A Travellerspoint blog

SUEZ CANAL, EGYPT

From the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea

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We had anchored overnight in order to be in position to join the convoy of ships transiting the canal going toward the Mediterranean. Banks of sand line each side and hundreds of guards are stationed all along its length.

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These oil trucks are being ferried across the canal. Oil is Egypt’s leading export. Tourism and Suez Canal revenue vie for 2nd place.

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Some cities and date palms break into the desert surroundings.

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Today was Palm Sunday. Services on board ship are held in the “Hollywood Theater”. Mid-week “Protestant Perspectives” are held in the “Avenue Saloon”. You do what ya gotta do!

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A look back at some of the other ships behind us – we were in a convoy of more than 20 ships, dwarfing the little fishing boats working in the canal.

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Our transit was stalled somewhat when an oil tanker ran aground! Fortunately for us, it could be towed out of the canal (it was towed into the path of the old canal) and we ended up being first in the line of remaining ships. Ironically, the mired tanker’s name is “Mire”!

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This bridge is in two parts, one on each side of the canal. Apparently, they swing together when there are no big ships passing. Ship traffic is one way in each direction, passing each other in Great Bitter Lake, which is about a third of the way into the canal from the south. There are no locks in the Suez Canal.

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The Mubarak Peace Bridge and Japan – Egypt Friendship Bridge spans the canal, but we didn’t see much traffic on it.

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Near the bridge there was a long line of cars and trucks waiting for the ferry – it is far cheaper than taking the bridge! Over 100 ships go through the canal every day with perhaps 14% of the world’s trade. (A transit takes about 10 hours.) We entered the Mediterranean Sea late in the afternoon.

Posted by Swenigale 02:57

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