It all started here...

It all started here...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Last Two Sea Days on NCL Jade

November 19~20, 2012 (Monday and Tuesday)

It was good that we had two sea days to recover from our intense land tours of the previous ports. We definitely needed to rest up and not have to use our feet that much while on the ship. Since we were in Cairo the day before, we were not able to have our Sunday service and that was why we scheduled a morning fellowship time on Monday. Not only to have a time to study the words of God but also to reflect on our visits to the Holy Land. It seems to make everything alive now that we have been to the places so often mentioned in the Bible. 

Beautiful sunset

Last dinner at the Grand Pacific. We planned to have dinner at Le Bistro the next evening.

NCL Chocolate Buffet
Again, as suite guests, we were taken to the chocolate buffet by our concierge Carlos through the back door before it was opened to all other guests. We were able to take pictures and sampled all the wonderful creations. Unfortunately, with my new friend--diabetes, I was able to only try a couple of the 'no sugar added' items. What a drag! 

It was stormy and rainy outside, the only night that we had a little bit of waves. But inside our cabin, a cute towel dog was waiting for us.

Passing through the tip of Sicily again the next morning.

We also got our laundry back, ironed and folded.

Dinner at Le Bistro. It was OK, not particularly great.

the famous cream of mushroom soup. A little too salty for my taste.

appetizer-four cones of whatever

Great escargot! Now they don't serve this at the main restaurant any more.

Yes, creme brulee. Again, they do not offer this dessert in the main restaurants any more. Neither was shrimp cocktail.

Packing to leave the ship was quite a task. With the extra items that we bought along the way made it challenging but I managed to finish before the dead line and had our luggage outside the door for pick-up.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cairo to Alexandria, Egypt

 November 17, 2012 (Sunday) Cairo to Alexandria

Our time to leave the hotel was scheduled for 7:00am. We had to get up early to get ready, have breakfast, and check-out before boarding our bus. Breakfast at the hotel is buffet style and it was just OK. They served a lot of bread stuff. The only egg dish was the hard boiled eggs and the only meat item was a veal sausage plate which wasn't very good. The restaurant was crowded with many different tour groups. All in all LeMeridien is a good hotel.

Not far from our hotel is the Mena House, choice hotel for many visitors.

Sunday, but a school day for Egyptian kids.

For some reason, most buildings in Egypt seemed to be incomplete. Broken windows, fallen cement, naked walls made the city looks under developed. Our guide told us that it might not look very nice from the outside, but the inside are nicely decorated with everything needed for the family.

This I don't understand. On the top of many many buildings there are debris and trash that no body care to remove, even on the roof of public buildings like this bus station.

Our first stop was the Citadel on top of a hill. Since this is a work day, traffic was terrible. There seemed to be no rules. Drivers were going whichever way they could find to get ahead. According to our guide, Egyptians look at rules as something to be broken. 

The mosque at the Citadel is huge and beautifully built. We had to take off our shoes and they made sure that we were properly covered. Dorcas was wearing a pair of leggings that day and she had to rent a rob for $1 to cover herself. 

I passed the outfit rules.

Looked pretty smoggy!

The inside of our bus. It was good that it came with a toilet.

Aside from the main highway, most streets were like this, dirt road. The roads are shared by people, automobiles, donkeys, goats, and camels. You can imagine how the condition is with all these animals around. 

Ramses II Museum
This is where we found the second largest sphinx and the statues of Ramses II. This seems to be a less popular site with not very many tourists. A nice place to visit, in my opinion. 

Exactly, Derrick!

Group picture


After the Ramses museum we went to Sakkara to see the oldest pyramids and also went inside one of the king’s tombs. Here, we also met some very aggressive Egyptians trying to cheat people of their money. They would say something really friendly and then tell you to take pictures with him, “it’s free” they’ll say but it will turn out costly. We actually witnessed a couple who got in much trouble. Our guide had already warned us of what might happen so we did not fall for it. 

This way to Sahara Dessert.

Our last stop in Cairo--shopping stop. While we were there, the driver went to pick up our lunch--Egyptian fast food, which our group voted for. I would suggest NOT to have the fast food because they are just not very good. The other bus voted to have a sit down lunch and they said it was really good. 

Each of us got one of each, a meat one and a vegetarian one. It was a cheap lunch, I assumed.

While we were having our lunch our bus left Cairo to go to Alexandria back to our ship.

Uh, oh!

We had a lot of fun watching how people drive.

Getting close to Alexandria.

People waiting for the mini buses around street corners.

Sunset in Alexandria

Sofitel Hotel

Alexandria Port

Much nicer than Port Said. There are many vendors here also but very organized. When we got back we still had 20 minutes before all aboard time, so we did some shopping here.

They had three or four days with laundry specials on the ship. For $24.95 you can stuff as many items as possible inside this bag and they will wash and fold them for next day return. With our gold status it just cost us a little over $17 for the bag and I was able to stuff 21 items in there. It was an excellent deal!

Secret--roll each piece of clothing tightly and neatly. Double-bag.