After almost a week in Egypt it is good to be back in the calm and relaxing environment at St Thomas Home in Jerusalem. The temperature is also refreshingly colder than what was the case in the Egyptian Capital. Here it is possible to breath
But one hell of a week it has been… Pyramids, Mummies, big rivers, long bus tours, 24h Hassle service, Lotus Hotel and last but not least: The traffic from HELL!
Despite all the great buildings, dead old people on display, magnificent Nile and old charming hotels… the one thing you remember best from Cairo, is just being in Cairo…. A city with 16 million inhabitants… Noisy, polluted, unorganized, scary, desperately hot, smelly, windy and at the same time charming…. Cairo’s got it all…. Just walking the streets of Cairo with all these ingredients makes it worth the trip. Women in Hijab flirting with you at McDonald’s, while other in full covered Burqa trying to eat shwarma under the “curtain”….
I guess the one sole thing that makes the biggest impression on a simple boy from Norway, is the Traffic… I have given up explaining this shit, so here is a video… It is insane… and I am very happy to have survived it…
And this is how the same insanity looks from the “other side”:
Seeing the Pyramids is the one thing you HAVE to do while in Cairo. And they ARE great… climbing the tunnels inside the Khufu pyramid, is a very strange feeling, but something I am very happy I did… (even though it was pricey)
While shooting this little video, a guy approached me to tell me about his wonderful camel, his stepmother from Norway, how he loved all Norwegians, that nothing would cost me anything…. and that he was my friend… ENJOY
Since I am a very nice friend, I got on the Camel, got a scarf tied around my head, and went for a ride around the Pyramids…. When in Rome… act like a stupid tourist…
EGYPTIAN MUSEUM & THE NILE
In four days you don’t really get to see much of Cairo… it is HUGE… but two other thing I got to do was seeing the Egyptian museum, and taking a Felucca trip on the Nile… Here are some more videos:
Egyptian Museum being nice, but it IS a museum, and nothing that will really stick with me forever. Mummies on display where cool tough…
CROSSING THE SINAI
To get from Jerusalem to Cairo you can either fly or go across the Sinai with a bus… I choose the last option. Both because it is the by far cheapest, and also the one where you get to see the country and meet some local people.
Taking these buses are pretty special experiences… These are the regular buses for regular Egyptians. Egyptian music is played LOUD over the speakers, Egyptian movies are shown on the internal TVs and the Air condition is on for 15 minutes and then off for 15 minutes… INTERESTING IT IS
Here is a little video to show you what the entertainment sounds like… imagine this for 12 hours:
On my ride across the Sinai Peninsula the bus was stopped 12 – twelve – times on various checkpoints. Tourism is by far the most important business for Sinai, and preventing new bombings, as the ones in Sharm El-Sheik in 2005, in Dahab in 2006 and in Taba and Nuweiba in 2004, seem to be a pretty important task. Policemen checking ID’s on everyone in the bus at all of the 12 checkpoints, and then finally removing 15 passengers from the bus just before Sharm El Sheik… This was, according to the boys in the seat next to me, standard procedure for every Egyptian who visited Sinai for the first time: Get of at Sharm El Sheik for a couple for hours with interrogation… BEAUTIFUL
Anyway… this is what the Sinai looks like from a bus:
After a week in Egypt I am now back in Jerusalem with a couple of days to prepare for my departure to Norway….