A historic flight along the Nile

Late last year, I was tweeting with Tom Fletcher, Britain’s ambassador to Lebanon – that’s the great thing about Twitter, it’s such a leveller: anyone can tweet with anyone. He mentioned in passing that his great-grandfather took part in the first-ever aeroplane flight along the River Nile, exactly one hundred years ago. That sounded like…

Read Full Post

Chaos theory

Chaos theory

Aerial shot of a particularly messy car park, right? Almost. That is, in fact, the main Nile Corniche road running north-south through central Cairo, as seen from my hotel balcony earlier this year. I watched for ages. Try and figure out what each driver is trying to do. Such spirit. Such a delicate dance between…

Read Full Post

Postcard from Qena

Postcard from Qena

The Independent‘s sister paper, the i, has a daily “Postcard From…” strand. A month ago I wrote a short “Postcard from Qena” (a city in southern Egypt) for them, with a mini-profile of the dynamic but controversial local governor. I heard nothing back – and what with all the, er, changes in Egypt I thought it had…

Read Full Post

Hope Floats – a cruise up the Nile

Hope Floats – a cruise up the Nile

“Hope Floats” is the title Wanderlust have given to my article about the revived ‘long cruise’ along the Nile between Cairo and Luxor, published in the current issue (July/Aug 2013). I’m posting the text below – but they’ve done a beautiful job on layout, with lots of striking images, spread over 12 pages. Here’s a…

Read Full Post

Watching the watchers

Watching the watchers

I just got back from a cruise up the Nile in Egypt. These have long been a common tourist fixture in the south, between Luxor and Aswan, but it’s been almost twenty years since cruise ships have been seen in Middle Egypt, between Cairo and Luxor. So when people on the banks caught sight of…

Read Full Post

Is Egypt safe for tourists?

Is Egypt safe for tourists?

[UPDATE – 3 July 2013: Since May, when I wrote this post, the situation in Egypt has changed for the worse. However, I’m not providing updated info on this page. Read on for a general overview of travel safety in Egypt, but also follow the news, ask travel companies and check your governmental travel advisory…

Read Full Post

Grand Hotels of Egypt

Grand Hotels of Egypt

Just a brief heads-up about a new book due out shortly. Grand Hotels of Egypt looks like an absolute stunner – large format, packed with photos, and written by a genuine expert. Journalist and writer/editor Andrew Humphreys (who, I’m delighted to disclose, has commissioned numerous stories from me for numerous magazine titles over the years)…

Read Full Post