Saturday, August 29, 2009

Coptic Cairo and The Museum! Two Days of Hectic-ness


1112 (local time)

What a massive 2 days I've had! So I arrived to Cairo on the 27th, put down my bags had a quick sneaky shower and then headed off with a bloke called Greg from Argentina to the Olympus camera dude to get my camera sorted out. After I argued with the camera guy, and eventually scored a camera that I can borrow until mine gets sorted out, we then hopped on the train and headed down to Old Cairo!

We got off the train and went into the museum called Coptic Cairo Museum! The tickets were 50 LE each! But there was no way, I was paying that. So using my wittyness I convinced the ticket bloke that myself and Greg (aged 30) were both students and that we left our card at home. So we were able to get in for 25 LE each! HAPPY DAYS!

The museum was pretty interesting with artist drawings dated back hundreds of years ago of Jesus and his merry men! There was also stone carvings of the great Aphrodite (God of Love). I also saw a book that dated back to the 4th Century! Pretty cool stuff!

We saw lots of Bronze and Gold pieces of work, which were all amazing. After spending hours in the museum we thought we should mix it up in the in on the street, so we went for a walk to look for some food. We got a bite to eat, and we both decided that we should head home as we were stuffed.

The next day I didn’t want to sit at the hostel all day, so I decided that I would go to The Castle of Saladin. The Castle of Saladin (The Citadel of Saladin) was started by King Saladin 11th Century and then was continued by his brother King El-Addel.

The castle is absolutely amazing, it overlooks entire Cairo, and when you stand on the edge of it, overlooking the city during prayer time all you can hear is a wave of praying and noise! Its quite a strange feeling. If you look off into the horizon you can see 2 of the 3 pyramids, which is a pretty amazing site.

I then walked around the police museum looking at all the different weapons the police used and also looking at all the counter fitting that went on! Pretty amazing!

After this it was about 1pm, so prayer time was over so the public were able to go inside the mosque to see what’s inside. I was asked to take off my shoes, and I was then allowed in. Its a pretty special place! So beautiful inside! Pretty surreal experience.

After the mosque experience, I had a bit of a walk around, ate my lunch for the day which was biskets and sultanas, and then went on over to another mosque with a green top and joked around with the local Egyptians working there and then headed off to the National War Museum!

This was an amazing museum, with a real chariot dating back to the Pharonic Age. I walked around the museum for about 1 hour until they all of a sudden tell me that its closing time (due to Ramadan) so unfortunately I missed out on a bit of the museum, but it was still amazing, to get an understanding of the Egyptian side of the war, fighting with the British.

By this time, it was getting late, and I was absolutely stuffed, so I caught a taxi (who was a pain in the ass, we wanted to charge me heaps more than what I paid, then got me lost... not impressed), back to my hostel and just relaxed for the rest of the night.

Today ill be going to The Old Market "Khan El-Khalili" to check out some bargins!

Wish me luck!


DAY 1: Old Cairo!
Good luck trying to cross this road without being hit by a car!

And i thought we had it bad at home with Connex!

A building next to the Coptic Museum!

Aphrodite The God of Love... also know is Steve Flack!

A book that dates back to the 5th Century... a little bit older than me!

Mary and Old Mate... Jesus!

Hows the serenity!

DAY 2: The Castle of Saladin
Mohammed Ali Mosque, from the outside!

How awesome does that look!

Super hectic in Cairo!

Doesn't get much better than that!

Sultan Hassan Mosque, beautiful ey!

This was taken in the Police Museum, one of the tools used for Counterfitting!

I had to take my shoes off before i entered the Mosque!

Inside the Mosque!

Another shot inside the Mosque, these people are all parts of Tour groups!

Nice and relaxing up here, but down there was crazy Cairo!

Outside of the National War Museum!

I presume these what were fired out of the cannons! I could barely pick up the small cannon balls...

Thats it for today! Lots of love Steve

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dahab to Cairo!


853 (local time)

Gahh! Finally made it to Cairo 360 kilometres of stinky freezing cold air-conditioned bus! But I made it!

The bus ride wasn’t that bad really, just a bit of a pain to get some sleep, I'm currently staying in a hostel called The Australian Hostel (original) which the guys that run it, have never been to Australia! Quite funny! Today, ill be getting some well needed rest, then I'm going to go to the Olympus Dealer in Cairo to see if I can get my camera replaced as the LCD Screen has just all of a sudden stopped working, so much for my camera to be indestructible!

You may be thinking, why has Steve the legend left beautiful Dahab and gone to the busiest city in Africa! Well, I have booked a tour that for 9 days will take me to all the beautiful spots in Egypt! All the way from visiting the pyramids to going sailing up the Nile! Should be awesome!

