I’m back in Oklahoma. At first, coming back to the states wasn’t all that exciting. I would have liked to stay for an entire year or more and would advise anyone studying abroad to do everything they can to go for an entire year. I’m starting to get settled back in though. I am back in my apartment and my room (in the living room) is back in order. Sarah (she is with me until Tuesday) and I have been been rock climbing nearly everyday that we have been in Stillwater.
The last couple of weeks in Egypt was extremely eventful. Sarah came to visit me. We spent a few days in Cairo, three days in Alexandria, and about 5 days rock climbing and snorkeling in Dahab. Cairo was normal- busy, crowded, and full of friendly Egyptian welcomes. One of the first things we did in Cairo was see the pyramids. The day began with cloudy skies and an extremely calm atmosphere around the pyramid grounds. There was hardly anybody there and the vendors were unusually lazy and seemingly discouraged by the lack of business. Nevertheless, the pyramids were beautiful as the sun started peering through the clouds and reflecting off of the sides.
Yemeni restaurant in Cairo:
After a few more good experiences with Khan el Khalili, El-Fashiwy’s, a mosque and great tasting juice we took the train to Alexandria. Alex was a much more enjoyable trip, especially for Sarah. As usual, it was less crowded and more laid back. The coolest part of Alexandria was showing Sarah a Ahwah (cafe) that was hidden behind a 2 foot wide alley way.
Our next destination was Dahab. Always refreshing and beautiful this was by far the best part of our trip. The little hotel/hostel that we stayed in is cheap (less than $4 a night per person) and offers an awesome atmosphere of international travels who enjoy the simple, more adventurous aspects of traveling. At the hotel are divers, hikers, climbers, backpackers… and because we were in town… slackliners. The first night we were there I set up a slack line in the alley way behind the hostel. I had to set it at about ten feet so that cars driving through the alley way could get through without me having to disassemble the line. After the manager of the hostel saw me walking the line, he told me I could do it in the square right outside my room. Every night following we set up the line in the square. Many people watched and tried it out.
We also rock climbed nearly every day we were in Dahab. After a 20 minute jeep ride into the Wadi El-Qunai, a good number of bolts begin to scale up the wall. For me, climbing was the highlight of Dahab… especially because it was the first time I had climbed with Sarah in four months.
The second day we climbed we tried another wadi very close to the first. This location is full of 100 foot plus multi-pitch routes on slabby rock. Because of the rain Dahab received a few days earlier some of the routes had a waterfall running right over them. This attracted a multitude of local Egyptians who used a siphon to collect fresh water from the fall. They let Sarah have a free camel ride.
We also snorkeled in Dahab. Although it was a little cold (and I might have gotten mild hypothermia) the coral we saw was beautiful and swarming with a wide range of fish.
After Dahab our trip was coming to an end. We took the 8 hour evening bus ride back to Cairo and spent the day walking around Tahrir square and hanging out at cafes in the area. Our plane left at 3:00 am in the morning. After 27 hours we were back in Oklahoma.