Our best holiday yet has to be our Egypt family holiday last winter.
It was freezing cold in the desert, temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius, but most of the flights to Australia were on business class.
As a frequent traveller, I am well aware that Egypt holidays come in all shapes and sizes and this experience was no exception.
First thing I noticed was the seating arrangement in the plane was a mess, there was no obvious place for seats to sit.
The layout was confusing, there were no toilets in the first class cabin and everyone shared beds in the cabin taxis.
I felt uncomfortable and I was wondering why everyone was sleeping in the same cabin.
Looking back I realise that most people were either very generous (through generous tips) or had no need for such luxury.
I made a point of speaking to a few people on the plane who were travelling on their own.
It was clear that even though they were travelling on a tight budget, they were not spending their money on western foods.
Many of the waiters in the restaurants were highly paid and earned their money through tips.
I noticed that their Wardrobe department was almost bare, which I thought was interesting as generally everything in Egypt is so extravagant.
I found a great contrast with our western world, where almost everyone strive to wear the same old worn out clothes.
I hoped that our Egypt experience would be one of the best family holidays we have ever experienced, but it didn’t disappoint.
Even before we arrived at the airport to leave, we were sold the “historical mystery” of the tomb of Tutankhamun.
The story was interesting and at times frightening. I felt that it could be a pyramid scheme or a con.
Anyway, the boarding call for the planes had been moved forward so that the plane was flying towards the pyramids.
Somehow as we were about to leave the airport we were unsure if we were heading towards the pyramids or somewhere else.
The plane seemed to be on its side, with its nose resting on the ground and its wings stretching out in a 90 degree angle.
Shortly before the last passengers boarded, one of the flight attendants appeared and announced that the plane was going to drop down into a Plane Stub.
There were some panic attacks from some of the passengers who felt that the plane was descending into their airplane.
The Plane Stub was a large overhead compartment in the lower deck of the plane.
There were many rows of seats that had been original in the manufacture of the aircraft and they were all unselved.
After the pauses in the crowd at the gates at the final stage, the plane started to descend slowly.
Each passenger was issued a card that identified which of the passengers were first, second and third on the plane.
I became anxious once again as the descending started, I had to get off as the surging noise got to me and I was afraid I would get pushion.
I got down from my perch, I could see the ground was now beneath us and I was surrounded by a garden of pyramidal structures.
Within a count of a few seconds all of us got surrounded by the ravishing display of power displayed by the pyramids of Giza.
The tour over, over the course of which we saw most of the Great Sphinx and the majority of the King’s mortuary temples, was over in about twenty minutes.
And then we had to come back through visa and customs. My agent in Hong Kong, pick up one of the representative offices and return to pick up the rest of our group going to the Egypt in the November-December 2003 season.
To be continued …