Wednesday 12 December 2007

What's been going on...

I didn't want to break my Egyptian adventure apart by posting about other stuff. That doesn't mean nothing was going on since we got back to Slovenia.

Actually quite a few things happened that are worth mentioning. Almost immediately after returning home, I went to the seaside for a week together with my girlfriend. You know how it is - we needed some time off after a vacation in Egypt. ;)

No matter how funny it may sound, there is at least some truth in that last statement. I can't remember the last time I went somewhere and just took it so easy. Our destination this time was Mali Lošinj (Croatia). Lošinj is an island in the northern part of Adriatic Sea. This time we went camping and we were hoping for nice weather. We got lucky - it was sunny most of the time.
The only thing bothering us were swarms of very aggressive mosquitoes. The little blood-suckers were bitting even during the day. Quite annoying.

That wasn't our only trip to Croatia recently. In November we also went to the island of Pašman

Like the last time we went to Pašman, this was also a fishing trip. As some of you might know already, we did one such trip during the last Spring. We went to the exactly same location as then and mostly with the same folks.
If you are interested, you can read about our spring fishing trip in this post (with some more clicking around, you should be able to find some more).

The sea temperature at that time was around 17 degrees Celsius, but that didn't stop us from jumping in. That's what I call an invigorating experience!

This time I didn't catch so many fish as the one time before, but luckily I could count on others. After a while I once again had a chance to eat as many fish I could. Delicious!

Here are some photos from both of the trips mentioned above. Enjoy!

Oh, and by the way... I'm going to Trevalli later today. That's somewhere in Italian Dolomites. It's gonna be my first taste of skiing this winter. More about it next week, when I get back.


Thursday 6 December 2007

Recap of my Egyptian Adventure

Let me just do a short summary of this Egyptian Adventure of ours and then I'll quit bothering you with it.

First of all let me point out that a trip like this is a fairly expensive thing to do. This 15 day trip was supposed to cost around 1.500 Euros per person. Most of things were already included in that sum. We only spent additional 150 Euros on food, drinks and a few gifts for folks back home. The trip was organized by Oskar Traveller's Club (unfortunately their homepage is only available in Slovenian).

I usually don't like to travel around with a group of tourists, but this time it was different. With Oskar I would definitely do it again. Anytime!

It was that kind of a trip where you didn't even get many chances to spend additional Euros (or Egyptian Pounds to be precise). For example you really can't spend much when you are in the desert for three days in a row.
I should probably mention that thanks to my girlfriend's sister we didn't have so many expenses. She did a really great thing - S. invited us to keep her company on the trip and financed most of it. How often do you get a present like that!?

Thanks again S.!

Our guide Matjaz tried to arrange all those little issues that we stumbled upon on our way. There are lots of little (and not so little) things that can go wrong in Egypt. Inspite of all those things that went wrong anyway, he did a good job. For instance we had to rearrange our itinerary a couple of times, but in the end everything came out just perfect.

I guess one could always do a similar trip without the aid of an agency like Oskar and would probably end up even saving some money, but would definitely take him much longer to do it. That is not always a bad thing, but I am not even sure about the money, because one would have to be quite good at negotiating prices (he would have to haggle all the time and these things take time - lots of it).
And time is often even more precious than money these days. I am not saying it's like that in my case, but I'm pretty sure some of you have that problem.

This post seemed like the right place to publish some more photos that for some reason weren't already published in the previous posts of my Egyptian report.
And in case if you were wondering... Yes, that into-Arabian-culture-assimilated-European is me. ;)

I guess this finally ends my Egyptian adventure report. Enjoy!


Monday 26 November 2007

A day in Istanbul (Day 15)

There was almost a three hour wait in front of us when we arrived to the Cairo airport. Our plane to Istanbul was scheduled for 2:30 AM.
When we finally landed in Turkey it was around 5 o'clock in the morning.
Wandering around airports, waiting for airplains always seems to tire me out. This time it was no different. Regardless of that, we have decided to take a day-trip to the center of Istanbul. Our other option was to wait at the airport for our flight to Ljubljana - more then six hours later.
Our last-time experience with prices on this same airport was not very pleasant (you can read more about that in this post). So with no real alternatives available we changed some of our money into Turkish Lira and caught a train to the city center.

The transport took quite a while. Once we got to the city center it was only time for a few things. First we went to see the Blue Mosque (a.k.a. Sultan Ahmed Mosque).

On our way to the mosque we went by Sultanahmet Square where stands one of the many obelisks that were taken from Egypt. If you ask me those things should be left in Egypt in the first place. I have been ranting about that before (you can read it in this post).

The Blue Mosque is one of two Turkish mosques with six minarets. When the number of minarets was revealed, the Sultan was criticized for presumption, since this was, at the time, the same number as at the mosque of the Ka'aba in Mecca. He overcame this problem by paying for a seventh minaret at the Mecca mosque.
We were quite impressed with its size and simple beauty.

By the time we were done with the mosque we were getting quite hungry. It was a perfect time to try a local stew called Chorba (or Çorba). It is a kind of lentil soup.
The first course of many meals in Turkey starts with some kind of soup and this is the most common one. Lentil soup is very healthy and is not prepared with heavy saturated fats. Because of its health benefits many Turkish babies/children grow up eating lentil soups.
So we had a delicious bowl of Çorba with hot crusty bread fresh out of the oven. Drizzly some lemon over and you have yourself a hardy meal for only a couple of Euros!

With our tummies full we went for a short stroll around the city center. Before we caught a train back to the airport we couldn't resist buying some Turkish souvenirs.

Our flight home went by as planned and around 5 PM we landed in Slovenia. The Egyptian adventure was over and has left us pretty much exhausted. On one hand it felt nice to be back home again, but on the other hand it was soon gonna be all work and boring routine again - I was missing Egypt already.
After getting to our flat we had a thorough shower and went strait to bed.

M. and I both slept like dead for the next 15 hours.

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