Friday, March 28, 2008

Malta... Yalta...

Malta.. Beautiful island in the middle of mediterenean !! Fusion of different cultures and languages, steeped in history, clear blue and sandy beaches, heaven for tourists, good spot for scuba diving and water sports and a big harbour... Smack in the center of Mediterenean it has always been a strategic location for all the powers of Europe, Africa and Persia in olden times.
Since I had very litle time, I explored the historic places of Malta, old chappels, factories from the last century fully preserved, catacombs from the Roman times etc. I went and checked out the night life in St. John's bay and St. Julian's bay which are known for the trendy bars and night clubs. These places thrive with huge crowd of college crowd hitting the bars late at night. Wish I had more time to explore this beautiful island..

Check my travelog for my stop over at Malta...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Crossing the Suez

I was so excited when I got to know that we will be joining the boat at Port Suez and crossing the canal with the boat and not join the boat at Port Said(located after the canal) as originally planned. I just thought it would be such a cool idea to cross the Suez canal and I wasn't wrong at all....
It was such a narrow canal, that the captain and the officers have to be very careful navigating the boat through the canal along with an pilot from the Suez authorities. There was so much to crossing the canal that I was not aware of until that day. Apparently ships go in columns or what is called "convoys" when they cross the narrow canal. The canal itself is made of 2 parts, south part between the Red sea and Great bitter lake and North canal between the Great bitter lake and Mediterenean sea. Usually there is only one convoy at a time, meaning only one in a particular direction. There are also preferences in which convoy gets to go first. The oil and chemicals tankers almost always go through straight from the Red sea all the way to the Mediterenean sea. The others have to break their journey in the great lake and wait for their turn to do the second convoy. It was all fascinating for me to learn about it and to be on the Bridge to see how the officers and Pilot function to navigate the ship through the narrow channel.

I was chatting to a native Egyptian on-board and learnt a lot about the history of Suez canal which I was not aware of and how strategic Suez is to Egypt and how much money is made each day in the canal. I wikipedead and found tons of info on this. I invite you to look through it if you are interested.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My date with Ancient Egypt :)

Egyptian civilization, as they say, is one of the most ancient civilizations in the history of human beings and is well recorded too through heiroglyphics and no trip to Egypt is complete without a trip the great pyramids and sphinx. I had a day in Cairo and I went to Giza to see the great pyramids and Sphinx and then to the National museum in Cairo to see the ancient Egyptian artifacts. It was truly an amazing adventure to visually experience the ancient Egyptian architecture and their glory... I was so thrilled just to be there and experience all of it... Maybe some day.. I will get more time to travel all around Egypt, travel along the Nile and visit all historic places...

Check out the complete travelog on my trip to Cairo and also the photo album.