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Jeffs' shout!
week five: Egypt and the BIG grey boat!

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Our DREAM vacation.

(courtesy of the Illinois lottery and the U.S. Navy)

We left greece, and cruised across the med to Egypt. Our chartered yacht was stopped by Egyptian customs patrols as expected. After a brief search and a check of our paperwork, we were on our way up the Nile to the city of Cairo. Upon arrival, I made arrangements to have most of our luggage shipped ahead of us to India. I didn't want to look like a rich American tourist. I'd may as well wear a T-shirt with a bullseye on it! Or a sign that reads "hostage candidate" on it! So we planned to try to blend in as much as possible.

The nile in Cairo in the evening

This was our view as we cruised into Cairo in the evening. I didn't realize Cairo was so BIG! Population of 5.5 million!

Mary and I at the pyramids


The initial impact of Cairo is of an overwhelming turmoil of people, traffic, markets (souks) and many other activities. The Nile provides a geographic reference and some welcome serenity.
Other highlights of our time in Cairo:
the pyramids (of course);
the Egyptian Museum (not illustrated because cameras aren't admitted), with its vast collection of Pharonic art and artefacts. This really does enable one to get an understanding of the amazingly well-organized society that existed in Egypt 4.5 thousand years ago.
living in an Arab hotel, surrounded by mosques and the souk, in a room with a view of the square that forms the hub of Islamic Cairo.
The Cairo metro was an unexpected bonus - it is modern and efficient and its recent extension enables one to travel almost as far as the pyramids (as we discovered after our trip there ;-).

Subway in Cairo

This Subway was a welcome sight! I was getting tired of eating weird lookin' food.

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There were a lot of cats in Cairo! Every time we saw one, Mary would say:"oh take a picture of the kitty!" This one we spotted in a little shop we were brousing. By the way, I had to exchange all my Euros for Pounds. That's the currency used in Egypt.

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After Cairo, Mary and I traveled to Port Said. We hoped to catch a ride through the Suez canal. Our luck couldn't have been better! While eating dinner, I recogized a man at the table next to us. It was LT. Eichelberger, my former C.O. while I was in the Navy! Mary and I learned he is now a Commander, and is the executive officer aboard the U.S.S. George Washington! He invited us to come aboard as they cruised to the Arabian ocean. How could I refuse? So he got us aboard with a couple of press passes. We were told not to go into any "secured" areas of the ship, but other wise, we had free roam of the BIG ship.

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The other members of our battle group followed behind as we passed through the Suez canal. They are: USS Normandy(right), USS Annapolis(submarine), USS Seattle.

Flight operations began again as soon as we left the canal.
I snapped Mary's pic below as this F-14 prepared for takoff. These things are LOUD!

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The USS George Washington is powered by TWO nuclear reactors. Has a crew of 6,000 and a compliment of 85 planes. No doubt, this is a BIG ship, or a small city! Our time onboard will soon be over. We sure had a great time aboard this amazing vessel!