Kostia and I got back from Egypt last night. There is plenty to say, and I’m still organizing my photos and stuff, so maybe I’ll do it in day-by-day installments with a few words and snapshots from each day.

Day 1

We arrived in Hurghada in the early afternoon, paid $15 for some adhesive stamps in our passport which serve as a visa, and were met by representatives of our travel agent. The two things that surprised me the most were the many Egyptians who spoke Russian, and how scary and intense the desert looked. I’d never been to a real desert before. TV and photos can’t really show you what it’s like to see huge stretches of sand without any vegetation. In the distance, sand was broken by a range of jagged mountains which kept things from looking too depressing and desolate.

Hurghada is a resort town, and we learned later that most everything was newly built within the last five years. Resorts mostly populated by Europeans stretch along the Red Sea coast, and beyond their fences lie only the highway and the desert. Near the airport there are hundreds of half-finished buildings that will supposedly be luxury vacation homes. They looked nice enough, but weren’t very close to the sea, so I’m not sure why someone would want one.

In the van on the way to the hotel, Mohamed from the travel company immediately went to work on us, trying to sell us excusions. He succeeded in getting us to sign up for a one-day trip to Cairo and the pyramids.

Our hotel was 35km from the airport, but very lovely, and our room had a nice balcony overlooking the parking lot of a neighboring resort, though if you leaned a bit you could see a bit of the sea in one direction and the mountains and desert in the other.

I’m trying to post some photos, but Blogger is being stupid…