Apr 8 2009

In the Family

This man gave us a tour of Khan el Khalili. He later brought us to his spice shop, which has been in his family in this location for about 200 years


Apr 5 2009

Lazy days on the Red Sea

We have finally officially started the second half of our travels. First stop: Egypt.

Our trip started off possibly in the most stressful way possible. We arrived at Gatwick Airport in London thinking we were two hours early for our flight. There were HUGE lineups, because Thompson (the travel agency we booked our resort through) basically flies to all their resorts on Sundays. So we are standing in the queue, and I look up at the screen that has all the departures and I can’t seem to see our flight. “Sharm el Sheikh at 10:30? Where is it?” Dave says, “I’m sure it’s just too early to post it up.” And I say, “Can’t be…there are flights all the way up to noon posted. It’s 10:30, right?” Dave nods his head. I look up at the screen again, and try to find Sharm. “I see a 9:15, and a 12:15. No 10:30.” We then proceeded to look at our flight package, and sure enough–it flies at 9:15. We realized that at 8:30, and we were at the back of the line. A HUGE line. Thankfully, at around 8:45 they start calling out flights that they are doing checkins immediately on. Ours is called. So we run to the desk and they take our luggage, and at that point we literally ran the rest of the way, because there was still security checks and so on. Finally, after running across half the airport, we arrived at the terminal at 9:15 (and weren’t the last people!) The flight was being delayed for reasons we would find out later.
So five hours pass, and we land in Sharm El Sheik. “We are here! This is it!” we say. But the airport is headache–nay, a migraine. It’s used largely for military purposes, and so the Thompson attendants can’t get off the airplane. Four flights arrived at the same time to an airport that should only handle one flight at a time. Finally after “queueing” (more like pushing through a large clump of people) for about an hour and a half, we got through to wait for our luggage. I said, “we got through to wait for our luggage.” *AHEM*. Our luggage? Where is our luggage?
Well, all the airport attendants assure us that this is normal, and they will call back to Gatwick. They tell us not to worry. Meanwhile, well, we are worrying. No one from Gatwick airport is in the Sharm airport, so we don’t even know what happened. Finally after filling out numerous forms, we leave the airport, and are met in the parking lot by a British lady from Gatwick telling us exactly what happened. Apparently a conveyor belt broke with the luggage on it while loading on the plane. That is why the plane was delayed–but that is also the reason the luggage didn’t end up in Egypt, because they couldn’t delay it any longer. So it ended up on the next flight to Sharm.
The next day our luggage was safe and happy in our hands. (Poor Rockford was stuck in a suitcase all that time! ;) )
The week in Sharm El Sheikh was filled with nothingness by the beach, nothingness by the pool, and massages in the spa. Dave went diving & snorkeling on the last day and really enjoyed it, and I enjoyed sitting on the boat doing nothing ;)
Next stop: Cairo!