Our dear, faithful blog readers (if any at all do, in fact, exist):
We will be leaving on a great adventure tomorrow morning...early...we are leaving Amman. We are even stretching our wings and leaving Jordan. We are going to Egypt.
We are leaving tomorrow to go to Aqaba, actually. Aqaba is a resort in southern Jordan and it looks absolutely gorgeous! We're taking the Jett Bus down (4.30 JD), which is a 4-5 hour bus ride from Amman. We will be staying at The Aquamarina Beach Hotel (30 JD/night which includes breakfast and beach fees. Ph. number: 03-201-6250).
All I know is that I am looking forward to swimming and laying on the beach! I haven't been to the beach for so long! It should be really fun.
We are meeting the group at the Ferry Station at...sometime. We don't know exactly when yet since the airline cancelled our flight (so the whole ferry thing is a little spur of the moment, as is our Aqaba trip). We will be ferrying from Aqaba to Nuweiba and will then get straight on a bus to Saint Katherine's, at the base of Mt. Sinai. On July 3rd, we will be doing a sunrise hike to visit the monastery on Mt. Sinai.
For those of you worried about of ferry ride, you shouldn't be too worried. The Hajj doesn't happen until December--so the ferries shouldn't be overcrowded and thus won't sink.
On the 4th we'll be busing to Sharm Al-Sheikh for 8:15 am flight to Luxor where we will then tour the Karnak Temple (and the Luxor), and then take a faluka ride on the Nile! That should be fun, and we will be sure to tell you if we see any crocodiles!
On the 5th, we'll go tour the Valley of Kings and Queens then depart Cairo by train. Although I have ridden in trains before, and have done overnight sleepers, I must say that I am rather excited for this trip. We will be taking a 1st class sleeper. In Russia, I always rode 3rd class...so this should be a lot better! We'll have to show you photos of our 1st class train!
On the morning of the 6th, we'll visit Saqqara and the Giza Pyramids. We'll head to the Egyptian Museum for the afternoon (they have a King Tut exhibit, but we don't think we'll be going since it is about 20 JD per person to get in).
The 7th is a Friday so we will go to church. We're not sure where the meetinghouse is yet since the church is pretty low-key in Egypt. It is illegal for Egyptians to convert to Christianity, or even go to church if they were converted elsewhere. Andrew met a Catholic priest in Rome who was from Egypt. He later joined the church but his life was really difficult. He is back in Egypt now but he can't attend church.
We'll spend the afternoon in Coptic Cairo, the Christian area of Cairo. Egypt used to be a Christian province of the Roman-Byzantine empire before 640 AD, when the Muslims took over. Because the Coptic Egyptians have been around so long and are so numerous, they can go to church but are prosecuted for being Christian.
On the 8th and 9th, we'll be doing an Islamic Cairo tour and hanging out in Cairo. This will be our first day unleashed in the city, free to explore! It should be fun. Then on the 10th we'll fly back into Amman from Cairo. That all sounds fairly exhausting. I'm glad that on the 11th I can recuperate while Andrew, on the other hand, has to go back to school.
I suppose that's all for now. We'll try to post in Egypt if we can (to fill your blog cravings...we all know you have them. At least, we hope you do) and if not we'll do some massive posting when we get home (like Petra, only...more).
Nancy (Andrew helped, too...a little)
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Before you get too excited about the "1st class" sleeper, let me tell you: don't. They're nothing special - it might even be a hand-me-down Russian train. The only difference is that you get a door on your compartment. But you'll still be sharing the same air with everyone else, which sucks if anyone smokes (like those pesky BYU students). :)
I just don't want you to get your hopes up and then be disappointed! Have fun!
Ahh, Those good old russian sleepers... make sure to post a pic of what these ones looks like. (must...fulfill...blog...cravings...)
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