Sunday, September 18, 2005

a weekend in Egypt

The weekend was great. Friday after classes, we went out for dinner with Taha and his friends. Taha is Megan's boyfriend. He is Egyptian but went to University in the States (that is where they met). We went to a fish restaurant on the Corniche.[Alex and the fish. Notice the pacifier in the mouth of the fish on the wall.]
A few of us don't like fish, so we just had rice, but it was very good, flavored rice.[They just happened to put the fish in front of Ian]
After the restaurant, we went to another place for a sheesha-I had peach flavored this time. It was also right on the Corniche. Taha's friends said that the place had the best sheeshas.[Ian, Kristen and Alex]
Megan spent the weekend with Taha at their summer cottage, at a compound somewhere about 40 minutes away. It is right on the Mediterranean and has private beaches and swimming pools.
The ride home was about the craziest taxi ride ever. The guy was weaving in and out of traffic, honking the entire way. I am not sure how fast he was going, but it was a lot faster than the other cars. Scary. I guess it is always like that in Cairo.[Kate posing infront of Montaza]
Saturday morning, Hussein picked the rest of us up and we went to a beach at Montaza (It was the summer palace of the King).We drove through the Montaza gates into the gigantic, beautiful park. The beach was at the far end of the park. The beach is in a little cove, so it was not all waves. The sand was a bit dirty, though (garbage and such).[Kristen]
Egypt is very conservative, so most women here go in fully clothed. Some have old style swimwear-covering shoulders and upper legs.
After a few hours there, we went back for a quick shower and then went to another area of Alex. to go to a restaurant called Mohammed Akhmed, that is famous for its fast service and good food (falafel, hummus, etc).We went there to meet 2 Swedes that we met at the beach. After we ate, we went back to their hotel, the Windsor Palace Hotel, for a beer.[Kristen and Kate]
Because of their religion, most Egyptians don't drink, so there are not many places to get a drink. The place was so fancy with painted ceilings and fancy furniture.
Today, Hussein picked us up at 10 and we went to the catacombs. They were discovered in around the 1900s when a donkey fell and disappeared into a tunnel. We couldn't take our cameras in but we did manage to get some pics with a camera phone that one of the girls had. They were built during that time that the Greeks and Romans were here. It was an amazing place to see... all underground, of course. Then we went to Pompei's pillar (which really has nothing to do with Pompei) and then the Graeco Roman amphitheater.[Pompei's Pillar][Alex and I at the Graeco Roman Amphitheater]
They were both very cool. I would describe them but am short on time at the moment.
We had lunch at a fabulous restaurant on the sea side of the Corniche. They had western and Egyptian food on the menu. There was a little man-made stream type thing (with no water in it) down the middle of the restaurant, and there were 3 ducks and a white flamingo wandering around. Very cool. We will have to go there again during the week. We then tried to go to Fort Qaitbey, where the Lighthouse was, but it was closed. We will try again another time.[infront of Fort Qaitbey]
Anyway, gotta go. Keep in touch. Love you all.

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