Egypt, Jordan, Israel trip Locked

Started Jan 12, 2010 | Discussions
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Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,638
Egypt, Jordan, Israel trip
Jan 12, 2010

I recently returned to Japan after a 4 week trip to Egypt with short side trips to Petra, Jordan and Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Israel. I went on my own with no plans or itinerary. I took the A700, Sony 18-250mm, Sony 11-18mm, and Sigma 24mm for the trip and decided to leave the flash in Japan since it adds weight (plus batteries) and I almost never use it. It worked out well. I have some new photos in the Egypt, Jordan, and Israel galleries on my website:

http://www.bakubo.com

I will post a few samples in following posts.

The 4 weeks there was excellent with many interesting experiences, amazing places I saw, and some good people I met.

I arrived in Cairo and by the time I got to the small hotel I was going to stay in Islamic Cairo it was well past dark. I had no plans or itinerary for the trip so I just made it up as I went along. I stayed for a few days in Cairo and walked a lot around Islamic Cairo, made a trip to Giza to see the Pyramids and the Sphinx, visited Coptic Cairo, and just walked a lot around the mad house of a city. After a few day I bought a ticket on the 13 hour sleeping train to Aswan. In Aswan I was lucky to meet a Japanese woman named Kazuko-san who was travelling alone and an Australian guy named Davis who was also on his own. We did a lot together over the next few days including a fantastic felucca ride on the Nile River just before sunset and a long trip to Abu Simbel to see the Temple of Ramses II and to Philae to see the Temple of Isis. A few days later when Davis moved on Kazuko-san and I took a ferry over to Elephantine Island and met a Nubian man named Mustaffa who spent the next couple of hours showing us around the two Nubian villages there. Then Kazuko-san moved on and I decided to stay in Aswan another day.

From Aswan I took the train north to Luxor, ancient Thebes. There was so much to see there that even with 5 days I didn't see it all. I saw a lot though and it was amazing! One of the many places was the Ramesseum Temple of Ramses II. The famous poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley was inspired by it:

OZYMANDIAS

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

By now I had spent over 2 weeks travelling around Egypt I was feeling in need of a break. Egypt makes you very tired. Rob, an Australian I met in Ecuador in 2005, recommended a place called Dahab in the Sinai on the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba as a good place to take it easy and relax. Sort of a laid back backpacker kind of place. From Luxor the only ways there were 1) a 16 hour bus ride, 2) a combination of multiple buses and a ferry taking 2 days, or 3) an airplane. I met a couple of 19 year olds who were taking the 16 hour bus, but I decided to go for the airplane. It only cost about US$80 and the flying time was just 50 minutes to Sharm El-Sheikh, but I still needed a bus to Dahab. It turns out that outside the Sharm El-Sheikh airport I found a man with a van who lives in Dahab and he offered me a ride there for about the same as a taxi to the bus station + bus ticket to Dahab. It was 1000% better because I didn't have to wait a couple of hours at the bus station and he took me right to the door of the hotel in Dahab instead of ending up at the Dahab bus station and needing another taxi. It was illegal so when we arrived he asked me to slip him the money very discreetly so no policemen would see it.

Dahab turned out to be just as Rob said so it was great to relax! Easy going, lots of places to eat, and my hotel was right next to the ocean. Since I was so close to Jordan and Israel I decided to go on a couple of short side trips from Dahab. One was to Petra, Jordan for a couple of days and another to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Israel for a day and half (on the go and no sleep the whole time). It was sort of hard to leave Dahab behind after the week or so I was there, but I was ready to get back to Cairo to see a bunch of the things I didn't get to the first time and eventually I had to get back there anyway for my return flight to Japan. I took a bus for 9 hours from Dahab to Cairo and got back to the city, again, at night.

The last few days of the trip were in Cairo, but I went out to Giza again (late afternoon instead of morning to get different light) and rode a camel this time. Not new for me since I rode a camel in the Sahara in Morocco in 2006 and one in Tanzania too in 1993. I spent many hours everyday walking all around Cairo, especially Islamic Cairo and Coptic Cairo taking photos.

Well, that is just a brief rundown of my travels, but there was a whole lot more.

By the way, I wrote regularly on my blog during the trip, if you are interested:

http://bakubo.blogspot.com

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,638
Egypt sample photos
In reply to Henry Richardson, Jan 12, 2010

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,638
Petra, Jordan sample photos
In reply to Henry Richardson, Jan 12, 2010

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,638
Israel sample photos
In reply to Henry Richardson, Jan 12, 2010

At the Wailing Wall in Old Jerusalem

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

bowen3
Forum MemberPosts: 69
Re: Egypt, Jordan, Israel trip
In reply to Henry Richardson, Jan 12, 2010

Henry,

How did you like the 18-250 as a walk about lens? Did you ever wish that you had more reach? I am mulling over getting one for a couple of up-coming trips where I will be spending lots of time walking/shooting and want to carry as little as possible.

Basil

goodwrench
Contributing MemberPosts: 851
very cool
In reply to bowen3, Jan 12, 2010

I just loved your galleries, I checked out the whole Egypt one. I was there in the fall but only managed to stay 2 days. I'd love to go back and see some more.

Did you go to the Cairo Museum? I did and was shocked that I had to leave my equipment on the bus or check it at the door!

