Thursday, November 13, 2008

Egypt Tour : Day 1-2

For as long as I can remember, I had always been fascinated with the ancient Egyptians and everything else to do with it. Even as a kid, I made a childish vow to myself to visit Egypt one day and see the wonders for myself. To me, it is like THE place to visit I die or something similarly corny. I finally got my wish granted 2 weeks ago.

It wasn’t even a planned vacation. When I heard that my friend was looking for travel partners, I just jumped right in and signed myself up a few days before the closing date of the tour. Always one to travel on my own, I have never joined a tour group before but looking back, I have never made a better decision in my life. No regrets at all as Egypt is as beautiful as I’ve always imagine it to be and so much more.

We flew Gulf Air and had a one night stopover in Bahrain. I went around town with my friend and a couple of new-found friends. We went window shopping in one of its spanking new malls. What strucked me about Bahrain is that the city lacked imagination. Everything looked sterile to me somehow. However, to be fair, I didn’t had enough time to explore the city and the anticipation of going to Egypt the next day kinda clouded my judgement.

My first sight of the Pyramids! Wee!!!

Arriving in Egypt the next day, we were all in high spirits. To me, it’s as if I’m a child who had been let loose in a candy store. We were met at the airport by our Egyptian guide, Walaa. I was secretly thankful that he speaks excellent English and that he isn’t bad looking either. Sure helps with the concentration for yours truly who is a little short on attention span. Our first destination is to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. I was a bit disappointed and worried that we would not get to try out Egyptian food but that proved to be baseless. In tune with the infamous mad schedules of a guided tour, we were whisked off to the Citadel of Saladin straight after lunch.

The Citadel of Saladin

Being a Friday, the traffic was smooth as Egyptians had the day off but the entrance to the mosque was jammed pack with local and overseas tourists all eager to enter after the Friday afternoon prayers were over. While waiting in line, I realize that a whole line of Egyptian schoolchildren, presumably on a school trip, were staring at us and giggling away. It’s as if they had never seen Chinese people before! I smiled at them and a bunch of them waved back. So adorable and friendly! One parent or teacher came over and asked if we mind taking photographs with some of the kids and we obliged.

Throngs of tourists crowing the Citadel's entrance

By the end of the day, me and my friends had been approached by numerous groups of tweens all asking to be photographed together with us! Man, I felt like a superstar! Everywhere I turned, there’s a group of tweens either smiling at me or waving at me or waiting to take pictures together. If I’d known, I would have prepared some autographs! LOL! *kidding*

The Alabaster Mosque

The Citadel is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cairo today. Legend has it that Saladin chose this site because of its fresh air. Apparently, meat would spoil within the day anywhere else in Cairo except for this site. Walaa said this is BS as the site is simply a great location to build a fortress due to its higher grounds. Within the Citadel is the Grand Mosque or also known as the Alabaster Mosque as this material is used to cover its interior and exterior walls. This mosque also housed the tomb of Mohammad Ali, who is considered to be the father of modern Egypt.

Tomb of Mohammad Ali

It rained a teeny bit while we were leaving the Citadel and a beautiful rainbow can be seen. What a beautiful sight to greet us for the first day of my Egypt tour. We were then driven away on our bus to the town of Alexandria which is 3 hours drive away from Cairo. Arriving after a 3-hour bus ride, we sat down to a sumptuous seafood dinner. Each person was served 2 whole fried fish for the main course. Boy, I was full looking at the fishes alone. Fried fish really ain’t my thing.

A rare sight of the rainbow after a few precious drops of rain

Stiff from the flight earlier that day and also the long bus journey, we were more than glad to reach our hotel, the Hilton Green Plaza. However, seeing the places, me and my friend felt rejuvenated again and went around exploring around the hotel as it has many shops and restaurants surrounding it and even a cinema nearby. People are always looking at us and throughout my bus ride, people are just merrily waving away. I must say I didn’t expect such warmth and friendliness. Everywhere I look, men and women of young and old age are greeting me with a smile or a wave. I’ve never felt so welcome anywhere else. Mama, I am home...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Look for My Blog

After 5 years looking at the same old layout, I finally took some time off to update the look and feel of this blog and viola! How do you guys like the new look?


I know, I don't have those bluish-greenish eyes like the sexy lady in the pictue but hey, I do have long dark hair and I'm fair-skinned. OK, so my nose isn't as sharp and my eyes aren't as big but I do have well-defined eyebrows.


Ooo, did I mention my lips are just as kissable? :p