Bill's Trip of a Lifetime to Egypt
Where to begin? My love of Egypt began back in the 90’s. Having worked in the industry for over 43 years, I have been fortunate to travel extensively. Like us all we have our favourites, bucket lists, and then places in the world that you just ‘fall in love with’. Egypt is one of those for me.
However, work, life, family take over and other areas of the world call.
My husband Bill had wanted to go to Egypt since we met and though I had been fortunate to have been a few times before, these were all work related and Egypt remained on his personal bucket list.
The years rolled by and as my husband’s 70th birthday was on the horizon, I thought, ‘this is it. Push everything else to one side and make this a priority’.
The wheels were set in motion. Though the trip was going to be short at just four nights, I intended it to give Bill the experience he had always wanted. I was in no doubt he was going to love it, but there is always that small concern that will it have the same effect on him as it did on me.
His birthday was in July and when he opened the little prism that I had bought as a ‘clue’ he knew immediately what was to come. Our trip was booked for 16-20th November.
The terrible day of 7th October regarding Gasa that dominated our news was of course the start of many concerns regarding the Middle East. I put Egypt in this area as it is always caught up in discussions when problems occur, despite the fact that the current conflict is taking place hundreds of miles from the sites and monuments we visit.
We watched the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice and though it may be easy to say as a seasoned traveller, I’m well aware that terrible things happen around our globe, and we have two options. Stop going or keep going.
With guests keen to travel, and a green light from the FCDO, we chose to keep going.
Perhaps my very open and honest view of it, up close and personal, can help others who still have this wonderful country on their ‘must list’.
As for Bill and I…
The touchdown is always late in the evening if you travel on British Airways. I worked out it had been 19 years since my last trip, so I was sort of a ‘newbie’ myself. The fabulous new terminal awaited, gleaming in the moonlight. Swift visa and immigration, our travel representative waiting for us and we were on our way. From touch down at 22:20 to hotel at 23:30. For those of you that have been to Italy you will have some idea of the traffic and its ‘madness’, but nothing prepares you for Cairo. They have their own language in ‘hooting’. It’s not all about ‘anger’ it’s literally, I’m coming alongside you, watch out for this, all at a pace that told me ‘Driving in Cairo would never be recommended. I can also say with confidence it was exactly the same 19 years ago.
A ring-road has been built, but just like the M25 (for those of you that use it frequently, there are never enough lanes.
Before we knew it, we were checked in, shown to our room, a cup of tea and to bed!
I knew our days would be full, so early breakfast and off we went.
I could go into great detail about everything we saw but you ‘need’ to see this for yourselves. A whirlwind tour where Bill fulfilled a dream that exceeded his expectations and awakened my love of the place and the people. The pride in which the guides talk about ‘their history’ and what it means to them to showcase it is palpable. Never once trying to hurry you along and always there to answer every and any question you have. A small example was after we had been talking about the delicious dates we had enjoyed in our room – our drive slipped away while we were on site and bought some for us nibble on the way back to the hotel.
So…………….the 64-million-dollar question. Did I feel worried about Cairo? Did I feel threatened? Did I see protests along the streets? No! These people are as upset as everyone else about what is happening but for them personally it means less tourism, less income, more hardship.
Egypt is as mesmerising today as it was 19-25 years ago when I first visited. This is an amazing country where new discoveries are being made all the time and I have no doubt much more is to be seen in the coming years. Please don’t miss out.
Should anyone want to personally email or talk to me this would be my absolute pleasure. I am not an archaeologist, that field of expertise belongs to our fabulous lecturers, but I am a traveller with many years’ experience and this country ticks all the boxes.
CEO Specialist Journeys (Andante Travels and Brightwater Holidays
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