Suez Canal: No photos allowed and how we tried it anyway

Maybe the most exciting things I wanted to see in Suez is the famous Suez Canal. The canal is an artificial waterway through Egypt that was officially opened 1869. It is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia. Without the Suez Canal, ships would need to go all the way around Africa in order to reach India for instance.

 

Ships sail trough it in convoys of about 40 in a row to avoid piracy. The canal opens six hours for ships going north to south and then six hours for the other direction. They move slowly to avoid disturbing the sandy banks, and dredging could be seen frequently. Although the canal is fairly wide, the spot we visited is so narrow! To pass the Canal, ships pay around 250,000 USD. It is told, that boats loaded with cars are being unloaded at the south end of the canal, the cars are moved by truck to Israel, and then reloaded onto other ships to avoid paying the fee.

 

In Suez itself, there are four visitors spots, just next to the canal, but divided from the waterfront by fence. There is huge security and two types of armed people: soldiers and police man constantly watching and observing all visitors. Taking photos is strictly forbidden, but we however managed to take this single shot that you see underneath.

This photograph caused massive problems and discussions between the police men and soldiers. We used the right moment to go disappear quickly. We went to one of the other vistor spots but security guards were already informed that we are coming and scanning us from eye to toe. So we went to the third visitor spot. It became a kind of a day-challenge to record a video from a ship passing by in the Canal.

 

We had to be extremely careful. So I secretly filmed through my bag. This game went on for quite a time when suddenly a man appeared and he introduced himself as a special agent for the Suez Canal, also armed, but no uniform. Shit! He has definitely seen my camera but was speaking sneakily around the issue: "What are you doing here?" "Ohh holiday, where have you been so far?" "Where are you from" and then finally: "Filming is not allowed here and me and my colleges protect every corner of this park."

 

I was so damn scared, I was sure he is going to take my camera. Luckily we laughed everything away and played naive tourists. He then walked away, and so did we. Anyways, I got 1 minute of video but just wanted to leave this spot!

 


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