Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

I now have stamps in my passport from Europe and Africa. I was told, however, that it good not to mention that Egypt is in Africa. It is in the Middle East. I don't know whether that is true, but I may soon (if I remember to ask).

I spent half of two days in a plane. The other half, I spent in layovers in Minneapolis and Amsterdam. I read Deception Point by Dan Brown, Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe, and much of Jane Eyre on the trip. Besides, who wants to leave the airport in....Minneapolis?!?

Amsterdam was another matter. I've never been to Europe. And if I had a ten-hour layover, I was going to take advantage of it. Ironically, I did. So, a few other passengers and I piled into the train and ventured into the great unknown of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is quite the city. I was warned before going about the *ahem* questionable activities that go on there. I'll admit, I've never seen so many people opening smoking pot in my life. We stayed away from the Red Light district and just walked around looking at the architecture and the canals.

Turning down a little alley-way, we found a quaint Indian restaurant that served some of the best falafels that I've ever had. The Indian lady (from Punjab) said that she had lived in Amsterdam for the past 24 years and really enjoyed it. While we were there, a bunch of Israelis came in who were staying in Amsterdam for New Years. I overheard one of them asking if she ever served American tourists and I looked up and said 'yes, of course'. It was rather amusing.

After lunch and looking in a few gift shops, we got back on the train and headed back to the airport before it got dark. No sense in getting lost or missing my plane when I had yet to reach my real destination.

The flight in to Cairo was fortunately uneventful and I had a pleasant ride with a taxi driver from Giza who pointed a lot of the sites of Cairo to me as we headed for Nancy and Andrew's. It was past 4 AM when I finally got in. Quite the trip.


Myrna said...

Interesting. Thanks for posting.

Aquaspce said...

Fun I am SO JEALOUS...

Myrna said...

And BTW, Minneapolis is a beautiful city. I would want to leave the airport if I was there...but maybe not in winter, when all the lovely trees may have lost their leaves and be snow-covered. But definitely in other seasons, it would be worth it.