The windsurfing has been epic in Dahab, got my forward loops pretty well sorted, and no onto Spocks! Got really really close a few times! (for the non-windsurfers out there, a Spock is just an extension of a Vulcan, which means instead of just doing a 180, you go the full 360!)

So already looking forward until I can land those!

On the bus ride, I have just realised that my blog is being (hopefully) read by people in England, Greece, Egypt and now possibly Bali, as my folks are over there!

Not much else to report! Can’t wait for the tour!

Lots of love!


Friday, August 21, 2009

El Tur... Take Two!


747 (local time)

Ouch!, I'm absolutely aching! 3 MASSIVE days sailing in conditions ranging from waves to flat water, with winds from 20 knots to 30 knots, my hands are absolutely buggered!

Well, myself Lionel, Lizzy and James all headed off to El Tur for a few reasons.

1. So I could get my extended visa

2. So we could windsurf somewhere different

3. So we could windsurf in some waves!

Right, so similar to last time I went to El Tur, we had to be down at the beach so we could leave at around 6am. So I woke up at 5.20 had my breakfast packed a small backpack of clothes and headed off down.

We had the van packed and we were all ready to go by 6.15 so we headed off.

Luckily it was a Friday, because in Egypt (and most Muslim countries) Friday is their day off, which meant there was minimal checkpoints because all the guards had their day off, so if you wanted to bomb a Muslim country do it on Friday because everyone will be sleeping! (I don't endorse bombing of another country)

Anyway, we were at El Tur by 8.30ish and I was out on the water by 9. We sailed around for 1.5 hours and were then called in, because 2 Utes had rocked up and we were loading them full of windsurf kit so we could be taken down to the local wave spot!

So we loaded one ute with 6 boards and about 12 sails, and sent that down the highway, and on the other ute we put a few boards, all the booms and 8 blokes sitting in the tray... there was a definite health and safety issue.

So we made it too the wave beach, it was cross-on so good fun for jumping and backside wave riding! Of course, I was first out there. It was great fun reminded me of back home sailing with all the boys, lots and lots of fun! We sailed non-stop for 2 hours, then packed up the utes again and went back to the lagoon. I did a bit of freestyle until I could sail no more, my hands were a mess! So red and bruised!

We had dinner and because we had no accommodation, we slept under the stars that night. We woke to the sunrise and had an early swim then got stuck into some breakfast, it was a buffet so I went ALL OUT!

Today was going to be awesome, because we had Danielle the resident photographer coming down to the wave beach to get some awesome shots of us windsurfing! And she did, they looked awesome!

Same again, we had some beers and dinner, and because once again we didn’t have any accommodation so we slept under the stars... again, I saw a shooting star! IT WAS COOL!

We woke again... to the sunrise, I had to get up a bit earlier because I had to organise my visa. I thought it was going to be a massive ball ache, but luckily I was one of the first there so it only took about 15 minutes to get it sorted... This visa allows me to stay in Egypt for another 4 months, which takes me up to December, I doubt ill be staying here until then...

Anyway, the plan of attack today was to sail until around 2ish, because at 2.30 the van was coming to take us all back to Dahab.

So in the small session of sailing that we had the group of us focused on trying forward loops! Lets just say, I didn’t last until 2 o clock... my body was bruised and broken by 1 o clock... I had to rest. Some sick photos will be up to show the carnage!

The bus arrived, we packed all our kit into it, and we were on our way back to Dahab. I don't remember much of the trip, I was asleep!

I do remember the MASSIVE argument between the taxi driver, his boss, Us and the Tour Company we hired the bus through. Something about wanting more money... it was pretty intense a lot of yelling at one another, because he wanted a ridiculous amount of money from us, which we flatly denied. Anyway we got it all sorted, unpacked the stuff and I headed back home for an early night.

A massive 3 days but defiantly worth it!

The End, Steve

PS: I have been playing around with Google Earth! And, I have realised that I am 13,592.54 Kilometres from home! Pretty cool stuff! I'm making spaghetti bol tonight, so ill let you know how that goes!

PPS: This is my 50th post! Woo Hoo!

The Start of the Epic Adventure to El Tur!
James, Me, Lizzie and Lionel

One of the many checkpoints!!!

Arriving, and stacking the utes full of sails and kit to head to the wave beach!

I dont think we could have fit many more people in here!

It was an Epic Day at the wave beach... Everyone Shread!

This was going to be painful!

My poor attempt at a forward loop... we had forward loop club this day!

Flying all the way to the beach!

Super Vert! going into a backloop!

A nice Duck Gybe on flat water!