Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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Though modern Egyptian architecture is by and large as drab as can be possibly imagined (when you're a small country growing by a million people every ten months it's hard to get fancy), the mosques and many government buildings are very pretty. Furthermore, they have a tendency to build them out in the middle of nowhere, which makes viewing them very pleasant. I guess when you have a country that is 95% uninhabited (and uninhabitable), you try to push along the edges wherever possible.

Sadly, it appears even the ancient Egyptians had problems with youthful misdemeanors. This one roughly translates to "Da Tombs' gonna smack yo ass down, bitch!"
Unquestionably, the highlight of my stay in Egypt was riding the felucca down the nile. A "felucca", as shown in the picture, is a wide riverboat with a flat, open deck covered in blankets and cushions on which passengers eat, drink, and sleep. The felucca has one large sail, which is strung between two long poles, on two of the three triangular edges. The third edge is left open, and the overall triangle of the sail is adjusted by moving about the two poles, both of which are attached to a third pole, which is the mast. A large tiller is used for steering, from the bottom is an adjustable keel, and under the deck is an exceptional amount of storage space.

We board the felucca between two large Nile cruisers (basically river cruise ships, with restaurants and private rooms), in typical Egyptian style, meaning with a great deal of commotion (rant below). With a push off the dock and a whisper of wind, we're off on our Nile adventure. Of course, the ride wasn't terribly adventurous -- ra... [more]
Pictured here is Alexandra, who mistakenly believes I an taking photos of the feluccas behind her. Heh heh, I am so tricky.
The beaches of Alexandria, on the northwestern coast of Egypt, are wide and happy. Children and families frolic in the roiling surf while other sip tea on beach-side cafes. Alexandria, I have to say, is a diamond in the rough of Europe. It's clean, modern, and really a very nice city ranked with the rest of the world. It has all the benefits of Egyptian culture - Islam, the tea, souks, and late-night excitement - with few of the commensurate annoyances. Of particular interest in Alexandria is the new Library of Alexandria: it's a beautiful and modern complex of literally thousands of computers, perhaps hundreds of thousands of books, a spherical planetarium, museums, housed in a building of magnificent architecture. The city of Alexandria, Egypt's largest port town, is a thriving and bustling place that is paradoxically much more friendly to tourists seeing as how its so much less dependent upon them. Built and rebuilt by a series of invaders, it is a strange mix of ancient and modern ar... [more]

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