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Old October 19th, 2006, 12:43 AM
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Paul Motter Paul Motter is offline
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Update for Wednesday - we finally reach the ship.

After we check out of the Four Seasons in cairo we begin a long bus ride to Port Said. We are told it will be about 2 1/2 hours, but it becomes closer to four because of Ramadan traffic, etc. The bus is plush and modern, but of course the driver is erratic (most NYC taxi drivers aree from this part of the world, so you know what I mean).

There are many sites, from the mysterious to the commical. The bus driver stops his bus in the middle of the freeway to hand us all cold bottles of water. At sundown he pulls over to the median to get out and pray.

We get to Port Said which is a typical Mediterranean resort town with tall apt buildings with laundry hanging off the balconies. There are colorfully dressed women and curious children. Not so poverty as we expected, but no signs of obvious wealth either.

We eat dinner at 7:30, open seating, tasting three bottles of wine before we select one for our table. The sommolier is gracious and patient with us. Already the staff is addressing us by name, and even though my wife was registered as Ms (her maiden name) they somehow figured out she orefers Mrs Motter and so now that is what they call us. (while at the Four Seasons I was generally Mr Kane).

The ship is elegantly understated, the staff extremely friendly. As we find our suite we open the door and find fresh caviar, with all the accoutrement such as onions, sour cream egg whites and blini, and bottle of fine champagme chilling in an ice bucket. Our suite has four rooms, if you count the massive walk-in closet. It has a seating area and a dining table with a sound system, there is a separate bedroom with glass dorrs that isolate the bed from the rest of the suite (nice for privacy). One can get up and watch TV in the middle of th night without disturbing the other sleeper, which my wife.

When I woke and found her in the living room, we called room service and got hot chocolate. looking outside we see the the has already sailed and we are now transitting the Suez canal as the sun comes up. There are san dunes and distant cities.

The canal is narrow, so traffic is mostly one-way, and there are no locks. This is the most desolate part of our journey, sand and hot sun, even in mid-October. We just woke up, it is a "sea-day" as we slowly cross from the Red Sea to the mediterranean Sea, taking a route that did not exist for most of history and required ships to go around Africa. We will cover it in a day.

http://cruisemates.com/gallery/view.php?id=3119

Here is the link to the Photo Gallerey witrh upodated pictures. I just shot a video of the dessert passing by. I will attempt to convert and load it.
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