We crossed the border yesterday, more red tape than you can imagine, signs that others had given up included two British registered BMW motorbikes covered in dust and seemingly abandoned.
The banks were still not open so our trip to Tripoli for the visas was worth it! Things were very much calmer than a week ago but a very strong military presence at the border complete with tanks and armoured vehicles.
Despite the armament the atmosphere seemed to be quite relaxed. The north coast near the border holds few attractions except El Alamein where my uncle Geoffrey Macdiarmid was captured …and escaped! So once we had seen the site and the British war cemetery where another (unrelated?) Macdiarmid is buried Sgt Colin Macdiarmid of 3 Sqn Royal Australian Air orce we made a bee line to Sidi Bdel Rahman which the Lonely Planet guide said had the most fabulous beaches. It does…. but the rash of new hotels and resorts makes most of the place look like a building site.
Beautiful beach with not a tourist in sight
Turned up at the Ghazala Beach Resort to be offered a free room as they had no guests….and were interviewed by Reuters about the prospects for tourism in Egypt! Watch out for the van on a small screen near you!
thevanplan on the BBC