Spirits rose as we were to board the ferry. There are rumours that the ferry, built for approx. 200 people, normally takes an average of 500 and still is running.
We were passenger number 499 and 500; nearly the last ones – but we did it. Expectations run high when entering the ferry. Especially concerning our 1st class deluxe cabin suite. After some searching we found it. They told us that we were lucky as we got one of the quiet cabins, behind the washrooms. Easy to find, we just had to follow the smell of toilets left in their natural environment of constant use for many years, pass them and there we were: A cabin with 2 beds, no windows (so no danger a crocodile would sneak in) and a huge air conditioner. Unfortunately the pipes of the ac were a little leaky; within minutes they converted our 1st class establishment into a swimming pool with real cold water. Nevertheless, lucky as we were, that did not happen easily because of all the garbage and the dirt on our 1st class floor worked like a sponge, absorbing most of the rusty liquid from the air conditioner. So far, not too much of a problem if there were not these filthy beds. Monika had the solution: another dozen of Baygon insect sprays converted our living mattresses into dead meat. Sleeping bag on it and all ok. So far the cabins – we dreamt of Kilopatra Hotel in Wadi Halfa.
As 1st class passengers we were entitled to a free supper in the 1st class lounge. Maybe we were a little late, maybe also a little early. The lounge was mainly confiscated by some Egyptian immigration officers stamping passports. The remaining space of this exquisite restaurant was filled by a crowd of passengers shouting at each other to get their passports stamped.
Unable to do their job, the waiters and the Sommelier (at least those guys serving water or sugar drinks) have left, so did the cooks. Nevertheless, we managed to find a small 1st class corner to have our delicious dinner. When we found one of the waiters we learned all food finished, cook making new, half hour inshallah. So we were waiting for half an hour allhamdoulilahi to learn that the waiter has forgotten to inform the cook. At least the Sommelier served some orange juice from Saudi Arabia. One hour later our 1st class plate arrived: 1 cold boiled egg, some cold beans from a can, some bread and 1 piece of these Vache qui Rit industrial cheeses. Being astonished how they manage to serve such a variety, we tried to eat some of the stuff, decided a little later that a limited intake of calories may also be healthy and went back to deck.