Journal: Thursday 2 December 2004
Today was a day off sites. Sam & I had arranged to meet some friends, Christine and Jackie, who arrived yesterday from Cornwall and are staying at the St Josephs Hotel, just a little further up the road to the Novotel. We found them in their hotel, sitting over a leisurely prolonged breakfast on the roof terrace at 11.00am and claiming to be jetlagged. After catching up on news, we all sat lazily chatting around the tiny pool enjoying the warm sunshine for a couple of hours while Luxor busily carried on its business in the dusty streets far below. The weather is warming up at last to temperatures I’m more familiar with in Egypt and it was nice to be inactive for a while.
Promising to meet up later for dinner, Sam and I went back to the Novotel where we sat by the pool there too for the afternoon, this time with a few books each to keep us company. I tried to use my laptop but the sun was just too bright to see anything on the screen. Although I’ve stayed in the Novotel before I’ve never sat at the pool side. It’s built on a floating platform on the Nile and sitting there by the water is almost like being on a felucca. Looking up from my books now and then I could see many water-birds skimming over the surface of the river and the familiar hawks circling overhead against the sun. Even at this time of year the terraced gardens of the Novotel are very pretty, an oasis of green on a perfect day.
Later, we met up with Christine and Jackie at Maxims for dinner together, which as always was very good. Afterwards we all went to the Etap to hear Maha singing again. The tented area next to the main hotel was full of Egyptian families, which was nice to see, but so crowded that we had to sit outside and almost froze to death. After such a warm day it’s very easy to forget that it’s winter here and the nights can get very cold indeed. We left about midnight, my teeth chattering all the way back to my room.