When it came time to leave, they turned the motorcade around to make it easier for Mrs. Clinton's portion to get out. But they moved the staff and press vans onto the street so we could join the motorcade after it left the secure driveway of the consulate.
This decision provided the scariest and most tense moments of the trip. We had to walk outside onto the street 20 feet away from angry demonstrators to get into our cars. We had a group of Egyptian riot police with shields and batons that would walk with us to provide a buffer between us and the demonstrators. I was concerned the sight of the police could further inflame the demonstrators.
As soon as we walked out the demonstrators started throwing things; water bottles, fruit and shoes, a symbol of great disrespect in that culture. No one was injured and we all got safely into our armored vans.
Now off to Jerusalem. Three cities in one day. We started in Cairo, went to Alexandria and wound up in Jerusalem.
As is often the case, we check into our hotel around midnight. I have at least two hours of work to do before I can go to sleep. And we have to be up and out by 8 am. The next time I will see a bed is two days later back home in Washington.
The schedule in Jerusalem goes off as planned, eight events, three interviews and a news conference. Israeli security controls the hotel and they are very thorough. It takes a long time to get your bags searched. And once you leave a secure area it's difficult to get back inside, I was a prisoner in a room for four hours waiting for Mrs. Clinton to do some interviews.
But no one got too upset because this was our last day and we would finally be on our way home. Thirteen hours and 40 minutes of flying with a refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland, and we touch down at Andrews by 7:30 am Tuesday.
There were some bumps on our trip, personality conflicts, stress, lack of sleep, lost items, irritability. But the work got done, the TV networks got the video they needed and everyone was happy in the end.
It was an adventure I wouldn't have missed for anything. And by the way, Mrs. Clinton has a trip to Africa coming up soon.