Around the World in 70 Days, Weeks 4 & 5: The Middle East

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Air Journey Around the World 2008

Abu Simbel

When we left our intrepid round-the-world pilots two weeks ago, they were about to launch for a flight up the Nile. First stop was Abu Simbel, two ancient, massive rock temples on the western bank of Lake Nasser, southwest of Aswan. A nearby airfield made it a convenient stop, and the visit was specatacular, despite the steamy heat. Another short flight brought the group to Luxor. Three days were allotted to explore the temples, sail on the Nile, and visit museums.

Next stop was the unique, futuristic city of Dubai, home to the world's tallest building, the world's only seven-star hotel, and an indoor ski resort. Then a short flight to Muscat, Oman. The group found the city an unexpected pleasure -- clean, modern, and beautiful -- but also began to feel very far from home, in a foreign culture where women are not allowed equal rights.

So far, the group has been traveling for over 30 days, they've visited 13 countries, slept in 16 hotels, and made it halfway around the world. The weather has been fine, and no mechanical problems have slowed them down. Now they are embarking on some of the most challenging flying of the journey, in less developed countries, facing more challenging weather conditions.

Dubai

Thierry Pouille, the trip leader, has posted some video slideshows from the trip on YouTube, which feature some neat shots from GA aircraft flying into places where few of us ever go.

Next: India, Thailand, and Southeast Asia.