suez canal 6-12 August

david and margaret ritchie
Mon 14 Aug 2006 14:34
We are not sure what to make of the canal and Egypt. We spent 7 days in all to make a transit of 2 days although we had allowed for 1 extra day in Ismalia.Various reasons were given by the authorities for the delay but in general it is just their attitude to work and their continual schemes to get baksheesh.
Egypt was very nice and the people were very outgoing and friendly. We had a wander about port said and Ismalia and the latter in particular was very interesting. In both there were no Europeans to be seen while we were there and Margaret raised a lot of interest amongst both the men and women as she , although modestly clad, was not wearing a headscarf.The cities were vibrant at night with crowds of both men and women , usually in separate groups, wandering around. The women's costumes were uniform in style but very colourful. We ate out at Egyptian restaurants and the food was excellent and everywhere we were made very welcome.
Those in authority were hopeless however and their systems are very frustrating. In the end we were glad to get away which is a pity .The shipping in the canal was amazing to see, huge vessels from all over the world alongside small local dhows fishing and playing chicken with the large ships