Tuesday, 12 November
Searching for flights was interesting. Whenever I tried to book a flight from Washington to Hurghada, Egypt, there were at least two plane changes. Finally, I figured out that I could fly nonstop to Munich and then fly to Hurghada with two separate round trip tickets, shorter flight times and less cost. So the plan is to fly overnight to Munich, spend Wednesday night in Kaufbeuren, then head to the airport Thursday with Nicole. After trying unsuccessfully to coordinate flights, we will be flying about an hour apart and will meet up at the Coral Garden Resort in Safaga.
Thursday – a new country – a new continent! My introduction to Egypt will be at the Hurghada airport. Should be a smaller airport than Cairo. From the Hurghada airport, I catch a transfer to the dive resort, about an hour drive. I am not sure if it is a car or a bus. I will find out. Coral Garden is about 20 km (12 miles) south of the closest town, Safaga. The location is pretty remote with another sister hotel nearby and not much else. Breakfast and dinner are included in the room rate. I’ve been told the food is acceptable but Western style and not Egyptian style. There is no where to go eat anyway. There is a seven hour time difference, later, than the east coast. I understand that there will be some internet access in Egypt. I am unsure of the speed of the connection. I expect that I will be able to update my journal but do not know if I will be able to post photos while there.
For diving, the reef is in front of the resort and you walk into the sea, no boat rides needed. I have a GoPro clone to use underwater. I am not sure if I will be able to edit or upload those until I get back. Hopefully, some cool reef videos. If the sea grass is still there, the possibility exists of seahorses and dugongs (related to manatees). I expect the rest of the sea life to be similar to what I remember in Florida.
It was dark, cold and windy for the ride to the airport. Dolora dropped me off with a hug and a kiss and a “Stay safe”. It was about 7:30 pm. Dulles was as quiet as I have ever seen. I checked in and was assigned an aisle seat. There were no lines at security and I was hoping the plane would not be full. The Airbus 350 has nine seats across, three groups of three. My aisle seat was in the middle group.
I was flying Lufthansa and the boarding started promptly at 10:00 for the 10:30 flight. There were lots of empty seats but my row was full. Immediately after the door closed, the two guys in my row moved. Wonderful! I had three seats to myself. Turkey and stuffing was served for dinner and then everyone settled in for an eight hour flight. Dinner had something I have not seen in a while, real silverware, not plastic. I thought metal silverware was banned from airplanes. I guess not. I tried to get some sleep and was pretty successful. We will see how I feel tomorrow.