Where to start.. ? What an eventful and fun day, but you would probably have to have been here to appreciate the fun, laughter, synchronicity and miraculous day we had (well, at least I did and I think the group appreciated the entertainment my predicaments and the day provided also).
I am so lucky with the lovely people that get inspired to come and join my trips through Egypt. This is Ahmed’s second trip with me as Tour Manager and even he said today how easily everything is flowing for him even taking the unexpected into account. You just gotta be able to roll with the way things go in life if you want any degree of happiness and I think the Egpytians have mastered that art.
Our day started at 7.15am with hotel check out and boarding our coach to the Giza Plateau (after a lovely breakfast at the Steigenberger of course). We always seem to be lucky in our arrival times at Giza – very few tourists on the plateau before us early birds and (as in the old days) tour companies let it up to individuals whether or not to buy their tickets to the Gt. Pyramid so many are not aware what they are missing, – I don’t – I include the entry ticket in the tour – after all, why go to Giza if you don’t go inside and see what all the fuss and hooha is about? (unless, of course, you physically can’t make the climb)
So, Gt. Pyramid visited, Solar Boat inspected, camels ridden and homage paid to the enigmatic Sphinx – it was time for lunch. We had intended to do lunch at Pizza Hut at Tahrir Sq., because most people eat pizza and the service is quick there, plus it’s near the museum and we have to do our best with time. BUT, on my way to the loo I discovered that food was once again being served in tents in front of the Sphinx – much more interesting place to eat than Tahrir Square and so that was lunch taken care of.
CAIRO ANTIQUITIES MUSEUM
Back in the coach, having a joke and listening to our guide…that is until Ahmed mentioned “passports” – oops! Where was Mara’s passport? Totally forgotten back in the hotel safe with my money, keys and bank card readers!! Hmmm maybe I was a bit too relaxed this morning! Ahmed called the hotel, told them we would be there shortly and we all had a little laugh at my organising everyone except myself.
At the hotel all was well, they had my precious belongings. Ahmed headed back to the museum and I sat down to answer some emails, intending to follow him shortly. Laptop out of the bag, turned on, ready to start…where was my iphone? Quick seach turned into frantick search. Lost? Yes! Gone. Disappeared into thin air. An hour later there was still no sign of it, having emptied the contents of my suitcase on the floor of the hotel reception twice, paced around retracing my footsteps, no it hadn’t fallen down the toilet either! Nor was it showing up on the “find my phone” app – well it was, but last registered yesterday morning. I have no idea how that happened because the photos I took at Giza had backed up onto icloud.
Fine – there was a problem, next best thing to do was focus on the solution. The only positive thing to do was mentally let the phone go. I sat down and spent the rest of the afternoon changing emails and facebook passwords along with those for every other app on the phone as well as suspending the SIM in the phone. The others finished their tour of the museum and arrived back to the hotel, freshened up and our bags were loaded onto the coach for the trip to the airport. It seemed once I left the hotel my phone was well and truly gone. But, I still believed in miracles, didn’t I…and I never mind looking a bit ditsy if, in the end I get my miracle.
One of the guys joked that I needed a ‘handler’ to keep track of my stuff and I in turn joked with Ahmed that he was supposed to be my “handler” but wasn’t doing such a good job of it. Next minute Ahmed says “Shhhh there’s a phone ringing, some of us, including me started pulling back the floor carpet – maybe my phone was under there – nope. Now we’re all straining to hear the phone now – it seems to be coming from Baldwin’s bag next to me! Both him and me grab the bag but before we open it – Ahmed says “and here is the phone YOU left in MY jacket that borrowed this morning! So your “handler” is still looking after you, one way or another!” Now was that a miracle or what?! I had totally forgotten I borrowed his jacket! BTW, Balwin’s phone actually was ringing in his bag – the alarm was going off and that sound was what prompted Ahmed to start seaching for the phone and bring our attention to the sound too.
The end of a lovely day? Not quite yet. Off to Cairo Airport, had an hour to spare – remember I said time seemed to be expanding for us today… Arrived in Luxor and I had been told earlier that the Sonesta St. George had upgraded all the rooms for us. Nice surprise! I think that what goes around comes around and the lovely people who travel with me always leave good feelings behind with those who work with me – from Cairo to Aswan, and so the goodwill keeps on flowin’ in both directions. Looking forward to tomorrow – a lie in, late breakfast and off to Karnak & Luxor Temples.