Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Have just come back from another amazing holiday, 2nd one this year, which is a record for me as I normally do holidays close to home.

Last year our daughter said that she was off to Sharm el Sheik for a couple of weeks, I offered to babysit and thereby hangs a tale.

My offer was taken up, and when we looked at the costs for me it would not be a lot more for another person to join me for double occupancy. So I said to Himself, why don’t you come – response was, “yes why not!”

Fortunately we had a little spare cash so that paid for the holiday, just needed to find ‘cool’ clothes for the trip. I umm’ed and aah’d about a swimming costume as I don’t swim, just sink, and also my middle has expanded and I am conscious of it, but I found shorts and skimpy tops which were fine and I just exposed the bits I was comfortable with and developed a gentle tan (factor 50 came into play) as I did not want to burn and end up with skin like blistered leather.

Himself had a pair of swimming trunks from when I first knew him – they should be in a museum of the 60’s, at least they contained what was necessary to contain.

We all assembled at glorious Gatwick for the off.

Oh what fun doing a package holiday, first one for us…. And probably the last!!

We paid for extra legroom on our seats so that we were closer to our children, not that it made a lot of difference. There was the jump seat for the hostess just the other side of the aisle and another guy was in the seat opposite her. He was absolutely enormous. Not tall but his girth , to me, was unbelievable. His thighs were like my waist which is not small….. he was shoehorned into the seat and had an extension for his seatbelt. His family were elsewhere on the plane and normal size….. I just cannot get my head round it.

Arrival was late to our destination. Stepping out of the airport into 40+ degrees of temperature was unbelievable. Like walking into an oven.

We got to our hotel quite late but there was food available for a little supper.

Our room was on the ground floor overlooking a couple of pools, one quiet and one a tad noisy during the day. At least they were quiet at night.

The bathroom is just how I would like ours done and himself agrees – yeah, one step in the right direction. It had a walk in shower, superb basin arrangement and, of course, the obligatory loo. We had twin beds, and they were huge! In fact the whole layout was good.

Our days were spent lounging around the pool, drifting into the bar, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only thing missing was bacon to go with the fried eggs in the morning…

They had 5 a la carte restaurants, Lebanese, Indian, Chinese, Italian and English. The Lebanese was OK, not like I have had here at all. The Indian was excellent, Italian passable, English – well what can one say, very English. The Chinese just had a certain ingredient missing, so no ribs to be had.

We took a short shopping trip into Sharm el Sheik, it is like a building site. There are some lovely looking places but others that are in the process of being finished. I couldn’t find anything untouristy as souveniers. There was just a load of tat in the shops.

Whilst we were there other holidaymakers arrived, lots from ‘oop North’. No disrespect meant but overhearing some conversations I got the impression that the Northerners were financially better off than us Southerners. They honeymooned in exotic places and holidayed regularly in hot ‘package holiday’ places. I always thought that they were poor ‘oop North’.  There was a lot of ’lard’ being barely contained in swimsuits and bikinis giving rise to red peeling bodies. What I did find disturbing was the number of obese children there and watching the families filling their faces at mealtimes it is no wonder that there is a future health timebomb.

Then the Russians arrived!  Bigger, bolder and very inconsiderate, greedy and rude…    Apparently they are buying this particular complex and most of the staff are being laid off to be replaced. Won’t be going there again!

A trip to Cairo was booked, by bus, for three of us. Himself decided he couldn’t do 7 hours on the bus so I went with daughter and granddaughter leaving the men to look after the grandson, or was it the grandson looking after the other two, I’m not sure.

Off we went, early start of 1am, trundling into the dark desert with a lot of strangers.  I just sat and wondered what the hell I was doing that ungodly hour. I had an Egyptian guy sat next to me, and for the whole journey he snored. I didn’t really rest. I saw the sun rise and a very bleak outlook. 

Question: Jungle or Desert – Jungle every time!!

We went through the Suez Tunnel and into Cairo. Our guide gave us a potted history of the city and I found it quite interesting but also depressing as he was so proud of it all. I thought that Cairo was overcrowded, dirty, noisy and the air grey with pollution.   There had been riots a few weeks back and you could still see the burnt out buildings.

First stop was the Museum to see  King Tutankhamun’s  treasures but unfortunately it was a whistle stop tour as the Museum would be closing early due to Ramadan. The artifacts were absolutely incredible. I felt in awe of them. The detail was delightful to see. I recently saw a programme about the use of gold in art and apparently in ancient Egypt dwarves were goldsmiths as they were assumed to have magical powers, if that was the case then yes they definitely did have amazing powers to create such beautiful objects.

Our next stop was Giza to see the pyramids. What I found off-putting was  travelling along the main route to the pyramids and passing a canal that was full of bags of rubbish as well as a couple of dead horses. When you consider that water is a precious resource it isn’t a good advertisement for the area!   

I felt small and insignificant against the pyramids, yes they are awesome and I am glad that I have seen them at last.

We didn’t get to the Valley of the Kings or to see Petra in Jordan, an excuse to go again but will be more selective as to which company I go with or even go independent. I even have someone who would like to go as well and I am not talking husband – he does not want to fly again!!

The day we came home we had to wait at Sharm airport – Ramadan put everything on hold. Also the airplane was 1 ½ hours late taking off and the big guy was squeezed into a regular seat . Didn’t get into bed at our daughters until 5.30 in the morning. Such a long tiring day, no wonder Himself does not want to fly again, me? I can hack it..