Back to Cairo

Old and new

My last few days of 3 weeks in Alexandria were spent for the most part in praying and catching up on unread authors. The news, received by phone, that my new passport was ready for collection at the British Embassy in Cairo jolted a shot of excitement through me like a greyhound at a race start. The knowledge I was still in need of a Libyan visa over the Eid (end of Ramadan) holiday weekend stopped me at the first corner of the race.

The day I headed the wrong way, south of Cairo, was the day I had planned to be returning home to Britain. Instead I was on the 8.30 Super Jet coach. The coach follows the desert highway. I don’t see very much along the way, just the usual highway barriers, fences and scrubby trees. We reach the outskirts of Cairo (40km from the centre) in 2.5 hours. It takes another half an hour to reach anywhere useful the traffic is so bad.

Everyone seems to want me to visit the Egyptian museum, with them naturally acting as guide, but I have a much more important job to do in picking up my passport. A long queue but short wait at the embassy gets me there: another 42 pages of blank visa space. Now for the visas to get me home…
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