We were able to sleep and wake up without an alarm which was lovely. L woke up with a bit of a stuffy nose. But it seems to be nothing more than that for now. R is still fighting through the cold junk in the mornings.
We had breakfast which was fine, again staff wasn’t blatantly ignoring us. Just perhaps favoring the locals. Whether it matters or not we do seem to be the only Westerners at this hotel.
After breakfast we go back to the room and pack up. We are headed to the baptismal site of Jesus and then onto the airport in Amman. We fly from Amman, Jordan to Cairo, Egypt and then on to Luxor.
The drive to the baptismal site goes smoothly. Neither Ty nor I researched this so we assumed we’d just drive up, take a photo and go on. But it’s a whole tourist site. You ride a bus into the military zone where you can access the Jordan River. Then walk around the area and visit an Orthodox Church.
After the dip in the river we hit up the museum/gift shop and waited for the us back to our car. This all took almost an hour which was longer than we expected so we hustled out of there and Ty drove as quick as he could for the airport.
We got to the airport about 2 hours before our flight and had to loop through the airport twice because we couldn’t believe the rental car return situation. We asked several guys standing around and you literally parked your car at the curb in the ‘rental car area’ and you just leave it! Keys in it and everything!
So we did, and hustled inside. It took a while to get through initial security, check in, then passport checks, and security again. We figured we had 20 minutes to grab some food and drinks from the lounge. The lounge had pizza, and a frozen ice cream machine. It was wonderful! Then we zipped off to our gate since it was open and boarding according to our tickets.
However when we got to our gate we noticed there wasn’t a plane, no staff around. It was way too quiet. We started to stress a bit but also realized that there were several flights from Cairo to Luxor in the evening so we wouldn’t be totally stuck.
We sat there for about 30 minutes after our departure time before our plane showed up. We were flying Egypt air this time. We finally get on our flight about 45 minutes after we were supposed to be departed. We land in Cairo and rush to get off our flight. We get to the passport check since we’re in a new country and it says something about going to a bank first. That makes no sense and we see no bank so we wait in the passport line. Sure enough we get to the front finally and we need to go to a bank and buy a passport stamp. This makes no sense!
Ty goes out and past the passport area to locate the bank. Why would you have to go past the passport area?! At this point our plane is suppose to be boarding and we’re no where close to making it. I talk to a staff member and he says that this whole tour group is trying to make our flight so they won’t leave without out.
Speaking of this tour group, there are about 30+ of them, and their guides are with them. Their guides didn’t know anything about the sticker either, and all were turned away from the passport area. This system was so frustrating, and made no sense! Why have everyone wait in line before turning them away? Why not have a staff member guiding people prior to the passport area?!
We finally get our stamps, and get through the passport line, when we get to the x-ray security guy. Because there is only one guy running it. He was so bizarre! He was trying to interact with the kids, telling R she was so beautiful. At the same time he wanted every kindle and iPad out of our bags. He digs through my bag, and pulls out my book. Telling me my book is too big and I should have pulled out my phone as well. He then decides Ty needs a pat down. It was just another weird situation on top of several at that point.
We run to our gate and the staff sees us and hustles us through telling us that we’re the last people and we need to move fast. We get on the plane and we’re in seats 22 and 23 so we’re envisioning the back of the plane. NOPE! The rows start at 20 and so we’re right behind first class.
We then sit on the plane for another 30 minutes for the tour group to catch the flight. No one seemed concerned the flight left an hour after it was scheduled. They finally made an announcement right before we take off about the delay. Can’t say we’re super impressed with Egypt Air at this point.
Land in Luxor at 7pm and our guide isn’t in sight. Neither are our bags. After about 30 minutes we see a whole herd of people going into a different area. So Ty by now has borrowed someone else’s guide to call our guide. For some reason our guide can’t come into the airport so Ty goes out to see if he can help us find out bags. However, once Ty is outside the airport they won’t let him back in. So now it’s up to the kids and I to find our bags.
Finally several men seem to want to be helpful and guide us to an international baggage area where ours are the last bags. They help us get through the final security check and push it outside for us to meet up with Ty and the guide. They of course are now pushing for a tip since they helped us.
It’s nice to finally meet the driver and our guide. They take us right to our hotel, it’s now 9pm. The kids are equally exhausted and starving for dinner. We check in and then head out to the pool restaurant for a quick meal of sliders and falafel before we tuck everyone into bed at 10pm. It was a very long and unexpectedly emotional day.