Sunday, March 26, 2006

Walk like an Egyptian

Or maybe that should be cruise like an Egyptian.

I'm posting this at about 7 AM local time, which is 11:00 PM Texas time, though I've pretty much adapted to the time change. In about an hour we leave for our Cairo day trip. We'll be taking buses from Alexandria (3 hour trip) and see the pyramids and the Sphinx. We'll be having some kind of lunch at a hotel in Cairo, and then we see the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, which I'm sure will be amazing. Altogether, it will be a 13 hour day before we're back on board, so that's another reason to do this now.

The port of Alexandria is BIG. Container ships and other cargo vessels all around us. We were up on deck to watch the Sinfonia sail in. Cloudy morning, about 60, though that will get warmer particularly as we head to Cairo.

The Under Nile Skies lecture was interesting. It was delivered by Paul Krupp, a plantarium director from Griffith Observatory. There's been a lot of stuff written about astronomical correlations with the Pyramids and other Egyptian architecture, only some of which is true. There are shafts in the great Pyramid that correspond with the positions of important stars. Because of precession, the pole star back in ancient Egyptian times was not Polaris, but another start in the constellation of Draco. Anyway, there's a shaft in the pyramid that points to that star.

We did some solar obersving on deck with some people who brought telescopes. They had hydrogen alpha filters, which allows you to see prominences in hydrogen alpha light. There was one curl of gas quite clear on the edge of the solar disk. Looked small, but then you realize that the wisp of plasma is bigger than the earth.

We had a before dinner drink with Joe and Gay (well, Joe and I had the drink), and then off to dinner. Made the mistake of ordering a seafood salad for a starter. There were those damn tentacles again. I nibbled at the shrimp and stuff I recognized. Main course was pork medallions and mashed potatoes...very tasty.

Tried to get to sleep early, but my brain kept going. I finally drifted off around midnight. When the alarm went off, Linda grumbled, and said "This had better be worth it." But coffee and breakfast improved our mood.

Anyway, the next report will be tomorrow.



Anonymous said...

Sounds like you and Linda are managing your pleasure well! Have you gotten used to the keyboard?


Edward said...

See--it is a sign--YOU are suppose to eat the tentacles!!! Do it! Wimp!--it is on the menu for a reason!

Your loving brother!

Steve Clayworth said...

Hi, Garland - the Italian keyboard is a bit strange (have to keep hunting for the quote and dash keys). I'll probably won't be able to type worth a damn when I get back.

Eddie, I'm saving all the tentacles for you.