It wasn’t our habit to take a short break this close to Christmas, so we must have been feeling a real need to get away from it all that autumn. We chose Egypt for that time of year, arranging a few days of cultural tourism in Cairo and then a week of R&R in Sahl Hasheesh, near Hurghada. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, politics rarely intervene in our holidays, but the day we flew out to Egypt, this happened. OK, the Telegraph was bound to be a bit melodramatic about it, but even the Grauniad reported it thus.
As our diplomatic guide explained it to us on arrival; “our president has said one or two things that have not gone down too well with some sections of our society. There might be some protests about this over the next few days.”
Occupancy was already down at the Mena House, where they took so kindly to our perseverance that we were upgraded to the Gustav V Adolf Suite on arrival.
Anyway, we enjoyed the benefits of the pyramids of Giza and the Egyptian Museum with very few other tourists to interrupt our enjoyment, which made us feel big.
Occupancy in Sahi Hasheesh was, if anything, worse (from the resort’s point of view), although at least the atmosphere was less nervous.
I shall type up the stories and adventures from my notes in the fullness of time. But for now, you can find the photographs (only about 40 of them) on Flickr here. Or if you prefer a little slideshow with soundtrack, the same pictures are on YouTube here.
Audley travel provide about 80 pages of itinerary and helpful notes – surely a record for any holiday, least of all a short break like this one:
Audley provided same in a jolly nice ring binder. My hand-written notes, barely decipherable and therefore perfectly safe in the public domain, are here:
We had a great time in Egypt. It is such as shame that the tourist economy turned so sour, so rapidly for the locals. We truly felt for them.