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August 29th 2008
Published: August 29th 2008
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Friday 29th August

After a long boring flight from Hong Kong via Bangkok and Amman we arrived in Cairo. We found the Royal Jordanian planes modern and roomy and the travel prayer comforting before each flight.

We went through customs very quick at Cairo because we had pre-purchased visas in Australia. We met our driver, Anwar at the airport and left to pick-up our tour guide Randa. Randa invited us to have coffee in her home before leaving on our tour. Randa had a beautiful apartment filled with antiques, she made us a coffee and introduced us to her three lovely daughters.

Anwar drove via the desert road to Alexandria where we visited the Catacombs, Pompeii's Pillar and the Roman Amphitheatre. The Catacombs were interesting and after climbing down into the second level Ronda showed us the difference in the architecture, the tombs showed influences from the Roman, Greek and Pharonic times.

One of the most interesting parts of the day was trying to negotiate the narrow crowded streets of old Alexandria, the entire population of over 11 million people seemed to be out and about enjoying their Friday day of rest. Donkeys and carts, trams, market stalls, lots of people and cars going the wrong way made for very busy streets. Ron was impressed with the way the vendors wheeled their market stalls from one side of the street to the other to avoid the trams.

After a light dinner we toured the Montazah gardens and palace. Ronda walked along the shoreline with us and the sea breeze was a welcome change after the heat of the day.

As we type this we are listening to the tooting of car horns and the call to prayer. We are just going to head off down to the coffee shop in the hope we can find internet access and get a reviving Egyptian coffee which I have developed a taste for, before an early night as we depart at 7am for Siwa in the morning.

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