Travel with Gretchen
Ireland 05/06/2012
 
I am in Ireland! I am working at a stable in Ballybofey County Donegal :) I am giving little kids horse riding lessons, and taking kids on little treks around the country side. I even get days off haha At the end of the month me and the Australian girl working here are gonna drive around western Ireland and sightsee then I am going to Edinburgh. Then on the 31st I go back to that states!
 
 
I had a lot of fun in Morocco :) too bad Alex left before I got there! I went to Fez, and it was amazing <3 The medina was so cool...it was all winding streets, and no cars only donkeys :) Then I went to  chouen and Sefrou as well. Chouen is an all blue city it's so pretty...it was like a fairytale. Then went to sefrou on a whim with a kid from china. We squished into a car with 5 other people and drove an hour to meet this family the chinese kid had met. The family made us dinner, and we hung out walked around with the daughters....they were typical teenagers hahaha loved high school musical and boys. They did to Tae kwon do though. It was a fun night, and the mom gave me a dress that was made in sefrou :)

Check out my morocco video here (copy and paste the link)https://vimeo.com/40676155
 
 
I left Alexandria :( Very sad to leave Egypt I have gotten so used to being there. I left Egypt and flew to Istanbul for 5 hours, then flew to Barcelona for the night, and then on to fez Morocco the next day! So not only did I visit 4 countries in 48 hours I also visited Africa twice, Europe once, and Asia! Istanbul is built on two continents Asia and Europe :) So cool! I had no sleep in the last 3 days I slept 14 hours when I got to morocco. Fez is beautiful I was not expecting so much green. I walked through the medina today and got to see the tanneries and the fabric shops. I am going to the jewish section tomorrow called the Mallah. Then maybe Volubilis a roman city the next day. So excited!
I may be riding in Ireland too! I am still figuring it out with the people but it appears it will work out. Then hopefully Edinburgh, Berlin, and Romania. 
 
Jerusalem 03/28/2012
 
Went on the worst tour of Jerusalem ever! They messed up and put 9 english tourist on a bus with 40 russians with a russian guide :( The site were amazing but after 19 hours of travel 5 hours total stopping was not enough. I was stopped at the israel border for being in Egypt for 5 months, and was asked a bunch of questions....other then that they lit up when they say my USA passport. We got to stop at the dead sea, see bethlehem, and the old city Jerusalem. We stopped at the wailing wall, Church of the holy Sepulchre, Via Dolorosa, and the church of the Nativity. 
 
 
Went to sharm el sheikh, and was not impressed. Very Very touristy and no fun at all. Even to go to the beach you have to pay since the hotels own the beaches. You cant even get near it without having to pass through a company where you have to buy a beach chair in order to pass. :( No fun! I did go on a little safari into the desert on quads in sharm, which was fun. We got to eat berber food so I was very happy....it's delicious. I was having to tell all the other tourist what all the food was, and what it was made of hahaha. Then we got to star gaze with this awesome telescope. The stars look so different then in Nevada. I was laughing because they were all impressed with how many stars they could see, and in Nevada we can see even more and we have less light pollution! Score one for Nevada. 

Nuweiba was better it is very small and the beaches are almost deserted. It was really peaceful. We went with my friend Seif, who is a tour guide, to St. Catherine's Monastery in the middle of Sinai. You can see it on the map below. It sits below the highest peak in Sinai and just next to Mount Sinai where moses received the 10 commandments. It is the oldest monastery in the world dating back to 180 AD, and surrounds two holy sites. One is the burning bush and the other is the well that moses met his future wife Zipporah. It was so awesome to get to see both the bush and the well. 
 
 
It's me! second from the front! This was for the commercial we did while I was working at Naxos Horse riding! 
 
 
1. Its Egypt
2. Seeing the pyramids... twice
3. Riding horses in the desert
4. Drinking tea made by Bedouins 
5. Causing a ruckus everywhere I go. (I almost caused a car accident)
6. Having Christmas in the middle east
7. seeing Egypt from tip to tip
8. Being fed by nubians on a fluka in the nile
9. Laughing while reading a book on ancient Egypt, because you actually have been to the places they mention lol
10. Dealing with a crazy landlord you tries to extort me (legal here btw) 
11. Crying inside king tuts tomb....who does that? this girl
12. Walking through Tahrir a lot
13. Being to the Egyptian museum 3 times
14. watching someone parallel park a donkey (priceless)
15. Not realizing the translation into english is wrong and getting strange looks >cancon=cancun bahaha
16. Laughing at the translations into english> toast that is toasted...Really? I didn't know toast was toasted
17.  Causing a roach holocaust
18. Saying "!Cucarachas!...!No, Me Gusta!" a lot 
19. Teaching Egyptians to speak spanglish "No, Me gusta El Job-o" 
20. Saying Arabic words really wrong
21. giggling at everything
22. Eating lots of egyptian food Yummy
23. Searching for jobs and wandering around fancy hotels
24. being able to say I have seen most of Egypts sites
25. watching the sun come up over Alexandria
26. Saying I have lived in Egypt
 
Egyptian flavor 01/31/2012
 
I wanted to talk a little about how Egypt looks, and how it feels to be here. Egypt, in spite of how movies portray it, is very grey, and all the buildings are made of concrete. The gray is some how beautiful, and the cracks and lack of up keep somehow lend to its beauty. It somehow feel familiar yet its different in flavor. I expected colorful buildings with ornate decorations like those found in movies or in old photographs. However, The colorful ornate buildings are a thing of the past. Although every once in a while you catch a glimpse of some old villa along the road shyly hiding behind twisting vines. They whisper of a time when the egyptian pound was worth more then the dollar, and Egypt still had the taste of the exotic. Now, Egypt is much like every other city in the world, Bustling people, loud cars, and the latest fashions blur along the streets. The stands that used to sell exotic wares to tourist now sell cheap statues made in china. As I walked through the valley of the kings I tried to imagine what it would have been like to have relics and exotic wares shoved in my face, instead of the plastic goods I was seeing. I longed to see something handmade and worth the haggle. Even the places that seemed to hold treasures, and made you believe that you had found something of the old opened into large tourist buildings. I remember sitting outside a decaying building listening to a merchant talk of how they made Alabaster jars. So excited was I when we went to go inside. I pictured dust and cracked boards holding handmade jars of Alabaster just waiting to be haggled for. Instead, I was met with clean linoleum floors and metal shelves. I wish egypt was still the thing of myths and mystery where people like Howard Carter roamed the desert looking for adventure. It is not. That is long gone. Instead you have a bustling modern country with a long history fighting for a place in the modern world. A place Full of grey concrete buildings and supermarkets.

 
Vimeo Videos 01/20/2012
 
I made some videos of my travels as well as me tinkering with making movies :) Hope you enjoy http://vimeo.com/34809254

 Copy and past the http :)
 
 
Still in Alexandria still looking for a job and still having a good time. I have an apartment finally, but still no job. I am gonna keep looking for a job, but I may have to change locations again. Alex came to see me over Christmas so it was a lot of fun. I cooked an American meal, and some of my egyptian friends came over. I have them hooked on pumpkin pie :)
 

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