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Garth

please visit my Gallery http://www.pbase.com/goodwrench

Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,638
Sony 18-250mm
In reply to bowen3, Jan 12, 2010

bowen3 wrote:

How did you like the 18-250 as a walk about lens? Did you ever wish that you had more reach? I am mulling over getting one for a couple of up-coming trips where I will be spending lots of time walking/shooting and want to carry as little as possible.

I like it. Almost all the photos in the Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Mexico galleries were taken with it and the A700. Also, most of the ones in the Hawaii, California, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Florida, and Louisiana galleries.

250mm on APS-C has a 375mm fov so that is quite long. That is plenty for almost anything when walking around.

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,638
Egyptian Museum in Cairo
In reply to goodwrench, Jan 12, 2010

goodwrench wrote:

I just loved your galleries, I checked out the whole Egypt one. I was there in the fall but only managed to stay 2 days. I'd love to go back and see some more.

Thanks. Yes, Egypt definitely needs more than a couple of days. I hope you can get back there again.

Did you go to the Cairo Museum? I did and was shocked that I had to leave my equipment on the bus or check it at the door!

Yes, I went to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. I knew before I went that I would have to check my camera in before I could go in so I didn't take the A700. I had a little digicam and had to leave it at the checkin counter and I got it back when I left. The tombs in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor are the same way.

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

ChristineE
New MemberPosts: 4
Re: Egyptian Museum in Cairo
In reply to Henry Richardson, Jan 13, 2010

Those pictures are amazing!

Are you shooting RAW? JPEG? how much editing? tripod?

Jank
Senior MemberPosts: 1,252Gear list
Wonderful pictures!
In reply to Henry Richardson, Jan 13, 2010

I really enjoyed your galleries, Henry.
--Jan

 Jank's gear list:Jank's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R
Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,638
Re: Egyptian Museum in Cairo
In reply to ChristineE, Jan 14, 2010

ChristineE wrote:

Those pictures are amazing!

Thank you. I am glad you liked them.

Are you shooting RAW? JPEG? how much editing? tripod?

I shoot cRAW and I individually process each photo -- I never do batch. No tripod. SSS works quite well and I am the type who is on the move move of the time. I walk for hours each day.

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,638
Re: Wonderful pictures!
In reply to Jank, Jan 14, 2010

Jank wrote:

I really enjoyed your galleries, Henry.

Thanks, Jan.

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,638
Re: Egypt, Jordan, Israel trip
In reply to Henry Richardson, Apr 19, 2010

This is an example of the way I try to create a photo thread. The original post has the information and then follow on posts have some photos. That way everytime someone returns to the thread to see replies they don't get inundated by all the photos again.

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

stan_pustylnik
Senior MemberPosts: 3,241Gear list
Very well done photos!
In reply to Henry Richardson, Apr 19, 2010

Thanks for virtual tour. Your photos give great overview of these are travel destination.
Amazing how different they look despite being located so close.

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I came back to basics to make photos that will be interesting to check after many years.
http://stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 Sony Alpha DSLR-A850
Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,638
Re: Very well done photos!
In reply to stan_pustylnik, Apr 20, 2010

stan_pustylnik wrote:

Thanks for virtual tour. Your photos give great overview of these are travel destination.
Amazing how different they look despite being located so close.

Thanks, Stan. It was a great trip!

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

nemofin
Contributing MemberPosts: 732Gear list
Re: Egypt, Jordan, Israel trip
In reply to Henry Richardson, Apr 20, 2010

I was one year a go also in Israel and Jordan and where visiting for example, Petra, Jordan, dead sea and many other places. I just love Israel, amazing country!

I cant wait to visit it again and when I do, I will spend more time in it.. plan is to go north Israel also. Visit Nazareth, Galilea Sea etc...

Eilat is awesome place also for pure relaxing

Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,638
Re: Egypt, Jordan, Israel trip
In reply to nemofin, Apr 20, 2010

nemofin wrote:

I was one year a go also in Israel and Jordan and where visiting for example, Petra, Jordan, dead sea and many other places. I just love Israel, amazing country!

I cant wait to visit it again and when I do, I will spend more time in it.. plan is to go north Israel also. Visit Nazareth, Galilea Sea etc...

Eilat is awesome place also for pure relaxing

Someday I hope to see more of Israel.

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Henry Richardson
Forum ProPosts: 12,638
Re: Egypt, Jordan, Israel trip
In reply to Henry Richardson, Jan 28, 2011

It has been only barely over a year since I spent a month traveling alone in Egypt. What a difference a year makes.

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

MsBritmor
Senior MemberPosts: 1,370
Re: Egypt, Jordan, Israel trip
In reply to Henry Richardson, Feb 12, 2011

I enjoyed those photos so very much! Thank you.

Why do some get so angry when you take their photo?
--
Karen Brittan, Minnesota, USA

'The trouble with having an open mind is that people keep
coming along and sticking things in it.' Berkely Breathed

Dazboot
Regular MemberPosts: 243
Re: Egypt, Jordan, Israel trip
In reply to MsBritmor, Feb 12, 2011

MsBritmor wrote:

Why do some get so angry when you take their photo?

Many people don't like their pictures taken without their permission, no matter the part of the world. I'm not surprised at all. If you think about it, it is rude to do so without their permission, specially in areas where they don't expect photographers.

OP, great collection of Egypt.

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