In the company of a man with his beard tucked around his ears, we shuttled off from Manchester's T3 to reach this brand new emporium - T5 at Heathrow.
The flight to Cairo was my first in a 747 (Jumbo) - it was delayed for an hour whilst two cats were removed from the hold because the heating had broken.
The wide luminous ribbon of the M25 belied the fact of a grey day in the UK. We were pleased not to have even thought about packing waterproofs for this 10 day trip - undertaken on the pretence of attending Selwa and Amro's wedding in Alexandria.
It was clear over the Alps, but after a spattering of lights as we passed over the Inn Valley, there wasn't much sign of life in the mountains.
The sparsely lit Adriatic coast was followed by a series of spindly roads leading to Athens, and then we were over Cairo, at midnight. Thursday night is their equivalent of Friday, and the huge city looked very busy below us.
BP's welcoming system efficiently 'immigrated' us, and with our 'hand luggage only' policy for this trip we soon sped through to a waiting car and the journey to Maadi, an affluent suburb to the south of Cairo, where Bill and Alison rent a spacious villa. It was 1.30 am, but Bill was up to greet us and show us around before we finally flaked out in the luxurious surroundings.