Trip to Egypt
The sun in Luxor was insanely hot. I don't think I have ever experienced heat like it. The temperature would reach around 45 degrees Celsius. But to make things even more extreme, there was no breeze at all. One of the bar staff by the pool in our hotel told us that this was not the hottest that it got. The hottest months were July and August were the temperature would go over 50 degrees.
We stayed in the Novotel Hotel, which is about a 5 minute walk from the Luxor temple, so we was quite central to everything. From our hotel room you had a view of the River Nile. Past the hills on the other side of the Nile there was the Valley of the Kings.
We also took an internal flight to Cairo to go and see the Pyramids and the Cairo museum. We had to get the flight to Cairo very early in the morning. We arrived at the domestic departures gate and sat and waited for our flight to be called. Unfortunately our flight was delayed due to fog, so we was about an hour late in departing. When we arrived in Cairo, our tour guide was waiting for us at the arrivals gate. She took us out to a minibus, and the driver started making his way to the town of Giza. The guide started telling us a bit about the city. We found out that it is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, and I can quite believe it. There were cars and people everywhere. It almost makes London look like a ghost town.
I can't quite describe the feeling as we drove through Giza and the pyramids came into view for the first time. I have always had a little obsession with Ancient Egypt ever since my dad took me to see the mummy exhibition at the British museum when I was a kid. The pyramids are HUGE I really couldn't believe it.
What I found strange was, if you stood facing the pyramids you got a view just like that of a post card, but If you turn around, you are right next to the town of Giza. It was quite strange to see how close the town is to the pyramids.
We was hoping to get tickets to go inside the great pyramid, but unfortunately they only sell a certain amount per day to reduce the amount of people causing damage to them, but luckily we managed to get tickets for one of the smaller pyramids (Menkaure). The entrance to the pyramid was a hole about 5 feet square. When you walk inside, their is a wooden ramp with slats across it that runs down hill. Because of the height of the entrance you pretty much had to go through the tunnel whilst arched backwards. On the left you had a stream of people entering the pyramid, and on the right a stream of people exiting the pyramid.
One thing none of us will ever forget about going into the pyramid was the extreme heat. I was expecting the pyramid to be fairly cool due to the huge amount of stone around us, but the pyramid was very very hot and humid. When we got back outside we were absolutely soaking wet. It looked like we had just taken a shower. It was very uncomfortable in there but I am certainly glad I did it. There wasn't that much in the pyramid except a burial chamber, but again it is good to say that I've been there.
Once we had finished at the pyramids we got back on the minibus and headed back into Cairo for lunch at a hotel. After lunch we headed off to the Cairo museum.
The submarine could seat about 50 people and everyone had a good view out of the windows.
We saw lots of different kinds of fish and there was a guy who would scuba dive around the submarine and feed them.
Another trip that we did was a boat and snorkeling trip. Unfortunately there was a bit of a mix up with the bookings and the trip was over booked. So instead of going out with the other snorkellers we was put on a boat with some Dutch and German divers. This was actually quite good, because when they stopped to do a dive, we could swim over top of them and watch them on the bottom. This was really interesting to watch. The water was so clear, you would look out of the boat and it looks about 2 meters deep, when really it was about 35 meters.
One of the scuba divers let me have a go on one of his spare respirators and he took me down only a couple of meters to have a look, and the view was stunning of the coral. It's a pity I couldn't go down further, but I had never done scuba diving before so that would have been really dangerous.
We all really enjoyed this holiday to Egypt and I would recommend anyone to go. But I would definitely do Luxor first and then relax on the 2nd week.