Mediterranean cruise on the Queen Victoria: Part 2, Egypthere.
After sailing through Greece and Turkey, we spent a day at sea and crossed the Mediterranean to the port of Alexandria. For me, Egypt was the highlight of the cruise. I'd been to all of the other countries (and continents) on the cruise, but never to Egypt (or Africa). What traveler doesn't imagine visiting Egypt and seeing the only remaining wonders of the ancient world, the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx?
It's a long bus ride from Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea to Cairo and Giza, first along the chaotic roads of Alexandria and then through the mostly uninhabited desert. Giza is a suburb of Cairo and the city comes right up to the plains on which the pyramids are situated. Our first stop was a scenic outlook with a great view of the pyramids, one that countless tourists before me have visited. I really like the picture above that I took from that outlook. Though most would seek a photo with a blue sky, I love how the clouds darkening the sky above the pyramids contrast with the sun lighting the plains from off-camera. I thought about Photoshopping out the vehicles on the road, but decided that I actually liked them there; they provide a sense of scale, movement, and contrast the ancient pyramids with modern transportation.
We were scheduled to depart Alexandria that evening, but while at dinner the captain announced that the port was closed due to high winds, and as a result we would be unable to depart that evening. In fact, we spent almost the next whole day in port and departed about 24 hours after our scheduled departure. This meant missing one of our ports of call in Greece — Olympia — but my folks and I were not too upset as we had visited Olympia in 2005 and were not planning on taking an excursion this time around. On our extra day in port we couldn't go ashore as the ship had already cleared customs and immigration for departure, but the Queen Victoria is such a lovely ship that an extra day on board was quite enjoyable. We went for afternoon tea, took in a lecture on British architecture, and I took a yoga class. Before I knew it, it was time again for dinner. Though I am not a particularly seasoned cruiser, Cunard seems to have far better food than most other ships, each evening's dinner equal to a fine dining experience.
These blog entries seem to get longer and longer... our journey continues in another post...