Al Quseir, the City

Trip Start Oct 09, 2007
Trip End Oct 20, 2007

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Friday, October 12, 2007

Today marked the end of Ramadan and we heard that there will be festivals and excitement in the town close to our hotel.  We decided to go into town after a day on the beach to do some shopping (water costs us $2.00 per 2L bottle at the hotel) and to check the city out.
The city used to be an important port for the import of coffee and other goods.  Since the building of the Suez Canal the port fell into decline, though there is an Egyptian mining company that still uses to the port to ship goods.  Today there an old Fort that may be of interest to some travelers (built by the Ottoman Turks), we passed it by and didn't bother to go in.
We paid about $7.50 for both of us to be shuttled 7 km to Al Quseir (and back).  Upon arriving in the city the first thing that came out of Alex's mouth was "This place is a dump."  And the city really was.  There was trash strewn everywhere.  Outside of people's homes there was trash, in the street there was trash, pilled outside of a fenced in compound was a pile of trash.  It was disgusting. 
Then the begging began.  People started to block our path in the street to push us into their shops, "Alles klar?", "Only looking", "I give you a good deal", etc.  We were harassed every which way we went.
Then the children would follow us and point out the Mosques in the city.  For their obvious information they wanted money, "one Euro, one Euro". 
After the initial shock we were able to purchase a beautiful jewelry box for $10 and a scarf for $5.  We also met one hospitable Egyptian who let us know what the real price is for water and we picked up a few bottles for ourselves.
As for religious celebrations, we saw little to indicate that a celebration is or going to be taking fest.  Maybe there were more people on the street, but how could we know.
After 4 hours it was time to go back to the hotel, back to mini Europe , where we wouldn't be hassled or begged for money. 
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