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April, 2013:

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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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…

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