So the day has finally come! We are flying to Istanbul tomorrow night, via Cairo.
And, once again, I haven’t yet packed a suitcase, but our flight is only late tomorrow night, which gives us loads of time to pack?
The last few weeks have been quite stressful. As I mentioned, Bianca is going on a European tour and if you ever thought getting a Schengen visa was a schlep, try getting one for your 17 year old daughter going on a school tour! It doesn’t help that the South African government decided to show how advance they are in curbing child trafficking (a good thing) by introducing new regulations that are confusing and adds bureaucracy to the process (a bad thing). So after filling in hundreds of forms (okay, that may be an overstatement) and three separate consent forms, she finally managed to get a visa. And I just received a notification from the Flight Status app (yup, I am that paranoid mom), that her flight is on its way.
On Thursday I also received an email from the travel agent indicating that our flight on Monday from Cairo to Istanbul has been delayed. My initial reaction was annoyance and I told the agent how this is costing us half a day in Turkey (which I was planning on spending exploring the local neighbourhood and maybe doing some warm up shopping).
A little bit later (after calming down a tad) I checked our new fight schedule and realised that we would now have an almost 9 hour layover in Cairo, enough for a sneaky visit to the Pyramids of Giza! A few emails later (and the equivalent of probably at least a fancy leather jacket from Istiklal street), we have a private tour booked departing from Cairo airport. Anya seems to be more excited by this development than the prospect of seeing the Hagia Sophia, must be a teenager thing!
Me, I am as excited as a little girl before Christmas. I can’t wait to explore the 1500+ year old Grand Bazaar, buy spices in the Spice Market, try the local cuisine, take in the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque and if possible buy myself a beautiful kelim!
But, what I am most excited about is delving into a new culture, overindulging my senses with ancient fragrances, sights, colours, sounds and tastes that I will remember for the rest of my life!
But for now, I still have some packing to do, and loads of little odds and ends before I can sit back and relax in my aeroplane seat!
Love and excitement, G x