Suez Canal - thanks Mr. Bonaparte!
Port Said Travel Blog› entry 9 of 19 › view all entries
June 23rd, 2010 – by: bigdaddymac
And this process, conducted at the turn of the 19th century, was the feasibility analysis of connecting the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Fast forward 69 years to 16 November 1869 and put your hands together for the opening of this 164km long engineering feat that took 30 000 workers at a cost of $ 100 000 000 and just over a year to build.
Without the Suez we would be plodding along the East Coast of Africa, not too close though, as Johnny Depp might board our vessel, which would of course not pose a threat to the females on board. (Yes, I am aware that Johnny sails in Caribbean Waters, but female fantasies have no boundaries.) The problem is, Johnny might bring some Ethiopian counterparts who are not quite as attractive and not quite as friendly. We would also have to sail around Cape Aghulas in order to get to Europe and that would take a lot of time and cost a considerable amount of money for fuel. So, for the cost saving toll fee of only $250 000 we (un)fortunately did not get to meet Mr. Sparrow and headed straight towards our next stop, Port Said.
Sailing up the Suez canal is something that has to be experienced. The land on either side (Yemen and Saudi Arabia to the East and Eritrea and Sudan to the West) starts off as baron and in the short space of a few hours will metamorphasize in front of your eyes. Ok, Yemen and Saudi donâ€™t undergo much metamorphosis, but Sudan certainly does. The landscape changes from arid uninhabited desert to dense green vegetation interspersed with roads, people and industry. The canal has dual narrow passages at some points and the combination of this and the dunes creates the impression that passing ships are sailing through the sand. Either that or the overexposure to the sun was making me hallucinate.
We docked in Port Said in the late afternoon. Even though I was on call, I took 15 minutes to venture outside (walky talk in hand, in case of emergency; of course nothing to do with looking important) to see what the locals had to offer.
Items, irrespective of apparent worth ALL items start off at 1$.
Tomorrow we get to see the Pyramids and I hear the vendors there are even worse. Bring it on!
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