It's so cold outside tonight that I wanted to think of a warm place.
This week, I'm heading back to the Middle East, or rather North Africa, to Egypt. This trip goes way back to 1991! OMG! Hard to believe that I am still reliving vacations from over 15 years ago. (Seems like yesterday.) When I went to work in KSA, after the initial excitement wore off I became extremely homesick. So homesick that I was pulled into the manager's office and advised to either quit, or go on vacation. Vacation sounded like a great option so I took that one. in the back of my mind figuring that I'd take the vacation and then do a "runner" and buy a one-way ticket home. I talked a British friend of mine into going to Egypt with me as it had always been a dream of mine to go there. Lisa ended up being a great travel buddy. Since neither of us had really travelled before, we naively allowed a travel agent to book us a tour with Abercrombie and Kent ,a luxury travel company. Dare I tell you that a 10 day holiday in Egypt cost $5000.00 (and that was 15 years ago!!!)? OK, I just did. It was the first and last time that I ever travelled this way. In fact these days, I prefer to stay in Budget Hotels or Apartment Rentals.
On this trip, we had only the best. In Cairo, we stayed here: Cairo Marriot. For 5 days we cruised down, or rather, UP the Nile on a Sheraton Cruise barge. We were the youngest amongst a tour that had just arrived from Tel Aviv. Needless to say, the Captain took a shining to my friend and I (Ok, mostly I!) and wined and dined us on board at night with salmon canapes and caviar. This was all very nice, especially with the silent Nile as a backdrop, however I think he was disappointed when I didn't go back to his cabin to watch videos. The cruise was a busy one. The wake up call would be 5:30 am to be ready for breakfast and off board early to go to tour the temples. The temples were awesome, but overwhelming.
At tour end, we stayed in Aswan at The Old Cataract Hotel, the place that inspired Agatha Christie to write Death on the Nile. From there we flew to Abu Simbel which was for me one of the most memorable sites that we saw. The sheer size of these figures were astounding!
We ended our tour back in Cairo, and opted to do some cheesy touristy stuff that was a lot of fun.
Hello from Cairo!
Next week, I'll tell you about Istanbul, and how I ended up back in KSA.
For some fabulous travel pics from Moscow, head on over to the Beeshive !