Israel and Egypt

Rali at the Wailing Wall

When we went to Cyprus, Themis and Elena recommended a cruise from Limassol to Israel and Egypt. So we booked a cruise with Louis Cruise Lines (coincidentally, Elena works for them!) and left Limassol harbor one afternoon in late October 1997. The ship sailed overnight and landed at Haifa, Israel, in the morning. We took a bus from there to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. They're amazing places to visit...but there's a lot to see, and our tour kept us moving a little too quickly. I hope we'll be able to go back again someday and spend a few days, or even weeks, in Jerusalem. Here's Rali at the Temple Wall (commonly known as the Wailing Wall).

On Camels at the Great Pyramids

The ship left Haifa in the evening and sailed overnight to Port Said, Egypt, in the morning. We took a bus from there to Cairo, where the highlights of the tour were the Cairo Archaeological Museum, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, and the Sphinx. We were surprised to see how close the Pyramids and Sphinx were to the city. From postcards, it looks like they're out in the desert, but the city suburbs stop right at the edge of the Pyramids. In fact, there's a Kentucky Fried Chicken right across the street from the Sphinx.

The site is amazing and awe-inspiring...but there's a drawback to visiting in a convoy of tour buses. Vendors will follow you everywhere, trying to get you to buy postcards, camel rides (okay, they got us here), stuffed camels, name it. You want to be able to sit back and gaze at these magnificent structures, but at the same time, you have to keep repeating to vendors, "No, no, don't want any, no, no, no money, no, go away..."

Deep inside one of the Pyramids

One of the pyramids has a limited area open to the public inside. You go down a long, steep ramp, then deep inside the pyramid is a small sarcophagus room. All ceilings were very low, so I had some particular difficulty. Here's Rali on the way down.

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