Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Hangin' with the President
Everyone I've met in Egypt has told me to do a Nile Cruise, but we hadn't gotten around to doing it, yet. In the spirit of making things happen in the New Year, we decided to go. We chose the Sonesta St. George boat because it is the newest one. When we arrived, our tourguide, Mohammed, told us that President Mubarak would be visiting the boat. On Sunday, we got up early and saw the Temple of Karnak and Luxor Temple. Mohammed had us back to the boat by 9:45am because it was scheduled to leave at 10:00am with Mubarak. When Mubarak is on the move, no one else goes anywhere. The streets are lined with soldiers and shutdown to traffic and sometimes pedestrian movements. If we weren't back on time, the boat would have left without us. We made it, but Mubarak was late. When he finally arrived, he got on board and went to a 4th floor suite. He had some drinks and sandwiches, sailed to the West Bank (of Luxor) and back and then got off. As he was leaving, Curt got a picture of me holding Ian and shaking Mubarak's hand. We have him on video asking,"How is your baby?"
The next day, we visited Valley of the Kings and Mubarak showed up there. I got a picture of Curt and Ian with Mubarak. Condoleeza Rice was in town to meet with Mubarak. We were hoping to see Condi, but she wasn't scheduled to go to the Valley of the Kings until later. The video camera died right before he came through the new visitor's center. Mubarak's visit to Luxor did hold us up a bit, but it was cool to get the pictures.