-canal is a one-way canal. And we were happy to get the convoy during daylight 🙂

So in the morning we started leaving the Gulf of Suez towards the Mediterranean sea leaving our time in the Arabic world behind. Ok not yet completely, we will go to Alexandria, but more or less.
Traveling in the canal is quite unique, because you have two completely different landscapes at once. Port side, the green and populated part of Egypt, Starboard side the desert, scattered with a few roads and pipes. And in the middle, the canal. On the way up towards Port Said, we got some quite amazing views, for example the Al-Ferdan bridge, or the Al-Salam bridge.

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Journey to the past

Today we had one of those famous crew-tours again. This time, we went to an old old town, in this part of the holy land, which is today known as Jordan.
The city we visited was (and is still called) Petra.

But, as you might know, Petra has no harbor, so we left our mighty ship in Aqaba, right at the border to Israel and took a 2 hours bus ride to Petra. Arrived there, we started our journey through history by foot, which you can follow with the pictures down below (which will probably be less dusty and hot than it was taking the pictures).

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A short visit to Safaga, Egypt

On our route through the red sea towards the Mediterranean sea, we made a quick stop in Safaga, a really little town in Egypt.
There is not much to say, and there was not much to see, touristically. But, it was the most dirty town I have ever visited.

It felt like we were landed in the middle of something you imagine civil-war-scene in the third world. Plus hot weather. Really hot. And no water… stupid tourists…

Diner in the Souq Madinat

Today was a very rare day, because I was out at night!
This normally don’t happen, because I have to work almost every evening. But because of lucky circumstances, this evening we showed a movie in the theater which I could semi-automate so I could go out with my friends. We decided to go in to the Souq Madinat, a completely rebuild old Souq, which was essentially another mall but a nice one.

So we had a wonderful evening full of Shisha and delicious Arabic food, a lot actually… 🙂

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Time for some sports… Snowboarding?

Today, on our almost last call to Dubai, we had a trip to the winter… not really, but for two hours. When you are in Dubai and your missing the snow, you just can visit Ski Dubai and have a ride! You probably already heard of this monstrous ski-facility located downtown Dubai. We did, and so we decided to give it a try how it is to snowboard in the middle east.

For me it had a bit of a challenge, because it was the second time I tried snowboarding… I know, totally lame. But I managed to get down somehow, a few times actually. After those two freezing (-5°C) hours full of falling and standing up we went out again into 30°C sunshine and took the famous Dubai automated Subway, which is a really sci-fy thingy, cruising through the skyline of Dubai.

 

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Last (and personally) first Call for Manama

Today was a quite interesting day, because after a few month I had my first “first timer” again. We had been every week in Manama, but only a few hours so it didn’t worked out to go into the city and, at least once, we weren’t allowed to because of rumors going on in Manama (as seen on TV).

But today we decided that we have to go at least one time to Manama. So we went through the quite detailed passport-control (not used to it, normally you just walk out the ship) and took the shuttle which brought us directly to downtown Manama. The first impression of Manama was quite dirty, lot of unfinished or destroyed houses in the suburbs. In the city itself you could see a lot of empty Buildings which where also not cleaned anymore, so they where really dusty. But just going around a few corners, you encountered really modern and quite futuristic skyscrapers like the Bahrain World Trade Center with integrated wind turbines!

After the shuttle dropped us in the middle of the chaos, we went right into the big market-area with hundreds of little shops and alleys and even more smells and sounds. As we had no map, we just walked on (like always) so we suddenly ended up in the middle of a big crowd of men starting their prayer in the middle of the street. Actually, the streets where completely blocked by people praying so we really had to hurry up because they literally used every spot on the floor. The situation was quite uncomfortable and we had a bad gut feeling, because of some black flags on the mosques and everybody was looking strange at us (especially at my girlfriend) so we decided to head back to the market area. It felt like back then in Casablanca, when we got lost in the slums…

Because we had to wait a bit for the shuttle and we were hungry, we decided to eat something and ended up with KFC… bad mistake. Or is KFC everywhere on the world so bad? Actually we though about something local, but didn’t made it to buy something in those small restaurants which were looking like not fulfilling the basic hygienic standards…

When you travel around the middle east, especially in the Emirates, you always can see that rich and poor are living next door. But Manama was quite extreme, in one second your walking through a completely new (and empty) mall, the other second you are lost in areas you normally know from movies, where some CIA agents hunting terrorists… almost. Interesting, but a one time only thing….

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Last Call for Abu Dhabi

Time flies by, so we already start to leave the middle east. Today we have been the last time in Abu Dhabi, and because we had seen already so much, we just went to the Marina Mall and went up the tower to get one last glance over this city.

But before we left the harbor, we had to pass by the ATM at the terminal. Yea ok, that’s just an ATM, but, on our last visit to Abu Dhabi, we had a quite crashing encounter with the glass-door. Not on purpose of course, but this day was very, very windy and the door was just ripped out of my hands and swung wiiiide open. too much… as you can see on the first picture. Luckily nothing serious happened to us, just a few scratches. But the door was gone…

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The Dubai Fountain

As we had every time an overnight in Dubai, so for some people there was the possibility to enjoy the nightlife of Dubai. So did I, but this time I had to work, so I send my camera on a voyage to visit the Fountain-Plays at night. Enjoy!


 

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