Location: Aswan, Egypt
Today Kel and I arrived in Aswan, after our overnight train from Cairo took 14 hours instead of 12, so we were ready to get some fresh air (and Shower!). We checked into our hotel, which is so much nicer than the hotel in cairo, the people are friendlier and it is nowhere near as chaotic! So after freshening up and a quick lunch of a snickers and an apple juice we loaded onto a bus and drove to the High Dam which created Lake Nasser, the largest artificial lake in the world. We had to cross the first Dam that was originally built by the British, to the second dam which was built with the help of the Russians. So we took some photos and wished that we could jump into the water because it looked nice and cool and we were so hot! Anyway, we then headed over to the Temple of Philae which was moved from it's original island because that island is now under water. We still had to get boats to the island to see it, and it was amazing! We got some great photos with the sun setting on the temples!
We are having an early night tonight because we are getting up at 3am to drive to Abu Simbel to see the temple there. It is a 3 hour drive there and 3 hours back, and we have to be back in time to get our Felucca (traditional sailing ship) back up the Nile to Luxor, Which will hopefull be nice and relaxing as we are on the boat for 2 nights, so thats my Egypt Adventure so far, i'm loving the sights and the food and the fact that everything is so cheap, but i am a bit over the hassling you get from the locals trying to sell stuff to you, though to be fair they are worst in Cairo than they are here! Thats all for now!
Location: Cairo, Egypt
I have finally made it to Egypt! it seems like we've been planning this trip forever! We arrived yesterday at 9pm to a lovely 25 degrees, though it was ruined by the pollution in the air. Anyway we got off the plane and were bused to the terminal, we then got off the bus and walked straight into kaos!! there were so many tour companies calling out peoples names, it was lucky that i spotted my name in the crowd otherwise we would have been totally lost! so our helper pointed to where we had to line up for visas which are just a sticker for 15 Euro, then we had to join another line for passport control which took forever! and then when we got to the front, the passport guy kept looking at me and back at my photo like he didn't belive it was actually me! but anyway, i got through. Our impatient tour guy had already collected our bags for us, and then rushed us out of the airport, where we met our driver who would take us to our hotel. Well driving through cairo is a nightmare! Cars go in every direction, they all honk their horns for god knows what reason, and they dont stay in lanes even though they are clearly marked! Anyway, we make it to our hotel and check-in go up to the seventh floor in an elevator that had no door and i'm pretty sure it has never been serviced! to our room where we find that the toilet doesn't work and the lights keep going out! So we go back downstairs where we meet our tour co-ordinator and he gives us our itinerary, and tells us the plans for the next day. We then ask to be changed to another room as they didn't seem to understand what we were asking when we said we wanted the toilet fixed. So we get another room which is a little nicer and everything works so we couldn't grumble about that. So the next day, Monday, we get picked up in our own mini-van, i.e it is just Kelly and i for the entire day with a personal driver and a tour guide, plus the van was air-conditioned so we were pretty stoked! So they took us first to see the famous Step Pyramid which is the oldest in Egypt. It was built by the Pharoah Josep, in something like 3600BC so it's pretty old but incredible to see! We then head over to The great pyramid which is the largest In Egypt, measuring 146m high though it was originally 154m high, and has a length of 227m. I had my photo taken next to one of the stones so give everyone an idea of the size! Oh, it is made from roughly 2.3million blocks of stone that if they were laid next to one another it would surround France entirely! Pretty impressive! We then went to the next pyramid, which is the one that still has some limestone at the top of it, this pyramid looks bigger but that is because it is built on an incline, we walked around the base of this pyramid whilst being harrassed by Egyptians wanting us to ride on their camels or horses. We ended up being quite rude to some of them because they just wouldn't quit! Anyway, we got some cool photos! We then saw a boat that was 1 of 5 boats found in the great pyramid which measures 50m long and it is over 4000 years old! They still had the original rope! After this we went and had a look at the Sphinx which i really liked and i was glad to see that it wasn't as ruined as i thought it was. After lunch, we had yummy seafood, we went and had a look at some papyrus paintings which i think i am going to have to invest in, and then the jewellery which i will definitly be investing in! I'm just going to wait till i'm back in Cairo to buy these things, as i don't want to be lugging them all over the country with me! So Tonight we are catching the overnight train down to Aswan where we meet up with the rest of our tour group, should be fun!
