December 2, 1961 – Jordan

Ambassador Hotel, Jerusalem, Jordan – Clear, cool

     I woke up early and started to get ready to leave Jerusalem.  Edith didn’t wake up when the alarm went off so I had to wake her up.  After we finished packing Edith and I went to the dining room for a quick breakfast before we had to leave the hotel at 8:45am. 

     Once we boarded our plane we had a good flight on Air Jordan to Cairo, Egypt.  The trip took three hours and we had a good view of the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and even one of Mt. Sinai.  Jordan Airways held to their tradition of only serving light refreshments immediately after we left Jerusalem so the remainder of the flight we had no food or beverages.  Our flight was longer than it had to be because we weren’t permitted to fly over Israel.  We had to circle and go up along the Red Sea to get to Egypt.

     As we flew into the airport in Cairo I thought it looked very elegant and it left me with a good first impression of Egypt.  We arrived at 1:45pm and I was glad because I knew we would have the rest of the day to ourselves once we got settled into our hotel.  Our drive from the airport went through a suburb of Cairo called “Little Los Angeles – City of the Sun” and I found it amazing that they had a serious smog problem.  The smog was so bad I could hardly see the sun.  The airport was 15 miles from the city and the closer we got to the city the worse the smog problem was.  Our guide told us that city had a population of four and a half million people and that there were contrasting structures of very old and the very modern.  He also mentioned that because Muslim was the predominate religion there were 600 mosques. 

Cairo Egypt

     When we pulled up at the Nile Hilton Hotel I was very excited.  It was beautiful, immense and seemed very modern.  We only had a little delay at check in when they handed out letters waiting for people.  I was excited to receive four letters – one each from my brothers Ed and Arthur, one from Harry White and another one from Ramona.  When we got our room it turned out it was on the eleventh floor and had a wonderful balcony view of the Nile River.  The room itself was elegant and very comfortable for our needs.  I was glad that we were going to be here for several days.

Our View of Cheops from Hotel

     After we were settled into our room, I spent a few minutes reading my letters while Edith read the one she got from a friend.  I was glad to hear that David’s arm was healing and Binky was doing well in my absence.  I had been worried about him.

     After an excellent lunch, Flo and I decided to walk around the city near our hotel to see what we could see.  We found some lovely shops and lots of things I would have bought if I’d had more money.  When we discovered a perfume shop I couldn’t resist buying an essence which was $2.50 an ounce.  It was a strong smell but delightfully intoxicating.  I felt guilty buying the perfume but I knew I would be glad later when I thought about my splurge.

Cairo Egypt Street Scene

     When Flo and I made it back to the hotel, me with my little purchase and Flo with several items she’d found, it turned out to be time to eat.  I went to my room to wash my face and freshen up before joining the rest of the group for our evening meal.  Dinner turned out to be special because we were taken to the Cairo Tower Restaurant which had previously been King Farouk’s yacht.  Now it was also a famous gambling casino.  After eating we spent a little time in the casino but I only spent a few pennies there.  I didn’t want to take a chance of losing what little money I had left.

     When we got back to our room I went over to our window to see the evening view.  The sight was so good I pulled up a chair to sit and enjoy it for awhile.  There was a long bridge and I could see that several tall buildings had turned on their lights making it a wonderful view in all directions.  Edith and I felt fortunate to have the room we did because some of the group didn’t have a good view.

     After spending several minutes enjoying the view, I went to bed.

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