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Walk like an Egyptian?

November 26, 2015

In the week after the suspected bombing of that Russian airliner, watching Death On The Nile the night before flying to Egypt was perhaps not the best preparation. Checking in for the flight on line and discovering that we had been allocated seats in Row 13 was another interesting reminder of ones potential impending mortality. As if this was insufficient portent, we decided to take breakfast at Jamie Oliver’s Bar And Restaurant at Gatwick Airport where the waitress, upon asking us where we were bound, said without a trace of irony “don’t worry, it’s all been blown up out of all proportion”.

Arriving at Luxor safely and after having been transported to our luxury Nile Cruise boat the MS Minerva, there was just time for a sundowner on the drinks deck before dinner. I mentioned to That Nice Lady Decorator playfully that the plural of Sphinx was Sphincter but as she slightly less than politely pointed out, I was wrong. It is in fact the title of the new James Bond film.

Tomb of the Nobles at Luxor at night

Tomb of the Nobles at Luxor at night

The Decorating Operative has always been fascinated by ancient Egyptian history, hence this trip. I however am slightly less enamoured with old relics but when this cropped up in conversation she said she loved them and that’s why she was with me.

When in Rome, one has to do as the Egyptians do, so as the cruise floated up the Nile to Aswan in search of ancient temples, I found out about Cataracts, a splendid Victorian Hotel – where Agatha Christie stayed for some time – which was a sight for sore eyes.

I think it was inevitable on this visit that at some stage I would be reminded of the song “Walk like an Egyptian”. It came during a visit to the absolutely stunning Abu Simbel temple. Imbibing freely the evening before the visit, I had thought the departure time of 3.30 would be in the afternoon. Plenty of time for a late breakfast, a nice lunch and restorative gin and tonic of the sundeck before the off. To say that I was ill prepared for a 02.45am alarm call is to understate the word alarm.

Dragged from my pit, where I was once again dreaming of the excellent exchange rates offered by FC Exchange, I was dragged into a tiny car and driven for 4 hours through the desert in a convey guarded by armed police. This was not the best preparation for such a wonderful construction, and of course, With that amount of time elapsing, eventually the call of nature must be answered. Aboard the boat, or on a visit to a more accessible temple, one has the option of avoiding ethnic Egytian toilets, but on this occasion, there was no alternative. Dear reader, I will not go into detail here, but anyone who has ever attended Glastonbury will know the feeling of that moment when you need to roll up your trouser legs (please don’t ask why) and so it came to pass. A little touch of what I refer to euphemistically as “Billy Browntail” ensued and within a short time I was doing exactly what the song says on the tin. Walking required the kind of rolling gait where one attempts to keeps ones buttock cheeks as far apart as possible.

So, Egypt has been done. There was just the small oversight that our tour did not involve seeing any pyramids.  On the first morning, I asked our tour guide and Egyptologist which day we would be seeing them, only to be told that there were two hundreds miles to the north at Giza. As I said I am not the Egyptian expert on the family). A short pit stop in Arundel for a week and now we are heading back to La Belle France.

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. John Gwynn permalink
    November 26, 2015 7:17 pm

    Chris keep it coming love your dits that is a naval term enjoy life. From the gwynnies

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  2. December 27, 2015 9:40 am

    Dear Brown Tail,

    Gratifying to know you can still walk the walk (as well as talk the talk) !!

    Hope you had a good Christmas…



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