Journal: Wednesday 13 October 1999
Guess where I’ve come on my holiday. This time I am travelling with my friend Jenny and we booked a package holiday – something I haven’t done for a long time. We left England this morning flying from Gatwick in pre-booked seats by a window. Although the plane was very full and rather cramped, the flight was lovely. Flying over the coast of Italy, we could see below us in the dazzling deep blue of the Mediterranean, the volcano on Mount Stromboli erupting even more spectacularly than it was last year.
Jenny, a keen member of our Egyptian Society, is as passionate about the ancient Egyptian monuments as I am, although this is her first trip to Egypt. I have been really looking forward to visiting all my favourite places with her and showing her around. For once we landed in Luxor at 5.30pm, while the sun was still shining and the temperature still quite hot at 34 degrees C. It’s so good to be back.
The reason we chose a package holiday is because we found a very good deal which would allow us to stay at Luxor’s newest hotel, the Sonesta St George. After staying on the West Bank or in cheaper hotels for my past few trips, this promised to be quite a luxurious holiday. We left the airport on the tour company’s coach with the other travellers and arrived at our hotel in the early evening. We were not disappointed! The Sonesta is fabulous and we are sharing a room on the corner of the third floor, overlooking the gardens and pool, with a wonderful view of a long stretch of the River Nile and beyond to the Theban Mountain. Jenny and I quickly unpacked and after a shower in the very decadent bathroom, we went out into Luxor, walking down to the Amoun Restaurant for dinner and an amble through the suq.