I’ve been having a chilled out week back home in Yorksestershire. Fairly subdued New Years celebrations last night, due to many friends choosing to do something different from the usual. “What?? What d’you mean you don’t want to get together and get drunk?”. Bah! Everyone’s getting old. I still managed to guzzle quite a few beers washed down with quite a few glasses of bubbly.
My older sister lost in our little competition for who would be the first to not show up to the family Christmas. Guess that means the world is my oyster next year. I no longer need to feel compelled to be here. But I always enjoy Christmas here. It always involves lots of food, and is usually a reasonably chilled out experience if you ignore the family arguments. This year we brought Grandma up to Yorkshire with us which probably made us all argue slightly less.
Before coming back for Christmas we had a holiday in Egypt. We decided to sneak that one in there since Francine is currently out of work, and we were both feeling the need for some warm sunshine. We had a fair bit of that, plus snorkeling on the red sea, a Cruise on the Nile, and visits to the pyramids and many other ancient Egyptian temples.
We found it to be quite a culture shock dealing with taxi drivers and the people selling stuff in Egypt. Of course you know about these things from reading a description, but going through the process of haggling and the worry of whether you’re getting a sensible price for something was surprisingly stressful. After a while it felt like we got better at it, and almost enjoyed it at times, but at first it was quite unpleasant. The best example of this was a taxi driver who was so determined to demand extra money from us that Francine resorted to flinging open the doors while it was speeding down the motorway to force him to stop while we discussed it! It’s a shame I only studied my wikitravel printout in detail after this happened (excellent information about Cairo taxis)
Luckily we’d booked onto a guided tour for most of the Holiday. I imagine you could have a fairly miserable holiday doing stressful transactions for every meal and every mode of transport if you decided to go it alone, or maybe I’m just not adventurous enough. In any case the guided tours of all the temples were excellent. Two Egyptians talked us through about ten different temples and other sights. They were obviously very knowledgeable (qualified Egyptologists) This was travel talk booked via travelmood.