Sand. There is a lots of it. I landed in Cairo about and hour and a half ago and my hosts picked me up and took me to the hotel. For the entire flight we raced ahead of the sunrise but ultimately lost somewhere just before reaching the African continent. During the night we flew of India and I got my first real impression of what population density really meant, and that was just judging by the lights we could see from the plane. Flying over the Arab states (I hope I’ve got that right) was a completely different proposition where you can see the occasional population centres but vast tracks of what looks mostly like baron land.
As we flew over the Red Sea I saw some beautiful coastline that I’d love to come back and visit some day. From the plane I could see a few reefs that would be interesting to swim through, although I am not sure what the fish population would be like in this part of the world – does it compare to the The Great Barrier Reef? I dunno, the Great Barrier Reef is bleaching these days anyway.
Our flight path took us up along the Red Sea before banking left just short of the Suez Canal and then headed inland before crossing the Nile just south of the bulk of the Cairo city. Out the right hand side of the plane I managed to spot some pyramids, but unfortunately the pilot had asked passengers not to use electronic devices so I guess that includes digital cameras.
The landscape before the Nile was a stark contrast to even the Australian landscape which I had always considered to be quite dry. You don’t get much drier than mountains with drivers of sand flowing/eroding down the middle of them. It is quite beautiful and certainly a very unique picture.
As we crossed the Nile it changed to a tapestry of green farmlands strangely fenced in by a number of large industrial complexes. I saw quite a few factories with fairly large plumes contributing to the haze of the top of the city. Speaking of the haze its hard to really appreciate it until you get on the ground. Visibility is pretty good but the horizon has a very dark tone which I guess is just a side effect of the population but also the particles that are in the air (just guessing). It is quite different from the haze over the top of Melbourne that has been produced by the recent bushfires (not much chance of bushfires over here).
I have to say that the people in Egypt are very friendly and full of smiles so I guess if you follow the basic international travel rules of being polite then its really a pretty good place to visit. I don’t have many photos to add to the collection right now but I will try to snag some tomorrow as we drive out to the event. Right now I am exhausted and need to catch some Zzzzzz’s before doing some final preparation for my session tomorrow (I’m actually producing a new build of TFS Dependency Replicator).