Journal: Monday 20 March 2000
An early start to the day for our flight home to England. We had booked a taxi for 6.30am but when we arrived downstairs for breakfast we were told that someone had thoughtfully left a message to say our flight was delayed by two hours. So it became a leisurely breakfast sitting in a warm corner of the garden terrace and drinking far too much coffee.
Our flight was now due to leave at 11.15am instead of 9.15am, so we didn’t need to leave the Radwan Hotel until 8.30am. Having left our arrival at the airport as late as possible the check-in desk was quiet and as I hadn’t bought too many books this time my luggage went through with no problems, thank goodness. This is always my biggest worry. In the departure lounge we waited and waited and in the end the scheduled delay was extended by another two hours, eventually leaving Luxor at 1.15pm. No reason is ever given for these delays with EgyptAir, but it is seems to be a common occurrence and I am getting used to it. The waiting was not too bad however, as we met a nice lady called Janet who lives on the West Bank and knows my friend Robin. We spent the time swapping stories and experiences.
Eventually the plane took off, as always a very sad moment when the aircraft wheels leave the sandy runway and the Theban mountain disappears beneath the wing as we leave it behind. Jenny and I didn’t dare look at each other because we knew we would both have tears in our eyes. The feeling of being in Egypt was briefly extended by the Arabic spoken by the crew and the Egyptian music videos played on the overhead monitors. I’m never sure if this helps or not. The flight seemed to go quickly and within a short time we were already flying over the Italian Alps, a spectacular view with the diamond-white snow still sparkling on the tips of the mountains.
The four-hour delay meant that we caught the last possible train home from Reading by the skin of our teeth, arriving back in Cornwall at 11.00pm after an exhausting day of doing nothing.