Page 4 of aidando Travel Blog Posts

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman June 3rd 2010

I cannot overemphasize how friendly the Jordanian people are. If you’re like me and constantly lose things you reach a point where you just accept it’s going to happen so your best bet is to minimise the potential damage. Because of this I don’t carry any cards in my wallet and never more currency than €10. Anyway when I got out of the taxi in Amman and checked my pockets my wallet was gone! I dumped my bags in the door of the hostel and ran down the highway after the taxi man. Someone in a Mercedes pulled up beside me, asked what was wrong then I uttered the immortal line: “follow that cab”. It was too late though and I gave up pretty quickly. Then walking back to the hotel an old man with no ... read more
Jerash Amphitheater
Amman Sunset
Collonade Jerash

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra May 31st 2010

Getting from Egypt to Jordan without going through Israel means getting a ferry across the Gulf of Aqaba. Unfortunately I can’t go into Israel because if I do I won’t be allowed into Syria. Whoever operates the ferry has made the most of the fact that’s for most people it’s the only option. The 1 hour crossing costs $80! The first thing you notice about Jordan is how much more expensive it is than Egypt. So on this trip I’ll be spending the minimum amount of time here. There’s not much public transport either so I had to take a taxi from the ferry port to Petra. Luckily there were several other people in the same boat (so the speak) so I split the fare with 2 others. It’s all totally worth it to get to ... read more
Garden Tomb
River Bed
Urn Tomb

Africa » Egypt » Sinai » Dahab May 30th 2010

Getting from Luxor to Dahab is a serious trek. There’s nowhere really worth stopping along the way so I decided to do it in one on the overnight bus. I’d heard some serious horror stories about the bus taking up to 20 hours. Someone even told me to get my hands on some Valium. To add to things my iPod died just last night. There was a large red X on the screen saying to contact Apple support. Not particularly useful in Egypt. So I set forth with a bag of food and the acceptance I wouldn’t be getting any sleep. I ended up sitting beside a young Egyptian kid with no English. The conversation prospects weren’t looking too good! But the kid had a bag full of chicken fillet rolls which he insisted on sharing! ... read more
Mount Sinai
Sunrise Mount Sinai
St Catherine's Monastery

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor May 23rd 2010

My life is now complete. I've ridden on the back of a pick-up truck with someone carrying an AK-47. Other than that Luxor still very impressive! Luxor or Thebes as it was known was at various stages the capital of Pharaonic Egypt. More recently it’s been better known as the hassle capital of Egypt, which would be quite an achievement! Things are supposed to have improved there and I’d say it’s about as bad now as the rest of Egypt. The sights are split between the east and west bank of the Nile with most of the town on the east side. Luxor temple and Karnak are both on the east bank and are easily accessible. The ruins at Karnak aren’t in great condition but the scale of the place is unbelievable. The temple is said ... read more
Village Valley of the Kings
Luxor Temple 2

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan May 22nd 2010

Since the terrorist attacks in southern Egypt in the 1990s there has been a wide range additional security measures in place. There are armed police at all tourist attractions and foreigners can only officially travel in convoy between certain towns. This whole situation seemed pretty strange to me. Although it's fair to say every man woman and child in Egypt will try to scam money from any tourist who sets foot here, I haven’t really encountered any anti-western sentiment. The restrictions mean there aren’t many options in heading south. So I took the last night train to Aswan (one of only a handful of trains tourists can take). It was mostly locals at the train station along with the usual herds of middle-aged tourists on package tours. I’m quickly realising when you travel on your own ... read more
Philae 1
Fisherman on the Nile
Edfu 2

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo May 20th 2010

You don’t visit Cairo. You’re attacked by it. The heat, the 20 million people, the traffic & the smog all hit you as soon as you leave the airport. However after the chaos with the volcanic ash, I was delighted to be anywhere other than Ireland. From buses to London, to flights to obscure Polish towns my mind had been racing with alternative ways to start the trip. There was a traditional Egyptian welcome on arrival at the hostel: Egyptian tea, ridiculously strong Egyptian cigarettes... and a long hard sell about all the tours they organised! Confident in my unfailing ability to get horrendously lost in any city in the world yet still eventually find my way, I immediately decided against the city tours. I considered the trips to Aswan and Luxor for a while but ... read more
Islamic Cairo 2
Al-Azhar Park
Garden City 1

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