Today began with an early wake up call at 4 am... I'm not sure if I woke up or ever went to sleep. Cairo and Egypt was a whirlwind or should I say a sandstorm? Something you don't think about or at least I never have was how to clean a building after a sandstorm. I noticed that the buildings and the streets and pretty much everything was very dirty and dusty. I guess when you live in the desert, it's kind of hard to keep all the sand out. And when it doesn't rain, it's kind of hard to clean it out. So they do the best they can. Driving out of Cairo this morning was a breeze however. I didn't expect a city of that size (18 million) to have a real down time, but there were very few people and cars on the street early in the morning.
We rode the bus for most of the day until we got to Israel. The desert of Sinai is over 27,000 square km so it's not hard to see how the Children of Israel could wander for 40 years. It was pretty boring until we got close to the coast when the mountains just shot up and were very sheer and rocky. They are very comparable to the Rocky Mountains but without all the green stuff. There were no trees or plants and very few shrubs. Just a lot of rocks and sand.
We crossed the border without any major problems. Single guys tended to get selected for more security screening. There were also mostly women at the border patrol - even the guards on top of the hill were women. Since all people are required to serve in the Israeli army border checkpoints tend to be a place where women serve due to low risk of fighting.
Once we crossed into Israel we were in the resort town of Elat. We were able to go to the Underwater Observatory where there is an incredible coral reef and thousands of fish and other sea creatures. The observatory has a lot of windows underwater right on the reef so there are some really cool shots.
We have tonight free. Not sure what we're doing but I'm sure I'll be relaxing.
Todays fun fact: Hitting a camel is a lot bigger deal than hitting a car. The highlight of the day: Nearly losing my lunch on the moving/shaking/jerking IMAX underwater experience The lowlight of the day: Saying goodbye to Arab Lucas Bair. Tip of the day: Don't mention the word bomb at an Israeli checkpoint. (not that anyone did - just a good thing to remember...)