Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Basingstoke, England to Luxor, Egypt

Everyone was up early and Pawel was in the kitchen making us a special “Russian” eggs and sausage breakfast. It really filled me up. I’m ready for my trip to Luxor!

Prean walked me down to the bus station (short walk from our flat) and showed the driver the ticket he purchased for me, to ensure I was on the right bus. And soon off to Heathrow to catch the 2:00 p.m. plane to Cairo.

Arrived at Heathrow with plenty of time. After sorting out my ticket with EgyptAir (still not sure what the problem was), I had my suitcase checked-in and my boarding passes for Cairo and Luxor. Had a quick bite to eat then walked around the airport. Was also able to get my VAT (Value Added Tax) returned for some purchases I made.

We had a little delay leaving Heathrow, but were eventually on our way. I was able to get a window seat – previously had a middle seat, which would be uncomfortable for a 4 hour flight. Sat next to a couple from Birmingham who were traveling to Mecca for Umrah, a lesser pilgrimage than the Hajj, but perform the same rituals. They were very nice and helpful when the flight attendant came around. Learned the husband collected data for broadcast news and is looking for advancement.

View of Heathrow Area

We landed in Cairo and I was able to purchase an Egyptian Visa, but had to cut in line for Visa approval so I could make my flight to Luxor. Was able to board the plane with time to spare. We landed on time and most were collecting our luggage a few minutes later. I was part of a group that was pointed to a different baggage carrossel where we received our luggage. Hussein was waiting for me outside the baggage location. Wow, I was tired. But first he wanted to show me the work that has been completed on his flat since I’ve been away. Was an amazing transformation since last year. When I first saw it, the walls and floor were in, but not finished off and no paint, plumbing, or electricity.

I finally checked in the Hilton and thankfully was given a quiet room. Haven’t been able to check email or texts since my Egyptian Vodafone SIM card account needs to be topped off. Now I can use the wifi in the hotel room.

Looking forward to some sleep tonight. Hussein will pick me up in the afternoon and we will have our traditional two cheeseburgers and coffee. When we first went to McDonalds last year, we were both surprised that we ordered the same thing. We even both put milk and sugar in our coffee.

Glad to be home in Luxor.


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