We were up early and all ready to go when we found out that we weren’t allowed to leave today, after all. An American military ship was transiting the canal today, and anytime there is a military ship going through, small boats are prohibited from entering. The big boys can still go through, but not the little guys. We begged the agent, explaining that it should be OK for an American boat to pass an American military vessel, but it isn’t his decision. The worst news was that a British military vessel was transiting tomorrow, so we couldn’t go tomorrow, either.
Since we weren’t leaving ASAP, the yacht club asked us to move the boat from the dock to a near by mooring so other boats could access the hose. We were delighted to do this, because it would make it a little harder for Sayeed to harass us. BTW, he had been harassing us non-stop since very early in the morning.
Once situated, we decided to head into town to look around and have lunch. From what we saw last night, we thought Continue reading Making Friends in Suez City
Continued from yesterday”¦ We left the sphinx on foot from an exit different than the one we came in, and walked a block down a street lined with tourist shops to the restaurant. Lunch was included in our tour package, and our hearts sank when we saw it was a buffet geared at big tour groups. We probably should have asked to go somewhere else. They probably would have been happy to accommodate us, but we didn’t ask. Once again, the food was OK. We did try a new food, pickles stuffed with rice in a tomato sauce that was surprisingly good. The bell peppers (capsicum) on the tray along with the pickles are stuffed with the same rice.
From there we went to the Cairo Museum. No photos are allowed in there, either. It is a good size museum, and it is jam packed with over 120,000 artifacts. The museum Continue reading The Cairo Museum, and a Glance at Cairo and Suez – Part 3
Continued from yesterday”¦ The entrance fee included admission into the park where we could view the exterior of the pyramids and go into the temple with the sphinx. Going inside the pyramid was an extra fee, but is worth it. The closest and supposedly best of the pyramids is The Great Pyramid of Khofu. Khofu (called Cheops by the Greeks) reigned in the mid 2500 BC period, and his tomb is the oldest of the three. It is also the tallest at 482 feet, and held the title of “tallest building in the world” for 4,400 years, until in the 19th century a taller building was finally erected. The base is 756 feet and is level to within one inch. The margin of error in the length of the 4 sides is only .2%. It is estimated to contain 2.3 million limestone blocks, each block averaging 2.5 tons. The blocks at the base are larger than the average, weighing more like 16.5 tons. The blocks were floated down the river, but how they were hauled from the river and placed within the structure is a mystery. The pyramid is oriented within three degrees of true north.
There are also three small pyramids alongside the large one, the final resting place for his queens. When we say small, we mean relatively speaking. They are still quite a large structure by modern building standards. The satellite pyramids have deteriorated quite a bit.
We walked around the exterior for a little bit, then up the small stair case cut into the base that leads to the entrance. In the first picture, you can see just how big the stones really are, and the ones at the bottom are significantly bigger than the ones pictured here. The second picture is a view of Cairo from the pyramid entrance.
No cameras were allowed inside, so sadly, no interior shots. The entrance led to a Continue reading The Pyramids and The Sphinx At Giza – Part 2
The day started when the fuel arrived at 0630. Fuel is 70 cents a liter here, so we decided to top off. Unfortunately, we never asked about the pumping system. It turned out to be jerry cans, and Sayeed had to suck diesel into his mouth to get a siphon going from the cans to our tank. Yuck. It made a big mess, and diesel is not easy to get off the fiberglass. Later we found out that diesel is only 50 cents a liter, and Heebe keeps the difference. No wonder he was happy to pay for our groceries. By their standards, they made a lot of money off our fuel purchase.
At 1000, someone came by to measure our boat. The fees for crossing the canal are based on a complicated formula involving size. Measuring took only a few minutes, and no one would tell us what the final fee would be.
In between, Sayeed was at our boat every 5 minutes, bringing forms to be filled out, then simultaneously offering to do this or that for us. If he offered a service we refused, he would get very forceful and insistent that we did need this particular service, badgering us until we backed down, or sometimes doing it in spite of being told no. After each and every thing he wanted a tip, and it was never enough money. For example, he asked if we needed Continue reading Trip to Cairo to See the Pyramids – Part I
By midnight last night, the wind was back up to 25 30 and we were being brutally bounced around. We had to slow down even more because we were getting beaten up too much at the higher speeds. We were hobby horsing like crazy, with the occasional wave making such a hard smack that you wince and wonder how much more the boat can take.
It seemed to us that since the gulf was small, it couldn’t be much longer before the fetch from the seas died off. We were Continue reading Welcome to Suez City, Egypt