Location: Cardiff, Wales
I nearly forgot! as you probably know the Rugby World Cup is in progress, and when Australia played Wales in Cardiff, Sheridan and i were given Gold class tickets to see the game at Millenium Stadium in Cardiff!! It was very last minute but so worth it! we hired a car the day before and drove the 2 & half hours (which actually took 4) to cardiff. The traffic was insane and the speed limit was about 40miles/hr (60km) most of the way. When we got to cardiff we found the Park & Ride which we only got just in time, it was the last bus! so the bus which is supposed to take you to the stadium actually drops you off about 6 blocks away, so we had to run to the stadium as the game was about to start! But we still had to pick up the tickets from the ticket office. Now you would think that the ticket office for the stadium would actually be at the stadium, but no! its 2 streets away! so we rush to there and get the tickets, by this stage the game has already started, so we rush back to the stadium where we have the best seats ever on the 50m line! and we are sitting with a huge bunch of Aussies which made it all the more fun! It wasn't till after the game that we found out the Princes William and Harry were at the game! and they were sitting in boxes which were right behind us!!!! so disappointed, i could have met my prince charming! oh well, next time! anyway it was an excellent experience that i may never have again! Next entry: Egypt.
Wow! I have really been slack this time! Since my last entry i have been back to Paris, I've been to Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Bath, and i've been over to Amsterdam! So i guess i have some typing to do!!!!
Well I went back to Paris for 3 days with my friend Jacqui and her friend Liz for Jacqui's birthday. She wanted to celebrate in style so we went to Eurodisney. Now Eurodisney is good if you have never been to Disneyland before but if you have been to Disneyland California, Eurodisney isn't as good. For starters everything is in French (obviously) so the Haunted Mansion doesn't quite have the same effect! Though to be fair the parade was pretty good! But the other downer was having to go there with all the pushy Europeans who don't understand the concept of a line! We were lucky with the weather though as it was sunny most of the day that i actually managed a bit of a sunburn! The day before we wanted to have a picnic on the grass under the Eiffel Tower but as it was raining that plan didn't pan out so we settled for Greek in the Latin Quarter with a yummy Nutella Crepe for dessert! The 3 of us had all been to Paris previously so we didn't to see all the sites again. This time though Jacqui and i climbed to the top of the Arc De Triomphe (which i didn't realise you could do the first time i was here) and got some great photos of the Champs Elyse'e. We had a few late meals as that is what the French do, with some yummy French red wine, i wish i could bring some home with me! We came over on the Eurostar (the train) which was ok, took about 2 & half hours and your'e only under water for about 20min, and yes i was checking for leaks!
So Paris was way back in May, So in August, Sheridan had some friends come over from Australia. Felicity (aka Flick) has come over to work so she is now living with us, and Kimberley came over for a 2 week holiday. So Shez hired a car so we could pick them up at the airport, though they didn't plan their flights too well cos flick landed on the friday and kimberely landed on the saturday, which was also her Birthday. So while we had the car we drove to Oxford to see the University. We couldn't see all of it cos apparently you can hire Trinity Hall for weddings so nobody was allowed in there, but we did get to see the dining hall whare Harry Potter was filmed. We then drove to Stratford-upon-Avon, where William Shakespeare lived, though by this stage it was raining and cold so we spent most of the time in the car. We then drove to the Cotswold as Kimberley wanted to see it, basically it is English countryside where the rich people live. Then we decided to drive back home and stop off at a pub on the way, but do you think we could find a decent pub? it took us an hour maybe more to find a little out of the way pub, but it was worth the wait cos the people were friendly and the food was fantastic and the place was warm! They were also kind enough to put candles of Kimberleys dessert and the entire pub helped us sing Happy Birthday to her.
