Hurghada

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Fly Egypt

Anna and I took the bus from Krakow  to Katowice. It was a crappy thing but there were only three of us so there was plenty of room to stretch out. The driver was a compulsive lane changer. I laughed to myself as we often lost positions compared to other more patient cars.

The airport is just like any other.  We were a bit early so Anna bought us a beer. Mine cost about $13. That is more expensive than Rynek Glovny. It was cold though and we did find more expensive

Royal Star Hotel

airport beer later in our trip.

 

Finally we went to the check in gate. The queue was long and there was no staff. Twenty minutes later it opened a little after schedule. They invited people with children to queue jump. This annoys me so much. Kids fly at a discount, disrupt everyone and get special treatment. If I ran the airlines they would board last and be grouped at the very back, or ideally, in the hold.

The aeroplane was a Boeing 737-800. It was badged Fly Egypt. We took off about 21.30. Surprisingly they gave us a sandwich, cake and a mango juice. Later they came around again. This time it was pay per bite. Anna unwittingly asked for a coffee. It was instant muck and cost her 3USD.

The seats in the cabin were fixed and it was impossible to sleep comfortably. We were lucky as there was no one else in our row so we could stretch out a little.

Hurghada

The landing in Hurghada was very smooth and we were off fairly quickly. Inside the terminal we were hit up 25USD for a visa. Of course one little girl was screaming her lungs out as we queued. It was about 2.30am. Our next step was immigration. This was smooth so down to the baggage collection. My bag was there waiting but not Anna’s. It took another quarter of an hour. They left together so I think they had a disagreement on the flight.

We passed through customs and then tried to find Rainbow Tours. Nothing. Nada. Emptiness.

Pool

We walked out of the terminal and not much more than space and palm trees. Then we spotted a man with a blue clip board. He told us to continue in a straight line and our bus would be on the right. We passed a few more clip board men and boarded a bus for “the people from Katowice”. After a long trip over reasonable roads but myriad speed humps and a stop at one other hotel we arrived at The Royal Star. It was clean and pleasant. They offered us dinner but my fellow travellers declined. I was unimpressed. We had not really

Red Sea

had anything in 12 hours.  Anna asked for a meal in our room and we were given a plate of rolls later.

Dinner

The room was typical. Two three quarter beds, a bench, some chairs and a bathroom. The air conditioner was a little noisy but worked. We were told the water is not potable. We were finally in bed at 3.30pm.

The next day we lazed around, enjoying a swim in the Red Sea. Unfortunately the bottom was very rocky and difficult on the feet so I needed thongs which was not a great solution. We returned to the hotel pool which was much nicer. Later we relaxed with a beer. Anna asked what they had and when they said Stella we were pretty pleased. Sadly it turned out to be local Stella! Good but not Belgian. We paid a little extra for a decent lunch. Dinner was included and we took advantage of the climate eat by the pool.

Hurghada

Hurghada was a small fishing village but was thrust into prominence in the early days of Red Sea tourism, especially for scuba diving. It is in the original Egyptian resort strip. It is now aging and has been plagued by overdevelopment and poor environmental management.  The reefs close to shore have been destroyed.  It is now just a 20k long concrete band along the coastline. Rampant construction has left the town blighted by half-finished shells of buildings that were expected to become pleasure palaces but never did.

Enjoying a Stella

Hurghada was also our introduction to the Egyptian fetish for speed humps. They leave Andrew Barr’s pathetic Canberra models in the dust. Here vehicles virtually stop and then crawl over them. They can be as close as a few hundred meters apart.

Tomorrow we will start our discovery of the Egyptian treasures.