After having an exciting time at the Red Sea Rivera we were on our way to Cairo. En-route to Cairo we had to cross the Suez Canal. This was the highlight of our road trip in Egypt.
The Suez canal is a narrow passage of water artificially engineered, connecting the Red Sea in Asia / Africa and the Mediterranean Sea in Europe. The canal allows ships to travel between Europe and Asia / Africa without navigating around Africa, thereby reducing the sea voyage distance.
The landscape on the way to Suez was mostly desert and some ocean could be seen along the coast.
Mountains looking like gigantic ant hills rose majestically over the skyline. The countryside had shades of browns and beige interspersed with blues of the ocean and sky. This monotony was sometimes broken with patches of greens, which were mostly date tree groves.
I was thrilled to be crossing the canal, after all I was about to experience something which I only read in books.
There is a roadway tunnel built under the narrow sea passage known as the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel. Vehicles make the crossing under the sea through this tunnel and ships make their crossing above the sea through the Suez canal opening.
The entrance to the tunnel is enhanced by mosaic images of ships and the sea. The tunnel is well lit and has adequate ventilation. There are two traffic lanes, one going to Africa and the other to Asia.
It took only 5 minutes for our vehicle to make the crossing. But the amazing thing is, in the five minute drive through the tunnel we left the Asian side of Egypt and crossed into the African side of Egypt.Now this is something that I don’t get to do every day 🙂
On exiting the tunnel I saw that the area around was completely barren. There are huge sloping sand banks on either side of the road so we are unable to see anything. Both sides of the tunnel are heavily guarded by armed forces.
After experiencing this engineering marvel we proceeded to Cairo to see the pyramids.
For more stories of my visit to Egypt read – Walking Like An Egyptian