Not a good situation in Egypt for travel. Maybe good for democracy, sure, but for anyone poor folks slated to head to Cairo or other major cities, it's a terrible time to visit.
Riots continue in Egypt today, similar to those that recently engulfed Tunisia, and one has to wonder where it will end. As The Star reports in our front page headline the situation is "absolute chaos" in parts of Egypt.
Two hours ago I checked and didn't see a Canadian government warning for Egypt. That changed around 4:30 p.m. EST or so, when a flag went up on the Canadian government web site.
The Foreign Affairs Department in Ottawa is saying that "Canadians travelling to Egypt should exercise a high degree of caution due to demonstrations and protests, high levels of criminal activity and violence throughout the country, and the threat of terrorist attacks."
"Civil unrest has been occurring in many parts of Egypt since January 23, 2011. Telecommunication services may be disrupted and a nationwide curfew has been imposed. Access to some areas may be restricted due to increased security measures and police and military presence on the streets. Canadians should avoid all demonstrations and stay away from areas where they are expected to take place, as they may turn violent without warning."
Word is that many flights on Lufthansa, British Airways and others have been delayed or cancelled.
I feel badly for anyone who, a month or so ago, had no idea there might be problems on the way and booked a ticket for a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Egypt. How terrible would you feel to have your flight cancelled and not be able to rebook?
Of course, the situation for people on the ground is much worse than that, as some folks appear to be fighting for their lives. Or at least for more security and/or freedom.
It just goes to show that, as someone once said in a movie, you never know what's going to happen once you start walking out that front door. It DOES go to show, of course, that travel can never be taken lightly and that one has to do one's homework.
If you're headed to Russia, you have to be prepared for strange things to happen. Not necessarily an airport bombing, but perhaps something sinister. Ditto for, say, Veneuzuela or parts of Africa or, certainly, Pakistan.
What's hard for some to accept, I'm sure, is that nobody thought twice about visiting Tunisia a couple months ago, at least not because of security/safety issues. But things change fast these days, faster than ever given things like Facebook, which is hugely popular in Egypt and seems to have fanned the waves of discontent that erupted in Tunisia after a fruit seller lit himself on fire as a protest against a government he felt didn't care about the little guy.