I just returned yesterday from Egypt, it was one of my greatest trips. I flew on Egypt Air all the way, it's quite a good airline, not the best in the world but a good one among African carriers.
I flew almost two weeks ago from Paris Orly to Cairo, the capital of Egypt. I was expecting an Airbus A340 on that flight but at the last moment before boarding I saw that it was a 747 in the new color scheme, a 300 baptised Cleopatra. I said to myself, it can't be. It's gotta be an Airbus, either an A300 or an A340. But it was, it was a Boeing 747, one of the 2 300's that Egypt Air operates. The flight was full. I board the aircraft and take my window seat. So we leave Paris in the afternoon, we climb to our cruising altitude of 33000ft. One bour after leaving Paris, it was getting already dark. We fly over Cannes, a city in the French Riviera South of France. Dinner was served: beef and gravy, peas and roasted potatoes. Not bad. A map of the Mediteranian Sea was displayed with an aircraft showing the progress of our flight. We continue towards Italy, Greece and then we head South towards Cairo. Descent into Cairo was smooth, we land at 1000PM local time. Cairo is Egypt Air's hub.
I was in Cairo for a couple of days, it's a very big city. I visited the Cairo Egyptian Museum for a couple of hours in the afternoon and the following day I went to see the Sphynx and the three major Pyramids: Keops, Kephren and Mykerynos. Very interesting to see, especially Keops. I also got to ride on a Camel. I ate molouheha there, it's an Egyptian soup which you eat with rice. It's delicious. I also ate hummus and a lots of Egyptian food. Meat in Egypt is very good but you have to eat it well done, it is not recommended to eat raw vegetables and drink tap water. Oriental cakes are great. Have you ever had Baklava?
The following day early in the morning, I flew to Aswan on an Airbus A320, which was full, in the old colors. I had an aisle seat and I was given breakfast consisting just of one croissand and coffee. It was the first time in my life I flew on an A320, I like it. Scheduled departure time was 700AM, flying from Cairo to Aswan is about one hour flight. In Aswan I visted the Philae temple as well and the dam of Aswan. Then I took a cruise on a ship for three days over the Nasser Lake. I finished my boat trip at Abu Simbel in Southern Egypt just above the Sudan border. In Abu Simbel, I visited the famous Ramses temple.
I got up very early in the morning to see the sunrise, then I flew back to Aswan on an A321, which was full, in the new colours. The A321 I was on was new, it was clean and we were shown the progress of the flight on map displayed on a TV screen. Flying time from Abu Simbel to Aswan was just 30 minutes, we were given a fruit juice and like I just explained some flight info even on a very short flight. We flew at 12000ft. I was sick because I ate bad vegetables the night before but I enjoyed the flight anyway. So we landed in Aswan a half hour after take off, I visited the Nubian Museum as well as the gardens surrounding the museum. At the end of the day, I flew from Aswan to Luxor on an A300 which was almost empty. I had a window seat. This was the shortest flight of my life, only 25 minutes from take off to touch down. We flew at 12000ft, it was dark outside, weather was crystal clear. Nothing was served, not even a drink! I saw in Aswan a Boeing 707 of Luxor Air, I was really hoping I was going to fly on it but no I had to fly Egypt Air so I didn't fly on a 707. So I land smoothly in Luxor on RWY 20, I pick up my luggage and go to my hotel near the Nile River. I had dinner there, served on a buffet, in an ambiance of African music. It was fun.
The next day, I visited the Karnak and Luxor temples. It was interesting to see the big columns and all the sphynxes aligned. I also saw the obelisque with all hyeroglyphs (Egyptian writing) written on it. The day after, I visited Deir Al Madina temple which is where there was the terrorist attack two or three years ago and finally the Valley of the Kings where Toutankamon, Ramses and Thoutmoses were buried. I went on a cruise for one hour on the Nile River at the end of the day, it was a nice way to finish my trip before flying back to Paris early the next day.
The final day of the trip, I left Luxor very early in the morning. My flight was scheduled to leave at 715AM local time. It was again a 747-300 dressed in the new colours. And guess what? It was the exact same aircraft I was on when I flew to Cairo, the one baptised Cleopatra. Egypt Air has 2 747's, one baptised Cleopatra and the other one baptised Hatshepsut. Luxor's airport is a small but there are sometimes two 747's on the tarmac at the same time, one parked next to the other! So I board the aircraft a bit late, at 730AM. The flight was full, not one seat was left empty. I had a window seat, just over the wing. We left Luxor out of RWY 02, more than one hour late. We made a left turn , we pass the Nile River just where my hotel was and we climb on our way to our initial cruising altitude of 35000ft. We flew over the Valley of the Kings which I had seen the day before, I had a very nice view of the desert during the flight. Oh it was great. Northern Africa is great for its deserts. So we crossed the Mediteranian Sea, breakfast was served but I didn't take it, it was a croissant with a cup of coffee. We headed towards Sicilia, an island in Southern Italy, we flew near the coast of Italy on the Thyrenian Sea all the way up to Switzerland. We climbed up to 39000ft.Lunch was served, it was the exact same menu: peas, roasted potatoes with beef and gravy. I had a spectacular view of the Alps, Paris was one hour away. The items were collected and then we started our descent towards Paris Orly. Weather was all the way partly cloudy. We land in Paris exactly at 1210 local time, flying time from take off to touch down was 4 hrs and 45 min. Ten minutes later, the aircraft had come to a complete stop in the middle of the tarmac. So I got off the aircraft and went to the terminal to clear the French customs and pick up my luggage. Paris Orly on Saturday was crazy, there were lots of tourists coming back from holidays. There were a lot of people in the baggage claim area but I got my luggage quickly. I left the airport, I went downtown to take a train to Brussels. At 500PM, I was home. It was a great trip.
All this explains why you haven't heard from me in the forum for almost two weeks. Nice to see you all.