I have been to Egypt twice. The first visit was in 1962 and my most recent trip was this year, January 2011, a week before the protests in Cairo and Alexandria escalated. While Ruby and I were there this January, the streets in Cairo were calm and peaceful. Egypt is such and interesting place and should be at the top of everyone’s “places to visit” list. My hope is that the current situation is resolved quickly and that the Egyptian people realize the political freedom they’re demanding; and then their political movement spreads throughout the Middle East bringing, peace, stability and freedom to that entire region. I find the Arab people wonderful and on both visits to the region, the people I encountered treated me like one of their own.
Like my 1962 trip, my journey to Egypt this year also included an excursion to Petra, in Jordan.
It was described as “a rose-red city half as old as time” in a Newdigate Prize-winning sonnet by John William Burgon. – Wikipedia
In 1962 I was able to travel in Egypt for a month on a total of 80 US dollars and during that trip, I decided to hitchhike to Jordan. I was picked up by Iraqi drivers taking a Mercedes truck to Amman, Jordan and met Eila, a New Zealand girl who was also hitching a ride. During the trip, the driver started feeling her leg, which obviously made her uncomfortable. So when we stopped for a break, I changed places with her. The driver then started feeling my leg!
Back then, I spent 3 months traveling Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. I was within within 7 kilometers of Petra when a snow storm blanketed the area, closing access to Petra so that I could not see it. After 50 years, I was finally able to visit this January. It was worth the wait. Petra is one of my top highlights from a lifetime of traveling.