London, Woking and on to Egypt
Our flight back was uneventful and managed to get John through immigration once again with a six months stamp on his passport. Hopefully that will keep him out of trouble for the next couple of flights. We arrived at about 3.30 pm and hired a car which worked out pretty cheaply at 24 pounds as we only needed it overnight. We drove straight up to London to see Till and pick up some glasses that our man in Saigon had made for us. Such a relief to finally replace my reading glasses which were stolen in Italy last July. Also nice to have a couple of new daywear glasses and some new sunnies. We did our washing at Till’s as she also has a dryer which Woking doesn’t. Packed the car up and headed back to Woking to do the ironing, repack, check on the house and then off at 6.30 am the next morning back to Gatwick for our flight to Hurghada, Egypt.
Well … the actually flight wasn’t a problem … 5.5 hours … but some of the people … a lot actually … on the plane were shockers. English women in their fifties getting drunk, yelling out and being seriously revolting. One jumped up during landing to go to the toilet … no idea! They were even being revolting going through immigration. I wouldn’t have let them in.
When we were disembarking, I asked the fellow behind me to please wait while the people in front went first. He shoved me really hard to the side and pushed his way through. Luckily John was busy finding things and didn’t see it or I reckon he would have smacked him one.
Our hotel in Hurghada was a pleasant surprise. It is billed as 5 star but I knew it wouldn’t be. However, it came in as a very good three star with the most beautiful gardens. We have huge Greek basel plants outside of our door that any Australian gardener would kill for. There are petunias everywhere and beautiful lawn. I have since found out that they use recycled sewerage which I wasn’t too worried about until we had to get up at 6 am this morning to head to Luxor and the smell was horrific. I’m not sure how treated it actually is!
We managed to fill our four days there pretty easily. Spent a hell of a lot of time trying to get the internet to work. Went to the gym, went for a big 2 hour walk to a mall with international brands, read and rested. It was really very windy so we didn’t actually swim as the pools were cold and the ocean not that inviting. Having said that I am looking forward to swimming there when we go back for another three days after the 7 nights on the Nile. The beach was surprisingly good and I am looking forward to going on a snorkelling trip to one of the islands off the coast.
Yesterday we went on a guided morning tour which is part of our package and it was really very enlightening.
Hurghada was only ever a tiny fishing village until 50 years ago when they started building resorts on the Red Sea. Now there is 65 kilometres of hotels running down the coast and Hurghada has 150 000 people living there all servicing tourism.
We visited a lovely marina, the fish markets … no shortage of fish! Looked at a mosque from the outside and then a Christian church which is being rebuilt. 20% of Egyptians are Christian which I was surprised about. However, the big shock for me is that they all get a cross tattooed on their wrist or hand when they are about 15 and that has been going on for 1500 years! So maybe you can blame the Christians for inventing tattoos … something I will have to research if I ever get descent internet again! Addicted perhaps! But no way near as badly as my husband.
The hotel stay was actually rather pleasant but it was an eye opener seeing how people behave at an all inclusive hotel. Which means they can eat whatever and how much they want but what is worse is that they can drink whatever and how much alcohol they want. Consequently some of them just poor it down their throats. Add the fact that they are predominantly Russian with quite a few Germans and it is quite disturbing. The Russians of course treat all of the staff like slaves and don’t seem to have please or thank you or how are you today in their vocabulary. It certainly made us look good … the staff were all smiles when they saw us because we were nice to them and treated them like friends and thanked them profusely to try and make up for everyone else’s behaviour.
As part of our all inclusive deal we get to eat in two meals in the a la carte restaurants. It was not all that great but nice to get away from the madding crowd. Last night’s Italian was rather good.
This morning, as I said, we were up early to hop on our bus to Luxor. The bus is a shocker … about a twenty seater about 40 years old. Extremely uncomfortable and the scenery is shite! Sand, sand, rocks and more sand. Can’t wait to make the five hour trip back at the end of the week! On an upside the other English guests who will be with us on the boat are extremely pleasant and after the Russians, very civilised!