Near and Far



Unfocused – weekly photo challenge

I don’t usually keep photos that turn out to be not what I expected, but rummaging around for something for the weekly photo challenge, which incidentally is a great place to meet new people, I came across these two shots.  The one of the flowers is a bit blurry round the edges and I’m not sure whether is counts as unfocused, the other is a view of Cairo from the Citadel and is certainly not the view I thought I was capturing.  Anyway, see what you think……

Indulge – Weekly Photo Challenge

My first thoughts were of chocolate or a long laze in a bath full of soft scented bubbles……

Then I looked through my photographs to see what indulgences I could find there and it’s not always what you have in mind that jumps out at you from the screen. So, here are my photos for this week:

I love Sushi and I have never seen so much in one place at one time…….


I had dreamed of going to Egypt ever since my first history lesson and in 2008 my dream came true. After spending days in the baking sun, taking in the wonderful sights and sounds of temples, the bustle of the soukhs and markets, we stared in awe at the pyramids…….

and ended our stay here, almost a shame to cause a ripple….

But I couldn’t end without some chocolate…………..


Go on, have a piece, I have……………yum

PS. If you want the recipe, let me know 🙂

Down the Nile in style!

For years we talked of taking a trip to Egypt – it’s been on the list for ages, you know the “let’s write down all the places that we want to visit and see how many we get to”  list.  It had to include a trip down the Nile though, to fulfill all those childhood tales of pharohs and pyramids, of desert and mystery!

After reading lots of brochures, talking to friends who had done similar trips and hearing their tales of things that had gone wrong, we decided to push the boat out (no pun intended) and we booked a holiday with Cox and Kings. We flew to Cairo and had two nights at the Mena House Oberoi hotel in Giza, I was told that I would be able to see the pyramids from there and was disappointed when we arrived to find I couldn’t see anything. “Wait till morning ma’am” said Mohammed our guide,” you’ll see pyramid”.  As you will see from the photos, he was right and then some!

The Mena House is a fabulous hotel, standing in 40 acres of beautifully tended gardens, in the shadow of the great pyramids.  I was proudly told by the duty manager that the hotel had entertained countless heads of state and many, many film stars and, looking around me, I could quite believe him.  I had hoped that we would have a room in the old part of the hotel, but our garden wing room was just lovely.  The staff were kind, courteous and very friendly and were delighted when they saw how pleased we were with everything.

We had a trip to the pyramids and learnt again all the things about them that we thought we already knew; the Museum in Cairo was unbelieveable.  They have more artefacts stored in cupboards, cellars, spare rooms and under benches than they have officially on display. I have never seen so many ancient, beautiful treasures anywhere before. There is no air conditioning, or if there is it wasn’t working the day we visited and because of all the hundreds of people milling around, the place gets very, very hot.  Then on the The Citadel. Standing on top of a limestone crag, looking out over the city of Cairo, the building takes your breath away. It was a governor’s pavillion many centuries ago, built to take adavantage of the cooling breezes that wafted round the hilltop; then Saladdin fortified it to prevent attacks by the Crusaders. Today, it houses many museums and is home to the Mohammed Ali Mosque.  The views from the walls are quite spectacular.

Leaving Cairo behind, we flew to Luxor to join our boat the Oberoi Zahra . We were told that we would cruise the Nile in luxury and we did! The cabins were amazing and so was the freshly prepared food.  There is a spa on board and a swimming pool on the top deck. There are just 25 cabins and 2 suites all with panoramic views of the Nile, the service was outstanding.  An Egyptologist travelled with us and he led the daily excursions to the Temples of Luxor, Karnak, Dendara, and the Valley of the Kings.  For seven wonderful days, we cruised from Luxor to Aswan, before flying back to Cairo for one night and then home. It is one of the best holidays I have ever had, that I would go again tomorrow says it all I think. 

Pyramid from gardens of Mena House hotel

The Citadel, Cairo

View from the sun deck of Oberoi Zahra


Row of Sphinx at Luxor Temple


View of the Nile


Street market Luxor


Street market Luxor