Kronenwetter couple back from Egypt - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Kronenwetter couple back from Egypt


KRONENWETTER (WAOW)--Despite the unrest in Egypt, a Kronenwetter couple got out of the country and returned home safely. Charlie and Ellen Dell say they're happy to be home after spending 24 days in the North African country.

The couple traveled with a group from UW-Marathon County but opted to stay an extra 10 days to visit friends. The Dells said they never expected to spend their last 4 days barricaded inside their hotel room. "It was suggested that we stay in our hotel while the rioting was going on," said Ellen Dell. "Not because of the demonstrators but because of the police. They said if we were seen in the area during the demonstration we could be arrested just because we were there. We saw protesters standing in the streets. We saw lots of people in the streets, there were some tires burning in the streets and a lot of chanting and shouting."

The Dells watched from their room as protesters marched through the streets and riots broke out.

Mahmoud is a friend of the Dells. He asked us not release his last name for his own protection. Thursday, he Skyped with Newsline 9, describing what he experienced during the protests."I was afraid, I'll admit I was afraid," Mahmoud said. "They shoot tear gas at us and rubber bullets. Sometimes they tried to run us over with the tanks and things like that."

On their last day in Egypt, the Dells were forced to change their travel plans. Trains shut down and the streets were crowded with tankers and protesters. Dell said getting to the airport was difficult because of all the traffic. Inside the airport, an even bigger mess. "The airport was just jammed, you could hardly move from one end to the other. There wasn't food available and very limited amounts of water. The bathrooms were over flowing too."

After spending more than 24 hours in an airport, the Dells flew from Athens to Paris, finally making it to Chicago.

Of course, the Dells weren't aware of the snow storm burying much of the Midwest. "We were able to shower finally, brush our teeth and put on clean clothes," Dell said. "We spent the night and woke up the next day to our car buried under 6 feet of snow. So we had to dig it out before we could start home."

The Dells said they check in with Mahmoud periodically to make sure he is safe.

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