The next day we drove to Brighton which is on the sea and is famous for it's pier, we got some photos on the beach lying on the pebbles, and by pebbles i mean rocks, no sand or little pebbles you might put into a fish tank, i mean rocks! Then we headed up to the pier where i declared i wanted fish and chips and then proceeded to get attcked by sea gulls which everyone who witnessed this attack thought it was hillarious! We then made ourselves sick on Fairy Floss which came in small, medium, and large but strangely the all looked the same to me. We then checked out Brighton Palace which was King Edward IV Playboy Mansion. We then headed home after this. After a day of rest we went on another road trip to Bath, which i have been wanting to go there the entire time i've been here! We were staying the night in bath but we couldn't check into our B&B till later in the afternoon so we parked the car and went to visit the famous Roman Baths which were amazing! we all took heaps of photos! You can even taste the water which we all did and i do NOT recommend it to anyone, it was gross! After this Flick and i wanted to see the Jane Austin Museum as we are both huge fans, so we did that while shez and kimberley waited in the tea room, I got a great photo with Mr Darcy! By the time we finished here we went to check into our B&B which was gorgeous and we were the only ones staying there as the owner was going to be away and it was the first time her friend had looked after it for her so she didn't book too many people, so it was just us and the cat! That night we went out to a pub which from the outside looked pretty dodgy but inside the food was good and the drinks cheap! So we stayed there till i closed and then headed to a club where we were the oldest people there and only new about 1 song that they played, so we moved onto another pub where i decided i'd had enough to drink and went onto the coke and chips. After this place we headed back to catch some sleep. The next day i insisted on seeing the Royal Crescent before we left bath, it's been in heaps of movies, but most recently the BBC version of Jane Austin's Persuasion which i have on DVD if anyone wants to see it when i get home! So on our way home Shez, Flick, and Kimberley stopped off at Windsor Castle to do the tour, i just wandered around the town cos i have seen it twice, when they were done we wandered over to Eton to see where Prince William and Harry went to School but it was too late in the afternoon and everything was closed so we couldn't see much.
Then we headed home.
A couple of days later we Kimberley, shez, and i flew to Amsterdam. We arrived in the afternoon and after waiting in line for what seemed like hours at the tourist information centre to find where our hotel was and to get a map, we found the right tram and got on. Our hotel was on Rembrandt Square which had these weird sculptures in the middle of it which we later worked out to be from a famous Rembrandt painting, who knew! Our hotel was located next to a place called Smokey's and i bet you can guess what they sold there! So we checked into our hotel which didn't have an elevator and we were on the fourth floor! But it was clean and recently refurbished so we couldn't complain. By this time it was getting late and we were hungry so we headed down to grab some food, we ended up having Italian as apparently traditional Dutch food is a burger that you get out of a hole in the wall, which to me just seems wrong! So a few beers after tea and a try of a space cake which i'm pretty sure was just plain cake, we headed off to bed. The next day we did a canal boat tour which was quite relaxing in the sun. We went to visit Anne Franks house, but didn't actually go in as the line was far too long and i haven't read the book so it didn't really do that much for me. We then headed to the Heinekin Brewery which was good fun, mostly because they gave you free beer so we were pretty happy by the time we left there, we then headed to the Hard Rock for some greasy food and continued to drink cocktails on the water. We then headed back to our hotel to dump our purchases and the Heineken glasses we had stolen from the brewery, we got changed and headed back out to the red light district which if you watch Getaway is a tourist attraction. It is also and eye opener! They have hookers in these little lanes that stand behind glass doors, if a guy is interested he knocks on the door, they then agree on rates and then the guy goes in, the curtains are drawn and they do their business! You'd be surprised the number of guys we saw doing this! By this stage we weren't feeling too well so we headed back to the hotel and called it a night! The next day was our last day and we did a tour of the Dutch countryside where we saw some windmills and went to a cheese factory which was quite yummy, saw some clogs, but as we were all feeling a bit under the weather as you can probably tell from the photos! We headed back into the city where we thought as a last hurrah! we would go check out a sex show which again is apparently a tourist attraction. Well we thought you would be in like a theatre where you look down onto the stage, but no you are actually right down at eye level and about 2 metre from the stage so you see everything, we didn't know where to look! In between the sex act, they had dancers come out who stripped. One girl pulled a guy up on stage and made him take his shirt off and lie down on his back where she proceeded to strip on top of him then she put a black texta up her hoo-ha and then wrote on his chest!!! it was disgusting but impressive at the same time! then the next time she came out she did something similar with a lit candle! and that is all i'm going to say about that! so we left the red light district a little shell shocked! Anyway it was now time to head to the airport and back to merry old England.
So that is what i've been up to for the last few months, in about 3 weeks i'm off to Egypt for 3 weeks where i'm doing a tour and then heading to Dahab where i'm going to learn to Scuba dive! I'm so excited! and then when i get back it wont be long before i'm heading home! yay!