Breakfast was a leisurely affair, not quite as tasty as on the ship, but acceptable – plenty of cakes. Not being full board we were officially rationed to one cup of tea each, but still could knock back as much orange juice as we liked. The food was buffet and largely continental and most of the dinner provisions looked remarkably like chunks of wall paper paste. I ate a lot of chicken and rice this week.
Breakfast out the way and already the shaded parts of the poolside were occupied. I had more urgent business, buying water. Sure enough a quick sweltering five minute walk through the hotel took you to a collection of small shops. The main concern was the small grocers with true to form, not only the identical water as sold within the hotel, but a variety of others including many labelled; aqua. The place was full of Italians!!! Still, was not going to let a lot of Eyeties spoil the relaxation part of the trip. Pity I had not learned any Italian swear words on my travels, I hate to leave people out, maybe next time. Still I could always shout in German and terrify them into unconditional surrender.
There were three pools in the hotel. The higher one fronted onto the bar and the lower one had a fountain come island in the middle and off to the right was a smaller paddling pool for those too scared to even wade through a pool. None of them had any great depth and you were certain to crack your head with all but the shallowest dive, but they were designed primarily to cool off in and this they did splendidly.
I noticed one brazen hussy was lounging at the side of the smaller pool topless. Of course I found this disgusting and gave her a good hard look to show my disproval. Annette elbowed me in the ribs before I had chance to explain. Sadly this woman was one of many encountered in the hotel and on the beach. If only I could have spoken Italian I would not have had to give so many long disapproving looks!
Now to give you the idea of the quality of female around the poolside and the resort in general, it could have featured quite easily in the category of; if Carlsberg did package holidays….. Not that I noticed any of this of course, apart from the odd look of shock every five minutes or so.
I must digress here for a slight moment to discuss the merits of national arses. Now I thought me and Oliver had caught the cream of the crop climbing up the Victory Tower in Berlin, but how wrong can you be. There were also a smattering of French and German young women staying in the hotel and whilst idly lounging at the poolside I happened by chance to be a opportune height for observing the wiggle factor and I have to say that the Italians have it by a country mile. If there was an Olympic event for the best looking bottom, Italy would get all three medals. The only one I saw over the two weeks to compare was that of the fair Irish maiden and sadly she was long gone.
Anyway, I was restricted to lounging around the first day as I had left my trunks baking on the side of the pool in Luxor. Luke offered me back the pair I lent him but somehow I just could not face wearing those again. As we planned to visit Naama Bay, the touristy town, it would simply be waiting until the evening and a quick bit of bartering to get me back in action.
Vanessa and Dan were planning a more wild youthful night out in the casinos and discos until the early morning, so we went of on our first night with Sean in search of swim trunks and beer not necessarily in that order. Bob and family were still in Cairo and the news was full of rioting on the streets because of elections.
The minibus took us to the edge of the town and it all had the feel of Las Vegas. All the way there we were passing flashing neon signs of gambling dens, bowling alleys etc. The kerbs in Egypt are pretty much the height of a small Labrador so it is quite tricky getting down and back up the other side when the traffic is moving like it is in a formula 1 race. What a bizarre type of traffic. One minute there are hundreds of taxis crawling along plying for trade and the next they are all tearing off at breakneck speed to get to the similar bottleneck on the other side of the road.
More by luck than judgement we all made it across and headed down the main street. The central part was lined with open air restaurants, bubble pipe smoke parlours and bars. We had only gone about 100 yards fighting off all the shop keepers when we reached the Promised Land; ice cold beers for 50p. We did eventually get into a swim store and purchase some trunks, but that’s another story.
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