By Owen Morrison
Special to AllThingsCruise
On the Seabourn Pride — We went to Sokhna which is a small port out of Cairo which has only been established recently that is to say the last 10 to 15 years.
Lesley went on Pyramids, Sphinx and Museum shore excursion and I stayed back at the ship because those things do not interest me particularly.
Lesley’s trip left at 8 a.m. and arrived back at about 6:30. I was somewhat worried about security, but I did not have to worry as I found out later the security staff on each bus had large guns and machine guns under their coats. I went out on the shuttle bus to a Red Sea resort at 9 a.m. and they would not let us off the wharf area without a truck of tourist police with us. Once our security on the shuttle showed their weapons we were allowed to pass in to the resort, but after we saw the army with rifles and other things outside the main gate, we went to the resort and caught the first bus back to the ship.
Lesley saw tanks and armed police and army in and on the way to Cairo. She also saw her cousin and husband from Goondiwindi, Australia, in the museum in Cairo. What a small world? One of the men on the trip had his camera stolen by one of the peddlers at the Pyramids but it was recovered by the police and the thief arrested. It added a bit of excitement to the day. The peddlers were very much in your face.
At the museum she saw the gold sarcophagus of King Tut and the gold burial mask. The originals are not allowed to leave Egypt and the ones that go on tour are copies. The workmanship was superb. The pyramids are incredible; it is hard to believe that they were done without modern equipment. Lesley didn’t go inside the pyramid as it was a crawl space two feet wide by three feet high that you had to go down to get inside for about 300 feet. The Sphinx is wearing away and they seem to be doing some restoration work on it. It was a very long day and the schedule was tight for her.
Yesterday we went through the Suez Canal. We entered about 6 a.m. and got through at 3:30 p.m. Only one ship can go each way so you go through in convoys. We had six ships in our convoy and there were about 12 ships waiting at the lake about half way to go back where we had come from. There were ferries at various points along the canal to get car and trucks and people across. They go in between the ships going through the canal. There is a huge bridge crossing the canal and also bailey bridging along the banks so they can get across.
There is army or other military outpost every 10 kilometers and we saw them launching a bailey bridge set up with generators which drive the bridge and put it in place at night because no ship goes through the canal at night, which gives the locals access to the waterway. We saw one vehicle crossing where the ferries take three large trucks, with a queue with about 50 trucks with trailers wanting to cross. We saw an ambulance coming along the parallel road to the canal with its siren going only to be held up waiting for the next ferry.
Once we got to the end of the canal there was Port Said and many ships in port. There was a large sand storm happening so you could not see much and it was quiet rough for a while after we left the Egyptian waters. Now we have about 900 km to go and will be in Civitavecchia, the port for Rome, at 7 a.m. We have arranged for our bags to be transferred from this ship (Seabourn Pride) to our new ship (Seabourn Sojourn) in port.
We leave Civitavecchia on the Seabourn Sojourn at 7:00 pm on 6 May for our next journey.