May. 21st, 2009

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Minor hiccup with timings this morning as I had thought that my phone had sync'd to the local time zone, as it had presented me with a message to that effect after arrival, but when we woke and went down to breakfast at the time we had agreed to meet, it turned out to be an hour after. This meant that we had missed breakfast. Except for the kindness of the manager of the main restaurant room we would not have had anything to eat, but he got the serving boys to find us some pastries and rolls from the breakfast stuff they were clearing away as breakfast had just finished. This formed the hallmark of the good natured, helpful Egyptians we met throughout the holiday. As we hadn't turned up for breakfast [livejournal.com profile] dalg and K had gone down to the beach for a swim and a wander around. We met up about an hour or two later.

The hotel has three swimming pools. One main one in the centre courtyard along with a smaller one for what appears to be water polo and a secret one which few people seem to know about, off a corridor on the first floor which Wendy and K. found on the first full day. We went down there for a quick dip and sunbathe but the sun was actually too hot, even at that time in the morning so we decided to roam around the town and see what we could see. I should say that one of the things I like about the two bigger pools is that the depth starts at about 1.4 meters and goes down to 2.3 meters. This is so much better than pools in the UK which appear to be getting shallower and shallower. I never got the chance to check out the water polo pool.

The hotel room was brillant, we got a family room with three beds, only one a double, so no problems if Wendy and I fell out. This is a panorama of the view out of the window.



Everywhere in Hurghada seems to look like a building site which we think is due to the local regulations of not paying tax until the building is complete. So they just never finish it! 

As we were at the front of the hotel there would have been a problem with the traffic noise. Not the actual sound of the traffic passing, but the horns going at all times of the day and night. It will talk more on this particular subject later. However, we were saved by the air conditioner which we kept on at all times. This effectively drowned out all noise from outside the room.

While wandering about the streets we booked a trip into the desert (Saturday) 'cause it sounded interesting and another to Giftun island (Tuesday) which is not far off the coast and a nature reserve. Dalg and I also booked our first day of diving which he has been planning for quite some time and I was still a bit nervous about. I hadn’t been diving since 1997 when I did an Open Water Diving course while on holiday. The streets were difficult to navigate as everyone greeted you, and the natural tendency was to answer. This gave the street sellers an in and you were immediately invited into their shop. We had been warned about this as [livejournal.com profile] dalg  and K had been to Egypt before. But it was still difficult to compensate.

We then went back to the hotel and hung out beside the 1st floor pool reading and occasionally taking a dip and then went down and drank at the reception area bar. Basically we had a hugely lazy day, just right for a chill out holiday. We (or rather the girls) found a little clothing store beside the hotel entrance where we heard some excellent Egyptian music and met Fathy and his musician brother Shahed in their shop June (Don’t ask me why, they didn’t seem to understand either). They were really nice and we spent a long of time with them in the evenings over the next few days.
We originally ventured in there to get me more shorts and they were not too bad on the hard sell. So we used them a lot when we needed things.

We went down to the beach later at Triton Empire beach resort which was part of the same chain as the hotel and we had full access to (along with free drink) where we swam in the Red sea for the first time. Later on in the bar we saw someone pass out from heat stroke which was a bit disconcerting on your first full day on holiday. We (rather [livejournal.com profile] dalg  and I) drank lots and lots of Orange (which turned out to be Fanta) and Lemon (which turned out to be Sprite). The Orange was a virulent, bright Orange colour and has so much sugar in the carbonated water that it started rotting your teeth before you managed drink it. We coined the name “toxic Orange” and started to ask for it by that name by the second day.


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March 2012

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