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Capital - Cairo
Population - 79,089,650
Currency - Egyptian pound
Time - GMT + 2 Hours
Our Magical Trip To Egypt
In October 2010 my wife and I visited the last remaining ancient wonder of the world, namely the Pyramids of Egypt on the Giza Plateau. We chose a relatively inexpensive and very enjoyable short 2 day cruise from Cyprus on board the Salamis Filoxenia. Although short and extremely full, we can highly recommend this trip. My wife, Cleopatra, best records our memorable visit in diary form as follows.
18.10.2010 - Cruise Across The Mediterranean
This is the big day. Of course that we woke up early in the morning, anxious to star the big adventure in Egypt. We packed and we were ready to go at 9, although the bus that had to come and pick us up to drive us to Lemesos (so call the Cypriots Limasol) was programmed to arrive there between 10.45 - 11.00 . We went in the garden, were there was a swimming pool and we had a nice chat with the receptionist lady. I noticed that when the sky is clear, no clouds, though it is very hot, you don't feel so much the humidity in the air. But you can feel the smell of the sea and the salt in the air. It is 11 o'clock and the bus is not here. Very kindly, the receptionist called the agency. They told her that the bus should arrive in a minute and indeed in 5 minutes it was there !
All the way to Lemesos is near the sea, following the shore, so I had nice views. But I didn't like the driver, he didn't drive so well and nice ! There are around 60 km from Paphos to Lemesos, around 50 minutes to drive. The bus delivered us exactly near our ship. Everything went very quickly: the customs, the boarding. We didn't have time to realise what's happening. We just looked at our ship and in the next minute we were by the ship ! It is nice the ship, not so big though. All the crew were there to welcome us. It was impressive. We went up the stairs and .... we were inside the ship, on deck 4. We had a cabin on the deck 5, which has only cabins and it is called Venus. The ship has 9 decks but we only had access from deck 5 to 9, the others are only for the crew. Deck 6 has cabins, a restaurant, a bar and it is called Dyonisos. Deck 7 has cabins, a shop, cinema, outdoor swimming pool, deck 8 has an outdoor bar, a hall and deck 9 has a bar called Sky bar. Some parts of this deck were only for the crew because we could see navigation devices. On deck 7 is a corner for the history of the ship, the main interesting ship voyages and pictures with the crew. It's impressive !
The swimming pools are quite nice and big. Immediately after boarding we could see some going in. There are around 350-400 passengers, as far as we could count till now. A lot of nationalities, but the biggest number was English. There are also Russians, Germans and Spanish passengers. We are in the cabin now. It is 1.00 o'clock. It is beautiful, very comfortable and really big, especially that we paid for the cheapest one. There is a TV, 3 wardrobes, a bath with a shower, 2 beds and a bunk one.
After we arranged ourselves in the cabin, we went out for a walk, to try to learn our way about the ship and where you can go and how you find what you want during the cruise. There were diagrams everywhere, so that you could find out all the time where you were. But even like this we found it hard to manage to find where the restaurant was for the dinner, where were the bars, were was our cabin in relation to all the others ... Towards the evening I can say we succeeded to manage to walk without hesitation to one place or another. The restaurant is called Symposium, one of the bars, a club-bar, is called Salaminia. We stood on the deck 7 until the ship went out to sea. We are on a cruise on the Mediterranean ! It is so beautiful !!
At a moment, while we were just watching the horizon, we noticed something in the water.
Were flying fish ! Amazing how they can fly and how they look. There were big groups of these fish ! When the ship was approaching, they flew and entered into the water further on. And some of them were so coloured ! Simon tried to catch them with the camera, but because of their speed and the ship's speed no picture was good ! We watched them for several minutes until we couldn't see any more. Later on we went to an outdoor bar and had a drink. We had a look around us, at the people. A lot of species !!!! We had fun watching them, how they were dressed, how they were talking, moving ... I forgot to say that when came on the ship they gave us a nice envelope with: a card for identification, a card for the cabin, and on the envelope was written a number. And they took a picture of us like for a passport, on the computer, also for identification. They explained to us everything about that envelope, but of course we didn't remember everything, so, after boarding, we went to the receptionist and there they explained us everything again. The number that was written on the envelope was the number of the table in the restaurant, where we will have our meals.
When we passed the customs, they took our cases. At the cabin somebody was waiting for us with the case and to show us how to open the cabin with the card and to ask if we needed something else. It was like in the movies ! At the end we gave a tip to the man. After "inspecting" the ship we returned to the cabin, we washed and then ... again went out ! We walked around, waiting for the sun to set. Meanwhile we found out the the speed of the ship was about 16-17 knots per hour, meaning around 30 km per hour. The dinner was between 19.30 and 21.30. So we had enough time to see the sun set. It was so beautiful ! But this word can't express exactly what we saw. The sun seemed to melt into the sea ! Only if you see the pictures we've made can you realise that it is hard to describe in words those images !
After that we went to the cabin to dress with nice clothes, like for a nice dinner ! At our table were 3 couples: us, an English couple, older than us that were on this cruise to celebrate 47 years of marriage - so nice ! - and another English couple, younger than us. The older couple were living in Cyprus during winter time. And returning to England during summer time. Simon said that a lot of retired couples are doing this because in Paphos it is warm during the winter. Actually it is not winter, the temperatures don't go below 10-12 degrees during the night, and during the day
there are around 18-19 degrees ! The other couple were on holiday just like us. The tables were grouped by nationality I think. The dinner was very good and quite a lot. And the service was also very good. For dinner was: the starter, soup, salads, main dish and desert. From each you had more then one choice. As starter I chose something Greek, I liked, it was very tasty, no soup, Cesar salad, roast beef and a chocolate cake. Simon chose soup, no starter, no salad, roast beef and same, chocolate cake as desert. We really enjoyed the dinner. We chatted with the others, had some fun and around 9.00 o'clock we left the restaurant. We went on the deck for a little while (Simon had a cigarette of course) and then went to bed, because we felt tired. Anyhow in the morning we had to wake up very early because the breakfast was at 6.00 and the departure with the buses
for Cairo at 7.00. Of course Simon woke up during the night and went on the deck to see the sea and have a cigarette. He told me that the sea was beautiful also during the night !
>> Page 2 - Port Said, Egypt >>
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