Sunday, February 22, 2009

Don't it just figure.....

A bomb went off in Cairo today...Now comes all the protestations that I should not go. Im going. Very excited that I found a way home that allows me to spend a couple days in Rome. Fun.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I made it about half way through Frommer's Egypt last night. Boy am I unprepared. Somehow I think I lost sight of the fact I was traveling in the developing world. The laundry list of diseases, especially food and water borne illnesses one can pick up in Egypt is a bit scary. Then there's the parasites you can pick up in the Nile. It's been quite awhile since I have been someplace where you literally have to watch every thing that goes into your body diligently. And considering I manage to pick up some form of food poisoning almost every time I travel it's time to track down some Cipro. Travel medical insurance appears to be a must. So also might be travel evacuation insurance. Lovely....

My plan to try to access the Sudan is now officially abandoned. It appears the only way down is by way of some kind of ferry down Lake Nasser to a horrible little border town with very nasty border guards. Combine all this with the the probable food poisoning scenario and I am bagging it. Because being detained by Sudanese border guards, after a ten hour ferry ride with the runs is exactly something that would happen to me.

So what now? Perhaps an extra day in the North to Alexandria. Time to consult the Thorn Tree.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Just found and booked my Cairo Hotel. Brand new hotel with promotional offers. The Fairmont Heliopolis Towers. $112.00 a night. Thank you Trip Advisor! Its close to the Aiport so that relieves some of my 4 a.m in Cairo anxiety and its 5 star...Me happy. Though I am still having no wife anxiety.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gettin there...

So this thing is coming together. Will be having one hell of a long travel day getting there. L.A to Paris. Paris to Athens. Athens to Cairo. I get into to Cairo at 2:45 a.m. 17 hours of flying. By the time I roll out of customs it will be 4 a.m. I've already had a few anxiety attacks over getting a cab in Cairo at that hour. But I'm doin it.....

I'm finally starting to cram in all of my study before going. 3 weeks isn't even close to enough time to become even a novice Egyptologist. I really find it much more meaningful to know what you are looking at before getting to a site.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Getting this Sudan stamp is going to be very challenging I think....


Yawn. The obsession is kicking in. Reading every hotel review 3 times over. Every tour, every restaraunt, every pyramid I just have to see. The plan changes by the nanosecond. For now I fly into Paris on a reccesssion era business class ticket. (I usually fly coach). The economy is presenting me with all kinds of cheaper travel options. 

As of this morning at 3 am when my brain finally shut down the plan is to fly into Paris on the red eye, change planes and spend another 7 hours going straight to Cairo. No layover. Just charge through. I am hoping that since the first 10 hours will be in Business Class ill have the strength to do another 7 hours from there without a rest. I may have to rethink that though. 

As of today its going to be 4 nights in Cairo, 3 nights in Luxor, and 3 nights in the extreme south to Aswan. If it can be done I want to somehow make it across the border into the Sudan and get that oh so valuable extra passport stamp! Hey how many people ya know been to the Sudan?!

I will end the trip with 3 nights kickin it in Paris probably wandering Museums and art shops on the Left Bank. This will change, I am sure, every day knowing me.


I have been suffering from an extreme case of travel withdrawal for some time now. In the past, when I worked  as a prosecutor, I was able to travel sometimes up to 4 weeks a year all on the government dime. Since going into private practice I have tried to keep up the same pace. But it's a challenge. Leaving for distant places now means going on my dime. It's a sacrifice. 

My wife and I have travelled quite a bit as a couple for the first 4 years of our relationship. Sadly I am going to be doing this one alone for now. I have been given the spousal blessing to make this next and overdue adventure to Egypt, with a layover in Paris on my own. Her work won't allow for much time off. 

It's been a long time since I travelled solo and I don't know how I am going to react. Ill miss my wife for sure and probably will cry like a baby in my hotel room at night, while blogging and emailing away. 

Now I start my process which, in reality began months ago.  I am a voracious reader and researcher when it comes to planning these trips. I try to get my hands on the best guide books for starters. I am more of a Frommers than a Lonely Planet guy. This is usually where I start reading. Depending on where I am going I always like to double source things before committing to them.  So I might also grab Fodors or a DK travel book. I think Frommers and the net should get me through this trip. There's plenty of information on Egypt all over the web. 

Booking my flight always begins with which is not a slave to the corporate hotel chains and large air carriers. This website truly will find you the best fare and has far more airlines that can be found there. Expedia is a con. Never book on Expedia or Travelocity. But do use them for research only. 

Ill use Expedia for researching accommodations as well. But my go to site for lodging is always This is more of a reviewing site, but all the reviews come from travellers so there is no bias. If my Hotel or B and B has had bad reviews on TA I never book it. Never. 

So today I committed to Egypt. The travel industry is hurting as well so prices are down. I will be able to do business class through to Paris with a savings of a couple thousand dollars. Today I bought my ticket, using the airlines web site, and locked in two weeks in Egypt, with a couple days in Paris coming back. More to come.....Lots of reading to do. 

Chapter 1 - Study and Logistics for Egypt