I've more or less given up on travel stories because they are all pretty much the same, but this one may be of interest to those who have children and are planning to take them on a visit to the Nile valley. The solution of these parents was to split the holiday between the Nile Valley and the Red Sea coast.
A friend back home had warned us against making the standard assumption about our children's behaviour; a school project on Howard Carter or a passing interest in Cleopatra is no kind of preparation for the heat, crowds, accented commentaries and plain hassle that trailing around Egypt's antiquities tends to entail. "One pylon in," the friend promised, "one statue of Horus and they'll be turning fractious."
We plan our holiday accordingly, the two generations taking part in tough horse-trading to negotiate a settlement. The parents will have their time in Upper Egypt, getting their hit of antiquities, as long as the children get their spell on the beach.
Until last year, this would have meant submitting to the delay-prone military convoy whereby all visitors were ferried between the Nile Valley and the Red Sea. With the recent lifting of that particular aggravation, amid a general easing of the region's security situation, our two-centre arrangement merely entails a straightforward transfer across the Eastern Desert.