There is a ferry now from Venice to Alexandria so you don't need to fly at all if it bothers you. Just get a train to Venice, get on the boat and you'll be here in a few days. It calls in to Syria as well on the way here but you needn't get off.
I expect to go to Sao Paolo before the end of the year since my best friend is being transferred there for three years.
Damn, I still have not been there, and the trip is now rescheduled for September 2013. (One thing that delayed me was the bit about being terminated from my job.)
Meanwhile, after 3 years my friend is required to transfer to another country. He has been saying very good things about Chile, where he has made several trips for work. That would also be fine with me for a new place to discover, but when he was in Paris two weeks ago, he mentioned that Ho Chi Minh City had also caught his eye. We made a trip there together in 1996, so I already know that he likes it. I have returned to Vietnam twice since then, and one reason that Vietnam holds a special place in my heart is because my very last trip when I was free to go anywhere without dealing with dying or dependent parents was in September 2004. It is really odd to think that I have been grounded for 9 years.
I saw a photo of Saigon the other day and was in a state of shock. It is already starting to look like Bangkok with the skyscrapers and such. The fact that it didn't have that stuff was one of the things that most appealed to me. (However, I will never criticise a developing country for finally getting all of the things that we take for granted -- these places are not our private zoos to go and see the primitive natives.)
My first main travel-goals are revisiting London, New York and LA. Others on my list are mainly cities: Berlin, Chicago, Istanbul, Prague. But, as for countries, Egypt is amongst the top (but also Indonesia and Vietnam)- and I would like to visit some places during special times, for ex Munich during Christmas.
I should soon make plans to visit St Helena island in the South Atlantic. I know a resident who tells me that the airport will be finished and open by 2015. This is dreadful news. I must arrive by sea.
My brother-in-law just went to visit his son who is studying in Beijing for a year. He says it was really interesting and it has revived my desire to visit China. I didn't go when my son was working in Shanghai and I really regret it, but that was when I seriously began to consider it. I had never particularly been interested in going to Asia before.
That is the best way to visit a place where street signs and language are more difficult -- with someone living there and knows how to get around. I really don't want to go on an organized trip.
I'm beginning to think I'm jinxed in my travel plans. We had planned to go to Syria in November of 2010 but put it off till spring because the embassy wanted my passport for a month for the visa, but I needed it elsewhere. Of course, in February the civil war started and that was the end of that.
I have been trying to go to Istanbul for a while now, and they are fighting in the streets -- water cannon and tear gas.
Spindrift...Most of the places I have been have been in periods of civil unrest at that time. Just keep away from the mobs and Govt buildings, universities and check with local people for what they think is safe. Avoid mosque areas on Fridays. In Muslim countries it pays for a woman to dress in covering clothes and a scarf over the head. This will earn you respect from the locals who have a long history of being hospitable to guests in their area. The upside is that tourists are staying away, so accommodation etc is cheaper.
NW Pakistan (Peshawar through Swat Valley) was having conflict when my friends and I were there, so we had a police escort and travelled in an old bus with curtains drawn.
Keep a low profile and enjoy your travels. Istanbul is marvellous.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]