I went to Egypt about two weeks ago and for the most part, besides a dodgy belly and a bout of sunstroke, had a lovely time. It’s the second time I’ve been and I enjoyed the culture and history of the country even more second time around. I visited the largest pyramid, built for King Cheops around 4000 years ago. It’s quite incredible, especially because you can go inside along this super cramped and claustrophobic excavation tunnel and emerge in his tomb at the very centre of the pyramid itself. Although it is kind of disputed that this is his actual tomb, as when it was found, neither his body or his treasure was inside, only an empty sarcophagus. It is thought that his actual tomb, including his mummified body, is located within the pyramid somewhere else.
Anyway aside from this I spent my time diving in the red sea, soaking up Cairo and riding my camel ‘Johnny Depp’ as you can see below from some photos I took…
This is not why I’m writing however, it’s not simply an account of me and Johnny riding alongside Laure and her camel (Jean Pierre) to a Bedouin settlement. The reason I’m writing is to tell you about the inconvenience caused by the firey, disintegrating, cloud monster.
We had flown during our trip on a domestic flight to Cairo. It was here we realised that the methods and efficiency of Egyptian airports is somewhat flawed. On returning from this particular flight our ticket had no gate number. So we went to the gate where everyone else was going. Soon the gate was pretty much like a bowl of human twiglets. People were standing on each other, in incredibly close proximity and falling over due to the ebb and flow of the crowd. This was exacerbated by the monitors in the airport showing flights from the day before. A wave of confusion spread among everyone, who began frantically checking their tickets as departure time came and went and no one knew what was going on.
From somewhere there came a shout of some kind and then pushing and everyone starting rushing forwards. Only to realise there were no developments. Then one by one, lasting over an hour a man whispered the flight numbers (4 in total) to a crowd of what I would guess was around 4-500 people and each time they ran out to catch their flight.
Aside from the ticket, the monitors and the general inefficiency of the staff there was also the issue of making sure everyone was on board which they managed in a hilarious fashion of counting the ticket stubs and then counting the seats on the plane. This got even funnier when a poor egyptian lady put the ticket stubs down to write in her notebook and the wind blew them all over the departure lounge.
Anyway, that was hellish. Then we realised three or four days before we were about to depart, that a volcanic ash cloud had descended on europe like Paris Hilton on Video Rick.
Just after this I found out I had got a job with 2AM and so they began to plot a course back for me (thanks again Alice and James). We decided, after hearing rumours that our flight wouldn’t leave until early May, to make a run for it. Our plan was to go:
SHARM – CAIRO
CAIRO – FRANKFURT
FRANKFURT – BRUSSELS (Train)
BRUSSELS – LONDON (Eurostar)
TOTAL TIME SPENT TRAVELLING: 33-38 Hours
But as you can see from the following images and my Twitter feed (@lukesnellin), written on nicked wireless networks from various places, that wasn’t to be…
READ FROM BOTTOM TO TOP
What a journey.
Now I’m back in the swing of things and am on an exciting job for LG.
More soon cowboy.