Well, we have just returned to Doha from a trip of a lifetime! We were joined by Liz and James, which made it really fun to have someone to share the adventure with. We packed a lot into just under two weeks, however, we managed to see most of the major sights in both Egypt and Jordan. The tour guides were amazing, especially Walid in Egypt. He was a mine of information and we learned so much history and archeology from him. Above are of course the pyramids, just on the ouskirts of Cairo. The drivers in Cairo are even worse than Doha and frequently drive 3 or 4 abreast where most people would have just two lanes of traffic! I was glad we were driven by some great bus drivers. We stayed at the Marriot and the food was really great. We saw all kinds of temples and the Valley of the Kings, you name it - we saw it.
An extra side trip we decided to take was to go to Abu Simbal. I am so glad we did, it was amazing and so well preserved. We cruised on the Nile for four days, getting off for various sights. I had never been on a cruise before and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. After an early morning start to sightseeing, we really enjoyed our afternoons lying on deck and watching Egypt unfold before our eyes as we floated down the Nile. We were able to see the local people going about their pastoral lives and the sites role by like a giant screen. It was so relaxing sipping our beer watching the world go by and sitting in the sun.
From Egypt we flew to Jordan with several others from our Egypt tour. Again, we packed in a huge amount in three days, of course the highlight was Petra. Walking through the siq, you know what you are about to see, but your first look at the Treasury is as magical as everyone says it is going to be. After lunch, we continued on with a few other brave souls and went up to the Monastery, which is like another version of the Treasury but 700 steps further on and up. However, when you get to the top, there is an amazing view of the Rift valley and of course it is downhill on the way back!
Our flight out on the last day was not until the afternoon and originally we thought we might try to change it to an earlier time. However, we had wanted to see the Dead Sea, which was not included on out tour. The tour director quickly organized a couple of minivans to pick up 12 of us and in about and hour we were there, lathering ourselves up with mud and then floating in the very salty water. It was so buoyant that try as you might, you just could not turn over and it was really funny to see us all bobbing around.
We had such a wonderful trip and took literally thousands of pictures between the four of us. Enough to bore most of our friends for years to come! As the plane touched down in Doha, we both had the feeling that we were coming home. What a great way to end our adventure to the Middle East. We now have a couple of days to finish packing up and to say our goodbyes then back to the snow and ice and to our real home, although I have a feeling that now we have had a taste of adventure, we will have a hard time settling into a rut again before looking for more!