Sunday, March 29, 2009

From Alex - Return Trip Home

Our train tickets were for 11:00 AM on the "Express Train" back to Cairo. ETA: 1:00 PM. We left the hotel around 10:00 AM with Hassan the taxi driver. In case you don't remember him, he's mentioned here. Below: A complimentary VW photo for this leg of the trip. The Beetle just passes us along the Corniche, as we wait to turn.

A car you will never see in the U.S.A. This is an Iranian built Peugot. As The Boss Man said, "double bad." Actually, according to Wiki, these are also built in Egypt.

Again, we make our own lanes.

The main station in Alexandria is closed for repair, so there is a detour.

At the temporary waiting area, there are no coffee shops, just kiosks. As usual, people jump between cars to avoid paying the fare.

It was busy when we arrived, but this train pretty much cleared out the station.

Due to repairs, the underground walkway to exit the station is no longer in use. Now you must wait until the tracks clear out to exit. You can see the old brick station behind the yellow barrier wall.

A thumbs up from a passenger.

Another train arrives.

Below, in the right hand corner is the dickhead who hounded VB while she was waiting. (Actually, VB was kind of startled when she found this photo of him.) We originally had our luggage assembled by a light pole when we first arrived, as no benches were available. That's when he moved in, smoking a cigarette, and VB kept a stink eye on him, as she did not want his ashes on her luggage. Then we moved to some nearby benches, and he moved with VB. First he sat two seats over, and when VB got up to take photos, he moved closer. Way too obvious, he kept eyeballing the luggage, which we noticed, messaged each other about, and kept a close (stink) eye on him.

Reflections from a passing train. No more photos after this from the platform, as VB puts her camera in the case (cross ways on her body) because, dickhead here started getting edgy. As Number One Son said, "he looked like he needed a fix." Number One Son was on his ass, like a fly on garbage.

Our train was an "Express Train." These trains make only one stop between Alexandria and Cairo. It takes about two hours for the whole trip. As we started off, the train was breezing along. VB got out her New York Times crossword puzzle book and worked on a crossword. She finished the crossword before we arrived! WTF! Then suddenly the train slowed. It slowed down so much so, VB said, "I can walk faster than this." Getting pretty peeved, VB got up,walked to the back of the train, and asked a few people hanging out between the cars if they knew what happened. An engineer was back there, as well. Apparently something was wrong with the engine. We would stop in a small town, get a new engine car, and be on our way, tentatively arriving in Cairo at 2:30 PM, (Inshallah) God Willing. Below: This boat is almost going as fast as we are (and it's standing still.)

This time the train we had, as one man explained, was a "French Train." They are over forty years old. (Really? Fuck me. Remind VB to not take this particular train again!) The newer one (as seen in previous posts) is referred to as the "Spanish Train (a much younger model.)

We finally arrived at 3:00 PM - two hours late.

Tomorrow - getting home from the train station.

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