TRAVEL THERE: TRANSITIONING TO ALEXANDRIA
So it’s morning in Dahab and I was on my balcony enjoying the glorious weather and view. Down in the pool the younger set was catching a few more splashes. It was idyllic, but I was still glad that we’d soon be heading to territories the US State Department was happier for me to be visiting.
The Back of the Bus & Beyond
When the time came to head back, I was once again sent to the back of the bus, but I was over my pout. Soon we were going through multiple security checks at the Sharm el Sheikh airport and somewhere along the way I lost my prescription sunglasses. For then on, Bill had to share his shades with me.
The flight was not anywhere as entertaining as the carnival-like ride to Sharm had been. At the Cairo airport our car and driver was waiting to take us to Alexandria, so we said our good-byes at the airport. Maggie, Shady and their kids would be flying on to the US before we returned to Cairo, but the bride and groom would be flying back to the US with us.
On to Alex
By the time we made it out of Cairo, evening was setting in. We needed a potty break and something to eat, so our driver stopped at a Burger King. The burgers were fine. The water in the restrooms was turned off and toilet paper was scarce. That made things quite challenging, but soon we were back on the road. As soon as we left the gas station we entered the desert and there was nothing to see. Falling asleep had not been in my plans, but that’s what I did.
It seemed as if we’d just left the Burger King a few minutes before when we came to a stop. I opened my eyes to chaos – a traffic jam, Egyptian style. We were on the outskirts of Alex and were hemmed in on every side. In Egypt, lanes are only a suggestion, so at first glance it seemed we’d be there all night. Our driver showed no signs of distress. He edged towards the truck ahead of us and it seemed to me as if he was going to drive under it, but instead we started changing lanes and were soon exiting the highway.
This sounds as if it should have been good news, but suddenly I felt as if I was in the chase scene of a Steven Segal movie. The landscape around us was all industrial. The exit turned out to be one of those spaghetti bowls where several roads come together. We went around and around, over and under, around and around, and then we doubled back a time or two. Suddenly we came to a road block of stacked hay bales, but like the lanes, our driver treated it as a suggestion rather than a detour.
I confess, I was a little nervous. After he drove up over the edge of the barricade he did some more around and around, over and under, and some doubling back. I really liked and trusted him, but we were in a third world country and the US State Department would not have approved the route.
Eventually, we were back on what looked like a normal highway and shortly after that we were in Alex. Museum Girl was thrilled. Come back next week for our visit to Alexandria.