Two Day Whirlwind Tour (part 2)

The pool at the hotel was a definite bust as the bottom was dirty and we just weren't feeling it.  After a tiresome van ride, bogus shop tour and quicky museum trip, we just wanted to kick back Egyptian style.  Our tour guide had a hard time understanding that we wanted to see the nightlife and just hang out, but we ended up calling it a night after a dinner at the hotel.  We woke up early the next morning to a breakfast buffet where I had quite a few cups of coffee with some milk.  More on that later.  We headed straight to the Pyramids at Giza where we had a chance to ride some camels and even race a little bit.  The pyramids were definitely quite an awesome sight.  You really don't get to realize them in all their glory because of how fast the tour is and I guess it's safe to say that I'm still amazed that I even got to check them out.  I do have to admit though that it is a one time show.  I'm not going to be aching to go back anytime soon.  Maybe it was the heat or just the general mess but maybe with a bunch of other people on a 1 week Egyptian safari to Alexandria and the rest of the Nile might be worthwhile.DSC04724  Here are a few pictures below.      DSC04761

DSC04800 We also got to check out the Sphinx and we posed with some really provactive stances, but it all didn't work out because we lost a camera on the way home from Eilat to Tel Aviv later that week. 

After the Sphinx, we check out a Protestant Church, Jewish Temple and a Muslim Mosque.  Went to a jewelry store to check out some Egyptian gold, headed to some cotton place and went to a place where they sell perfumes.  I started to get a light headache by the time we were all said and done in the perfume shop due to the overwhelming amount of aromas in the closed room. 

We caught some lunch at a Shawarma (gyro type thing) place alongside the road (I wouldn't recommend <-- more on that later) and then made out way to the last stop which was an open market plaza.  We got a quick chance to tour around but we ended up not buying anything.  I saw some great replica watches, but when it came down to it, I didn't think that I would wear anything.  We got back on the bus where I started to really feel dehydrated and sick and headed back to Eilat.  That night is when I just started hurting.  To say the least, I was on the toilet every other hour throughout the next few days.  =(  I couldn't pinpoint on whether it was the milk in the morning or the fastfood place that we dined at for lunch or maybe just the overall shock, but I didn't eat (or was scared to eat) for the following two days.  I couldn't even get myself to go snorkeling or diving in the Red Sea.  I just about called it quits.  I did get better on the day prior to us leaving as we stayed at the Hilton Queen of Sheeba Resort!  That was awesome. 

Tel Aviv to Eilat

I landed early morning at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv Israel and took an airport shuttle to the domestic terminal where I was greeted with closed doors because it was a little too early.  They opened it up within five minutes and I sat inside until security opened up.  I was questioned quite a bit, for about an hour total including a back room full body check, but they ultimately helped me get a standby ticket and treated me fairly nice.  They are very thorough with their security processes but one can only imagine how necessary it is. 

I finally got on an Arkira 757-300 as one of last passengers and boarded up for a 20 minute flight.  The aircraft was full and we cruised relatively low for quite a while.  DSC04661The approach into Eilat was great passing by the beach as the beginning of the runway boarders the north west side of the Red Sea.   I walked a little way to the Hostel that my friend Bobby told me to go to, changed in the closet, locked my things up and walked around with a new friend that I met at reception who was well trvaeled for the last few months.  Mike and I walked around for about 2.5 hours just wasting time and touring around until our rooms were ready.  I had a chance to take a dip in the Red Sea that early afternoon and check out the boardwalk.  I have to admit that it was very Mexico Riviera with the bars and beach chairs lining up the "ocean." 

I headed back to the Eilat Youth Hostel and Guest House, took a shower and napped to where I woke up a little later to Bobby and Donna arriving around 5:45PM.  The Hostel ended up being about $40 a head per night but also included a pretty impressive kosher breakfast.  Apparently, most Hostels in Israel include breakfast due to necessity of having Kosher meals.  No complaints here for sure. 

We headed out for a good dinner after catching up a bit and found a good restaurant on the boardwalk.  Mike joined us and we even toured the Hilton Queen of Sheeba Hotel.  It was definitely a step up from the hostel, but considerably much more.  We agreed to change the trip from Petra to Cairo the night before and we partied a little bit that night in anticipation for a 5.5 hours van ride to Cairo leaving at 6:00AM the next morning from the Hostel.  Eilat was quick, but we knew that we would be coming back in a couple of days.