From Cairo to Jerusalem
by Steve Ray on September 12, 2007
After a rousing good time on the Nile River cruise with dinner and dancing, we got up early to leave Cairo by 7 AM. We hoped to miss the horrendous and chaotic traffic. Americans have no idea! No lines on the street, donkey carts intermingled with honking cars and trucks and no one really paying the least attention to traffic lights and signs. After one hour we were in the desert between Cairo and the Red Sea where we crossed under the Suez Canal through the tunnel.
It was about 4 hours of driving through the heart of the Sinai Wilderness finally arriving at Taba for the crossing into Israel. The restrooms along the way were nasty as you will see in the video, and there were no real restaurants along the way—only quick stops for chips, pop and ice cream. We were in two buses, by Egyptian law, and people either slept, read, talked and joked around, took pictures or just watched the scenery which is beautiful in it’s own rugged austere way.
It took about 1 ½ hours to cross the border back into Israel where our bus was waiting. We were now all back on one bus which was nice. Everything was closed because it was the Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. So we stopped at a hotel to use the restrooms, got water and kept everyone happy as best we could until we got to the Notre Dame in Jerusalem. The drive was four hours from the southern tip of Israel to Jerusalem. Along the way I told my conversion story—how Janet and I discovered and joined the Catholic Church.
We arrived about 9 PM had dinner, a birthday party and Mass at midnight before loading on the bus for the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Everyone got on their plane fine and are by now home crashed into bed with great stories, experiences, and a deeper faith in our Lord Jesus and the Catholic faith. It was a great time and all the comments were glowing and positive.