Recently while visiting my daughter in Cairo we went on a trip to two monasteries in the desert. The first was St Antony’s Monastery where the elderly monk was, to say the least, garrulous, and while he was supposed to be telling us about the history of the place, he seemed instead to be trying to convert us despite the obvious mix of religions in the party. We spent so long there that we were late for everything else and ended up having lunch at 4.30 in the afternoon.
Below on the left is a picture of one of the streets in the monastery. It was baking hot and several people, including me, left the party to sit down in the shade, much to the annoyance of the monk showing us round.
There were several small children in the party and they became very fractious besides being thirsty and hungry and who could blame them!
The second monastery was St Paul’s and there, a young novice was our guide. He was excellent and when told we could spend only half an hour there, he rigidly stuck to it.
On the right is a picture of the second guide who spoke excellent English. He had been in the monastery for two and a half years; it takes three years to become a fully fledged member of the monastery.
After we left St Paul’s we had a long journey back to the restaurant where we were having lunch. We were eating al fresco.
The lunch was good and substantial and there were large umbrellas to shade us and a terrific view of the gulf of Suez but by the time we got there I had rather gone off the whole idea.
Another long journey took us to our hotel which was quite luxurious, but it was a long, long walk to our rooms.
Below is part of the sitting room of the hotel. Next to it is the swimming pool at the hotel and next to that the view from
I think this must be the most exhausting “short” trip I have ever been on.