Egypt is not a country we live in but a country that lives within us.Pope Shenouda III
It was a cold, miserable English afternoon. The window cleaner was on holiday and the windows where filthy enough to block out the sun – if there had been any.
Being lowest in the pecking order it was my duty to – much like those building the temples – struggle through this heavily laborious task, or face the unimaginably cruel consequences.
Shortly after arriving at an inevitable fate, arms tied in a knot whilst staring at a disfigured reflection in the bedazzling gleam of the newly polished panes a fellow employee approached bearing good news of an upcoming educational to – The Land of Luxor!
This was of course the healing music my ears were beckoning for and all of a sudden I was lifted far out of the world of coldness and grit and into the minds blissful imagery of pyramids, Pharaohs and all other Egyptian things I had been fascinated by since burying my head in ancient history books at school.
Arriving on Ancient Sands
Egypt instantly hits you in the nose with it’s pungent musky, spicy aroma and baking dry heat. With the sudden heaviness of added gravity to the equation, the situation of being herded into a group of alien people and having to adapt to the warped sands of time – not going to lie – the arrival was fairly disorientating, but my excitement conquered these feelings and all that really mattered was that we were in Egypt!
PRO TIP: CARRY YOUR OWN BAGS
“Don’t let anyone take yer bags, they’ll want yer money!” I was warned in a cobbled Bristolian accent by one of the alien group members, who I now know as ‘Chris’. Little did I take any notice and sooner or later my luggage was floating in the air towards our coach without my arms attached and I was trapped in a swirling repetitious typhoon of the words ‘please sir money, please sir money’. I did explain time and time again that I only had my debit card, this was not a spell that seemed to work.
Our coach took us through the town in the dark of the Arabian night and to the pearly white gates of the magnificent RA II, a well known cruise boat on the river Nile. This would be our place of hibernation for the next few luxurious days.
Following the boarding of the vessel, we were introduced to the “Hollywood-style-successful-entrepeneur-esque” boat owners Fadi & Hassan, both Egyptian born and bred gentlemen with great wit, hospitality and charisma. Once ‘meeted and greeted’ we were ‘wined and dined’ and left with time to swap stories, unpack and unwind. Tonight I would dream upon the ripples of the majestic river Nile.