Egypt

Posted in: English Feb 6 2016

I entered Egypt by boat from Jordan over the Red Sea to Nuweiba on the Sinai Peninsula. The security situation in Egypt is pretty tense at the moment. Since the Russian plane crash has the tourism suffered a burglar.

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I camped 2 nights in Nuweiba. After that it was time to cycle through the mountains to Dahab. The overrunning of my rear wheel hub is making problems since Turkey. In the Seven Heaven Hotel in Dahab i found a good place to fix it and some new friends. Alois and Suheir are living here every winter. They invited me multible times for diner and coffee. Thank you so much!

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In cause of the security situation here on the Sinai Peninsula i decided to take the public transport. The bus company didn’t allowed me to transport my bike on their buses. The only alternative was a very expensive minibus (200 USD) to Cairo. Egypt is a very exhausting country for individual travelers. I realized that very soon. My Visa was allready running out. But at the Morgamma office in Cairo i could extend it for 2 more months. By the way: there’s no computer in the hole office. Probably that’s the reason why it takes 2 days to get an extension.

Originally i wanted to cycle the white and black desert. Unfortunately, this area is closed at the moment fot cyclists. The Nile Valley was my second option. The first day was the only hassle free day. I cycled relaxed to Beni Suef and was allowed to sleep in a coptic church. The Copts are an ethno-religious group situated in North Africa and the Middle East, mainly in the area of modern Egypt, where they are the largest Christian denomination. Christianity was the religion of the vast majority of Egyptians from 400–800 A.D. and the majority after the Muslim conquest until the mid-10th century and remains the faith of a significant minority population.The hotel rooms in Egypt are mostly a nightmare. The hygienic standard is zero. It was really nice to sleep in my own sleeping bag. 

Some few kilometers after Beni Suef the police stopped me at the first check point. From there on until Aswan my bike journey in Egypt was over. They escorted me in total for 3 days on the hole way. Sometimes i was allowed to sleep in the Tourist Police stations. The officers were interested about the life in Switzerland. One guy asked me if unmarried couples are allowed to live together there. „Of course!“, i told him. He couldn’t believe that. In Aswan i found a nice campsite at Adam Home in the Nubian Village. Mo, the good soul of this place, allowed me to storage my bicycle and luggage at his house for 1 month. By train i went back to Cairo to pick up my Mother at the airport.

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From the beginning at the airport it was always very exhausting for us. You have to bargain all the time. From the taxi driver over the hotel until the restaurant. Fortunately the Egyptian Museum alloweded in Decembre to take pictures inside the museum. Most of the objects are very impressive. Unfortunaltely,  the whole rather a chunk house as a museum. With little effort could be much changed here.

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We visited the Pyramids of Giza the next day. This complex of ancient monuments includes the three pyramid complexes known as the Great Pyramids, the massive sculpture known as the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries, a workers‘ village and an industrial complex. The pyramids, which have historically loomed large as emblems of ancient Egypt in the Western imagination, were popularised in Hellenistic times, when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is by far the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.

Luxor was our next destination. We went there by plane. Right at the airport the taxi drivers attacked with their unfriendly art. The tourism has slumped dramatically since the revolution in 2011. Before it was the main source of income of the country. The people are extremely pushy and try everything from the little tourist out to squeeze.

First we visited the temple of Karnak. The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings. Building at the complex began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period, although most of the extant buildings date from the New Kingdom.

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Even our hotel was not able to keep everything clean. That was the moment where we decided to cancel the rest of our holiday in Egypt. Frustrated we went back to Cairo and cellebrated the New Year there. My Mother went back home the next morning earlier than planned. Egypt was a disappointment for us.

I spent some few days with snorkeling in Dahab before i went back to Luxor. In the Bob Marley Hotel (the only clean and nice hotel) i met Matthias from Germany and Marco from China. Both of them are planning to cycle towards Sudan. We all stayed togheter at Adam Home in Aswan the next few days. Mo helped us with everything. Organising the Sudan Visa at the Consulate, exchang money and many more things. We met another cyclist at the Consulate and a Australian traveller. They both decided to join us for the journey into Sudan. Caspar, a friend from Matthias, was the last member of our group. He visited us by plane from Germany. We decided to call us BAND OF BROTHERS.

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