The big day has finally arrived and I find I'm wandering around T2 at Heathrow with a stupid smile on my face. After many months of working it out, keeping my fingers crossed and trying hard not to get ahead of myself in case it didn't happen, I'm actually going to Egypt. First Cairo, staying at the incredible-looking Mena House Hotel (note: not my photo. Some people have swimming pools or BBQs in their backyards – this place has the Pyramids), then down to Luxor to board a week-long Nile cruise, courtesy of Orbital Travel. It's the kind that takes you to the Valley of the Kings AND the Queens, where add-ons include a pre-dawn-departure excursion to Abu Simbel and in between you get to relax in comfort and ease. That kind of cruise. Even though I'm on my way, I sort of can't believe that by this evening I'll be there.
Some places become myth-like in our psyches. Certainly Greece was for me, after reading all those myths as a child. And Egypt also holds that kind of place in my mind. Ever since I was a child and was taken to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC on a regular basis (thanks, Mom!), where we'd wander around the Egyptian halls, marvelling at the mummies. And then later they brought in, stone by stone, the Temple of Dendur and rebuilt it in a vast, stone-clad room with its own stream and soaring ceiling height, in an effort to recreate the environment where it came from. Well, yes, you could say it captured my imagination – along, no doubt, with the imaginations of all the other little NYC kids who came and gawped.
So, now I'm going to the source. Excited? Curious? A little... nervous? Sure, all those things. But I have a feeling the universe is going to be kind and show me an extraordinary time. Egypt, here I come!