We arrived in the dark
Hurghada Travel Blog› entry 2 of 29 › view all entries
Arriving in Egypt
I had not feared Hurghada airport and I still don't think I should. Airports in countries where salaries are low can sometimes be a bureaucratic nightmare.
We landed around 8pm local time on a Saturday evening and un-boarding the airplane went smoothly; we had to go down to the awaiting busses that would take us to main airport building. Once we entered the doors the fun started. On the plane we had all filled out our local entry paper, which by the way never was controlled thoroughly, it was now time to use those well spent 5 minutes.
At the entry an all dressed up guy was standing pointing to us that we had to go to the 3 last rows towards a wall to get our entry Visa. We all lined up and after 15 minutes we got our stamp in the passport. Babs and I had to pay 16 euro each, so bring $ because they only charged 15 US dollar. The dollar is for some reason still thought after in Egypt.
We had now to go the other way to enter the country and deliver our stamped papers and get another stamp in the passport. Next step happen just after we had passed this, because there was another control; just to check; I don't know what, but I think it was the former control.
The baggage was naturally already there, but we had advanced through the airport faster than expected, anyway faster than I had feared.
We had not changed any money in to the local Egyptian pound but we were pretty sure that we could get a local taxi to drive for us in euro. We knew that we were about 30 - 45 minutes drive from El Gouna that was our destination.
We left the main build in what mostly could be described as a building site. There were no indications of a taxi area, so we split up in order to find one. By chance one empty taxi luckily stopped in front of me and it turned out that he was free; free to make a bargain.
It was an old Toyota Corolla that would have been dead in Europe a couple of decades earlier, and maybe it was. The taxidriver was willing to take us to El Gouna for 30 euro which I felt was okay; if he was delighted he kept his smile inside.
We stuffed our luggage in the trunk and got in the back seat. I quickly felt that his suspension was gone but it was probably some thousands of kilometres ago. Inside his dashboard had grown hair or it looked like it. He had a fury grey carpet to cover it; for God knows which reason. He was a friendly man speaking only few phrases in English, which we tried all of.
The road was mostly nice but the numerous bumps and the lack of suspension made us taste the ceiling a couple of times even though he did what he could to avoid them. Entering at the El Gouna area he had to stop at a gate manned by 8 persons and there the taxi driver had to hand over his ID to get in.
After some questions too many of the guards walking the area we finally managed to find the Club Med where we were expected.
In the hotel one super friendly guy; Mahmud took our luggage and carried it to the reception where we got a cold wet towel to cool our face and a glass of cold fruit juice; it was a good start. They gave us our rooms but said that we should go to the restaurant straight away, because it was closing in 30 minutes and we could always check in to the rooms afterwards.
Mahmud took us to the restaurant where we got a first taste of the huge buffet for the first time. In the Club Med they have even pushed the hour line one further hour in order to get more out of the day. We finished our diner and had some trouble finding back to the reception on the enormous campus.
We found back and again Mahmud took care of us and showed us back to our rooms. The rooms were really nice and right out to one of the 3 pools and with a nice terrace. My room was large with a nice deep red touch as main theme. Two beds and a huge closet wall with safe including the best insurance I have seen, beside that a fairly large bathroom. It was a great room for the coming ten days.
We got settled and gave us ten minutes before heading towards the bar. The bar was free as almost everything else here. Mojito’s and G&T were to become a good part of my time in El Gouna.