Having caught a mid-afternoon train from Cairo to Alexandria, in a carriage that would put any Thameslink train to shame, we arrived at our hotel. A remarkable, high ceilinged, Parisian style building that has been overlooking the harbour since the early 20th Century. (Pictures to follow!).
The following day we met the agent who would be assisting with Melvin’s clearance through customs. With the agent’s clear knowledge of how the bureaucratic machine functioned, we successfully navigated bustling hordes of paper-waving people to gain the three stamps required to free Melvin from the port (after a long clearance process…).
While the congested offices may have suffered from a lack of air conditioning, we were fortunate that our hotel was well equipped to deal with the 35 degree heat. However, I do fear James may have become slightly too accustomed to the luxury it offers given that, yesterday, upon returning to the hotel, I entered a “chilled” (to say the least) room to find him reading a book on his bed, with a jumper on, and the A/C set at 16C!
While our main adventure has not yet begun, we have both been tremendously grateful to the many Egyptians who have assisted us in our journey so far; often stepping in to translate as we find ourselves losing a game of charades whenever a barrier in communication arises. Beyond the miming we’ve tried to adopt some local traits, such as the ‘Egyptian wave’. This is a hand motion that enables you to fearlessly cross 4 lanes of oncoming traffic unscathed, to a cacophony of hooting that resembles the auditions of a beginner brass ensemble.