Way Cool

Linda Lou Burton posting about Cairo, Egypt and Reykjavik, Iceland from Little Rock, Arkansas – Fortunately I woke up from my Charlton Heston dream, it’s time to pack, and go. I must be thinking FAMILY today, getting excited about the grandkids that join me tomorrow in Reykjavik.

But I haven’t yet written anything really positive about Cairo. Like its designation as “city of a thousand minarets,” and the Old City, which includes the site of a Roman-era fortress and Islamic-era settlements pre-dating the founding of Cairo. Pretty awesome stuff, that you can only see right here; I should have planned longer to explore. There are cultural tours, historical tours, art tours, and even ghost tours. I’ve done the top rated suggestions – the Pyramids and the Nile cruise. But I haven’t mentioned the many parks in the city, or delved into the food scene at all. Most of the posh hotels offer five-star dining; and it’s cheaper here than in many countries. Lots of international choices – Spanish, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and traditional Egyptian of course; lots of rooftop and riverside dining if you don’t want to brave the bustling local spots. Looking for seafood, sushi, steak, or ful medames? Ful medames is a stew of fava beans, with garlic, onion, chili pepper and other vegetables; a staple in Egypt. Egyptian cuisine makes heavy use of legumes, vegetables, and fruit from the rich Nile Valley and Delta, similar to Eastern Mediterranean cooking. Rice-stuffed vegetables, grape leaves, kebabs; common meats are chicken and lamb. Tea is the national drink.

Cairo International (CAI); Egyptian Air this time, flying 2,000 miles north over Greece, Croatia, Austria, and Germany before a stop in Copenhagen, Denmark (CPH) for a few hours. Then 1,330 miles in a northwesterly direction over the the tip of Norway and the North Sea to Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF) and the biggest change on the entire trip.

First of all, two of my grandkids arrive in the morning from Seattle; so the rest of the trip is “family time” instead of a singular experience. Then there is climate change, geography change, food change, and even “daylight” change – that far north we’ll have 17 hours of summer daylight to play. From the heat and humidity of Thailand and UAE and Egypt; from palm trees and monkeys and sand and camels; from Aboriginal and Buddhist and Islamic religions; from a generally hectic pace to the no-frills Lutheran way of life, where fish top every menu, swimming in geothermal pools is a year-round habit, and there’s not a poisonous snake to be found.

Just a wee bit south of the Arctic Circle – Reykjavik, Iceland, the northernmost capital city in the world. Way cool.