Since the Egypt story has been broken into multiple posts, I decided to pull links to everything together here.
Around 5:30pm, we gathered to get back on a bus and drove out into the desert to eat dinner at a bedouin camp. As it turns out, this was a very “touristy” experience rather than seeming authentic in any way. It was somewhat entertaining, though, and gave us all a chance to say our goodbyes to everyone since this was the last time that most of the group would be together (about a dozen people stayed in Sharm el Sheikh, and many people were taking alternate flights home).
After the “bedouin” dinner, we boarded the buses (for the last time for Chris, Josh, and I), drove to the airport, and began the long trek home. The flight from Sharm el Sheikh to Cairo is a short one (only about an hour). In Cairo, we had to get our checked luggage, drag it over to the international terminal, and check in to a 3:00am flight to Amsterdam. After the five-hour flight to Amsterdam (I was actually able to sleep on the plane for the first time!), we had a four and one-half hour layover followed by a ten-hour flight back to Seattle. It’s a long trek home. Perhaps the only interesting part of this trek is that we left Sharm el Sheikh at 11:35pm (1:35pm PST) and arrived in Seattle at just before 1:00pm the next day. By travelling from the Sinai peninsula (in Asia) to Cairo (in Africa) to Amsterdam (in Europe) to Seattle (in North America), we have visited four continents in 24 hours. Very cool!
All-in-all, this was an experience not to be missed. If the experience in Germany in Fall of 2004 seemed like the Best Disney ever, then Egypt is the “Dirtiest Disney ever™”, but it is an amazing place. The sense of ancient history here permeates everything, largely because most of the country is still missing was we think of as modern conveniences. I took a total of around 3,500 photos on this trip (about a thousand more than any previous trip that I have been on), all shot on my Canon 5D (and most shot with the amazingly versatile 24-105mm f/4L IS lens). I am hoping that I have a few hundred good shots out of these. As I make progress on processing these photos, you can be sure that they will be posted on the site.