Egypt has come and gone, and it has left us with many great friends, memories, and PHOTOS! Unfortunate for all you, our dedicated followers, one thing Egypt didn't have was good internet connection capabilities. I am now writing from Israel, which is an enormous contrast to Egypt! Israel is pretty much a little America, and is much cleaner, modern, and of course expensive, than Egypt. To give you a quickcomparisonn, Israel so far has costed roughly the same as most things cost in the good ol' USA, however our last night of accommodation on the beach in Egypt cost 10 Egyptian pounds a nightequivalentnt to less than 2 USD a night. The cheapest, and our favorite meal in Cairo, Falafel sandwich, cost 75 Egyptian cents, about 15 American cents, and petrol costs like 40 cents a gallon. So you get it, pretty cheap.
We hit up four big locations in Egypt, first big stop was Luxor, which is a major tourist city, loaded with the Luxor and Karnak temples, Valley of the Kings and Queens, hundreds of beautiful tombs and thousands of years of interesting history, it's no wonder Luxor sees so many visitors each year. However, from what I noticed, the Egyptian economy is overdependant on tourism, and most people in the city have nothing else to do rather than constantly hassle the tourists trying to get their money in one way or another.
Despite all the attempted scams, hassling I never felt threatened, in danger, or uneasy in the city. Actually I felt that way for all of Egypt, despite all the warnings I got from people before traveling there (Mostly from Americans who have never been to Egypt before, "What you're going to Egypt? Wow, your brave, be careful." Travel to Egypt broke a lot of the stereotypes I had before ever entering the countrafterAftrer exploring the variety of temples, tombs, and sites that Luxor had to offer, Mr. Ryan Brandle, Aaron, and myself (MrRyan) hired a private driver to escort us through the desert. We visited a few Oasises, camped out in the desert for two nights and even visited a Magical spring! As corny as the name sounds the "magical spring" was the highlight of the excursion. It's a deep water spring, that is over a thousand meters deep, but the water is rising so fast that you can't swim against it, and its an effort even to get further than 5 or 6 feet down. The result is a strange feeling of floating on water on a thousand little bubbles that give the bottoms of your feet a little massage.
Cairo gave me the most hospitable welcome of any city I have visited this trip. It seems that every person in the city had a meeting before we arrived and agreed on saying the same three lines, "Hello, how are you" "Where are you from" "Welcome to Cairo!". A lot of people would just yell, ÂWelcome to CairoÂ but we heard all sorts of variants from ÂWelcome to Cairo, I love youÂ to ÂYou have a beautiful face. Like I said, they are very nice people. We also were in Cairo for Âthe FeastÂ which is the three day festival that follows Ramadan. For those who donÂt know about Ramadan, all Muslim people must not eat, dring, smoke, or really do anything pleasurable from 4:30 in the morning until 5:30pm every day for the holy month of Ramadan. Following Ramadan they just go crazy and close everything in the city (except restaurants) and start eating everything they were denied for the past 30 days. For the last night of Ramadan, Brandle decided it would be exciting to head down the street, where hundreds and hundreds of places were set for anyone who was around, and ask if we could join them for dinner (Ramadan Breakfast). We were greeting more warmly than anything I had ever experienced, almost everyone at the table, all of whom were starving, jumped out of their seats to offer us a place at the table, and when the food did come, they would offer us all the food we could eat, and more. It was very nice, but it did make us uncomfortable since there were homeless, starving people sitting around begging for food (all the food was provided free of charge, but supplies are limited) and the people around us would steal food from the homeless people to give to us, their guests. We did what could to not take too much food, yet not be rude and ended up splitting one dinnerÂs worth of food between the four of us. (Everyone but Nithin, who is in Nepal).
Our last stop was very chill, and brief. It was a small town called Nuwebia, which is on the Red Sea coast, offering ferries to Jordan, an hourÂs bus trip to Israel, and across the sea from Saudi Arabia. We lived in straw huts, and lounged on the beach all day at a very reasonable price ($1.80 a day). But alas, after two relaxing, hassle free days, we had decided that it was time to move on, working with limited time, and set off for the holy land, Israel. If it greets us with half the hospitality of Egypt I know we will have an unbelievable time!