Around the World in 80 Days
Day 10: 4 October
Can this be the same country that built the Pyramids, invented the column, the cornice and the capital?
After three hours of formalities we are aboard the M.V. Qamar El Saudi II ('The Saudi Moon II'). The II has, however, been roughly crossed out and I written in. Her sister ship, The Saudi Moon I, recently ran aground and sank on a reef outside Jeddah. The ship, of 5342 tons, was built in Genoa in 1971 and began life as the Dana Sirena before being sold to a Danish outfit, DFDS Seaways, for North Sea ferry work. Now it's owned by an Egyptian company who bought it off the Saudis. The interior seems to have been left alone, and I find myself looking at a plan of the ship which still features the 'Hamlet Lounge', the 'Tivoli Club', the 'Mermaid Pub' and even the 'Dog's Toilet'.
Up on the bridge, beside an indicator with the ship's speed and direction in Danish - 'Frem', 'Bak', 'Halv' and 'Fuld' - the portly Egyptian captain is bent over charts of Suez harbour published in Taunton, whilst his first officer tends a radar scanner made in Bremen.
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- Series: Around the World in 80 Days
- Day: 10
- Date: 4 October
- Country/sea: Egypt
- Place: Suez
- Book page no: 47
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