Saturday, 4 July 2009

Back in the UK

I've just arrived back in the UK and have been able to add all the new posts for the last week. Don't miss reading them. (Start with the oldest first and work your way up to this one last.)

My journey home was something like this:

Friday 21:00 unable to have a shower as no water in the hotel (pump broken.)
22:30 Tried to get some sleep. Did sleep a little, but not much - kept waking up.

Saturday 01:15 Got up, took bags downstairs and was taken, by taxi, to the airport where I breezed through security - they didn't ask to look through my back-pack or cases, breezed through check-in (41kg total in the cases - no excess charge and they didn't notice my carry-on back-pack weighed in at over 12kg!!!) and straight through immigration with my exit visa.

So, not bad so far. It was 02:00, flight due to leave at 04:15.

The flight finally left at 05:10 - I was very tired by now and, like I said I am blanking my emotions quite a lot, so wasn't thinking about whether I am sad or not about going.

Arrived at Cairo 3h30 later and made my way through the checking to get to the connecting flight due to leave at 10:30. Boarded plane on time. By 11:00 they said they were waiting for air traffic control clearance in Europe and there would be a 10 minute delay. Around 11:30 they said that due to a "go-slow" strike by the Athens ATC, there would be a 2 hour delay, and could we get off the plane and go back to the gate. After another 10mins, still no-one had been allowed off the plane and they said that they had been given an alternative route, avoiding Athens airspace and around 12:00, 2h30 late, we took off. I slept on-and-off having now been awake pretty-much since midnight. When I was awake, there were some pretty spectacular views. When we got to the UK, I could clearly see from Margate, down to Dover and across the channel to Calais. While on the outskirts of Cairo I saw, for the first time in real-life, but from a long way away, the pyramids (see photo)

After a short delay to get a gate and a bit of a queue to get through immigration, I collected my luggage, which had joined me on the connecting flight, luckily! and finally met my parents after 10 months.

Within an hour, I was having a drive thru McDonalds, then home. Again, like last time, it was like I had never been away. It's really weird. Anyway, I will stop now, as I am very tired. I'll write more about how I am settling in in a few days.

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