Journal: Monday 10 January 2011
Heathrow to Luxor
Why oh why do I go to Egypt in January and spend a fraught couple of weeks wondering if we will get to the airport and whether the flights will be cancelled due to frozen runways when we arrive? This year I was travelling with my friends Fiona and Malcolm and meeting Sam, who had flown out a week ahead, in Luxor. We took the necessary precautions and stayed in a Heathrow hotel overnight, just to be certain of catching our flight.
By 11.30am we had checked our bags for our 2.00pm flight, only to be told that it was delayed until 5.00pm. No explanation! Heathrow airport is nice as airports go, but seven hours sitting around before a long flight just makes me twitchy. We Eventually took off at 6.45pm and after a very good flight Sam picked us up with Abdul in his minibus at 1.15am Egyptian time.
Luxor of course is still buzzing at that time of the morning as we drove through the town. Sam was bundled up in fleece and scarf saying how cold the nights were, but it felt warm to me coming from the frozen north. We had a long drive over the bridge as Sam has rented an apartment for us from Egypt Property Sales, one that we looked at last time we were in Luxor, in Ramala on the West Bank. It’s a beautiful apartment on the second floor of a villa and right on the banks of the River Nile, almost opposite Luxor Temple. Fiona and Malcolm have an apartment just next door so the locations could not be more ideal. We all sat on the balcony for a while admiring the view, a remote but glowing Luxor with ribbons of coloured lights streaming over the black water.
After a while I had to admit that the night air was a little cooler than normal in Egypt. By the time we went to bed the first morning call to prayer could be heard from the nearby mosque, which in turn woke the dogs, donkeys, roosters and horses eager to start a new day, but I was soon fast asleep.