Sharm el Sheikh

Sharm el Sheikh

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After Cairo we flew over to Sharm el Sheikh for a bit of a break from all the temples and museums. Well, they’re hard work, aren’t they? Especially in that heat.

Seriously though, we spent this week doing all sorts of not a lot. Our hotel was right by the beach and there were a few restaurants and cafes along the sea front so there was a bit of choice.

We went diving one day, but not before we’d had to go to a PADI approved doctor in town who gave me a certificate to say my use of prescription nasal spray wasn’t a problem. We scoobed in a pool. We tried some snorkelling in the sea too.

On one day we took a short cruise in a glass-bottomed boat, which gave us more of a view of the excellent diving conditions that we didn’t quite get down to.

We also spent a day on buses taking a tour to the Saint Catherine’s Monastery, up in the Sinai desert. It was hot that day.


Cairo

Cairo

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A few days in Egypt’s capital, doing some more touristy stuff.

First of all, the Mena House Hotel, with its rather excellent view of the Pyramids.

On our second morning we got up really early and walked up to, and around, the pyramids. We got back in time for breakfast.

On our third day in Cairo we took an organised bus trip over to the Egyptian Museum for a hot and sweaty gawp at some ancient artefacts.


Cairo

Cairo

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Our second stop in Egypt was the capital city of Cairo, which we arrived at by plane from Luxor.

About two weeks before the holiday we’d been called by the tour company and told that our chosen hotel was in the middle of a refurbishment and whilst they assured us that we wouldn’t be bothered by the noise, they asked us if we’d rather change. One of the options they offered was the Mena House, a very historic old hotel right outside the pyramids at Giza. It was full of quite posh looking people, including Claudia Schiffer. It also had a fantastic view of the pyramids from the balcony.

Meanwhile, back at the plot, on our first evening there we went to a son et lumière show at the Sphinx just like Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me. We didn’t see any big blokes with metal teeth or any female KGB agents though.

On our second morning there we decided it was time to heed advice and get up really early to go into the pyramids. We heard they sell a handful of tickets each morning to allow you to get into Khufu’s Pyramid, so we got up to the ticket office for about 7:30am and were lucky enough to get some. Sorted ! We grabbed some bottles of water and set off for a bit of pyramid action.

They really are quite impressive in scale.

The inside was a bit claustrophobic but I’m glad we went. We had to leave cameras at the entrance though, so no photos. While we were in there, we took the opportunity to walk down to the Sphinx again for a quick look around in daylight. By this time we were getting a bit hot and sweaty so we retired to the hotel and were just in time to get breakfast. Yes, we went out early, and got back for breakfast.

The following day we had a trip over to the centre of Cairo to visit the Egyptian Museum. Strangely enough, it is packed with antiquities from ancient Egypt, including some impressive Tutankhamun stuff.