Friday, September 26, 2008

Back to day to day life here in Egypt

Getting back into a routine now that we are home from vacation. I spent two days uploading pictures to various networking site's wondering the whole time why did I take so many darn pictures. My fear of never getting back to Greece prompts my to take a pictures of every single thing I want to remember. Lord I hope my memory does not fail! LOL

I have a month to get ready for Shannon's visit and I can't wait. It will be great to catch up in person. I am so glad we have email and networking sites but I really miss sitting face to face with family and friends talking to them. Sure beats waiting on snail mail.

We went to the BX after we returned and guess what they had-Christmas Tree's. As we were walking out they had them in a corner. So now the dilemma begins... We have always had a live Christmas tree, being in a Muslim country and the desert to boot I realize that a real tree is more than likely out of the question but do we get an artificial tree. I also have read enough very informative blogs from people who have been here that say if you see something buy it cause you may not find it again. So I may have missed the opportunity and this may not be an issue anyway. Only one person on our team had a tree shipped over with their stuff. I used to be so organized! I wish I had thought that far a head.

The other day James and I were walking through our town here and we came upon a older women getting out of a car being driven by a younger man. Clearly the woman was struggling getting out of the car. So being us, I asked her Do you need some help? Her reply was thank you thank you so not quite sure she is understanding I ask her again and her reply is the same thank you thank you so I hold her arm as she steps up on the sidewalk and James is trying to open her gate. She thanked us again and then the younger man rolled the window and thanked us too. Not a big deal because we would do that at home without a second thought. So our discussion the rest of the way home was why are we so hesitant to be ourselves here?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Athens Greece

I have over 700 pictures from our trip to greece. Here are a few that I wanted to share, I will add all of them to myspace page and James'. We had an unbelievable time. It was nice to come back to Cairo. We were told on the plane before we landed "Welcome back to Cairo" from some passenger's which is really nice to hear. I am so glad it's still warm here. We did get laughed at with our umbrella's. Can't wait until we go to Italy. Most important right now it's good to be "home".

Our flight was really uneventful it seemed really long but was only about 2 hours. The Athens airport was really nice and very easy to navigate through. Very clean and you know how we like clean. The first thing I noticed was it was cooler here I had forgot that it was fall. The second thing I noticed once we were in a cab and headed to our hotel was that everyone was driving in their lanes! Yeah! We are back to familiar driving habits, with red lights and stop sign even. So our first night in Greece and we eat at the Hard Rock CafĂ© and it was great. There was pork on the menu. The food tasted like home. The people are not overly friendly, not one person has said welcome. In Cairo they still say welcome and so that’s kinda nice. As for our first night in Athens in really beautiful, more expensive than I thought it would be but we are excited to spend the week here.

Day 2 of our trip to Greece:
We wake up this morning (Saturday) and it’s raining! Not a big deal except that it’s been more than 3 months since we’ve seen rain. This wasn’t really a surprise because I had checked the weather forecast before we left Cairo. It was really nice to see the rain. It was cool today also so it really is fall. We walked all through the streets of Athens today and it was better than I expected. We seen Constitution Square, Central Market, Mount Lycabettus, we think we seen the Flea Market although it was nothing like the flea market that we have seen in the states. The crazy thing is that around 5:00 pm everything started closing up. The best part of the day was eating at an authentic Greek restaurant. The food was great. Not the huge American servings but a normal serving. We took a video of it. Maybe we will go back there before we leave. We also went shopping in “the old neighborhood” and we were hugged by grandmother who watches the door. It was all very exciting and just trying to take it all in. It is suppose to rain again tomorrow no worries though because we bought umbrellas today. I wonder if the even sell umbrellas in Cairo. Oh I almost forgot, the people still are not very friendly here but that’s okay maybe we will find them tomorrow.

Day 3 of our trip to Greece:
It’s not raining this morning so after breakfast we caught a ride to the center of town where the bus drops us off and made our way just walking on foot to explore the city. The happened upon a band playing! After watching that we made our way back to Constitution square, we took some pictures and then here comes the parade. They do a parade for tourist and it was pretty cool. Then we made our way up to Lycabettus Hill. Way up on a hill. There are pictures on the way up were stairs. Let’s just say a lot of stairs. Well worth the long hike up though, it was absolutely beautiful and you can see to the ocean and all around Athens. The pictures are just beautiful. Now for the best part: We went to the cemetery today and it was even better than I expected. We took lots of pictures and I hope they shoe how elaborate and amazing it is there. There are very extravagant the graves are. There is a Zodiac site but I think the Angel holding a child and the Angel with its finger on its lips to say be quite are my favorites. It was so peaceful and beautiful there. On our way out there was a man taking care of his family’s site and he was telling us to see the specific ones. We thanked him and went off to look for the ones he had told us about. There were quite a few people in the cemetery paying their respects to family or friends. What a day it was. I loved it. So maybe we will see the sea tomorrow. We ate at another street restaurant for late lunch/dinner and I have to say we do like the food here. The atmosphere is great. Oh I do want to mention this morning at breakfast there was a soccer team eating there as well. The names on the jerseys were Athens F.C. we have no idea who they are. I think we must have be the only ones though. I can’t wait to upload all of this it just great. To think I was seriously doubting my choice to come to Greece. It is a welcome change from Cairo with couples walking arm in arm and kissing on the street. It was really nice to see families eating and walking with their children too. I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Day 4:
We took a taxi to south of Athens to spend some time at a beach. It’s not raining but it’s cloudy and cool and the beach is not very nice at all. We spend maybe an hour before going back to the hotel to re think our day. Back at the hotel we decide to take the half day tour to see the Temple of Poseidon. After eating lunch at the hotel we take a bus to the temple which is about an hour and a half from Athens. Once outside Athens the scenery is beautiful and the water is so clear and it’s just beautiful. The farther South we get the better the scenery gets. What a trip everyone who visits Greece so take this drive through the country. I am afraid my pictures don’t do it justice. The Temple was nice but the mountain that it’s on is just a beautiful. There are wild birds of some sort that are really afraid of us, a bunch of them. There were two guys snorkeling around it, a cave, and the view is spectacular. I really enjoyed Greece. I would spend two days doing all that we have done and the go to another city and I would go during the summer time to enjoy the beautiful islands. The culture was great, the food very good. I would love to go back someday.

Day 5:
Went downtown to walk through the streets again it’s early (before noon) so it’s not too crowded. After about an hour it’s back to the hotel to check out and get to the airport. Some pictures of Greece from the air and we are on our way home to Cairo. What a great vacation.