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Old 02-24-2013, 07:56 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,844 times
Reputation: 17

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I want to share my experience from my trip to Egypt with you. My wife and I decided to visit the “land of pharaohs” last year. At first we had planned to travel during Christmas and New Year but in the end we decided to celebrate at home and postpone our trip till January.
We’ve learned that in this time of the year the temperatures there are bearable (although the water is still cold a little) and that we don’t have to think much before booking any sightseeing trip, worrying about the clothes, water etc.

I have to say that we’re not the typical “7-day hotel tourists”. We like to travel, explore new places, getting to know the locals... not to lay on the sun bed all day.
While browsing and googling I’ve found a company who organized our entire trip. Their name is Red Sea Reisen and their main office is in Hurghada. Anyways, they have their people all over Egypt so no problem to go to any corner of Egypt with them. Our plan was as follows: first 3 days in Cairo, 1 day in Alexandria and after that 7 days in Hurghada, from where we organized some excursions to Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel. Honestly, I wish I had spent in Egypt more time. There’s a lot more to see! Personally I feel sorry I didn’t visit places like Kom Ombo, Edfu, Abydos and Dandara… but for the first time I think we covered all the main attractions

About the country:
Moving from the North to the South, Egypt was changing in front of our eyes. The countryside, people, manners… Our first days in Cairo were quite hectic – trying to see as much as possible. Our guide picked us up from the airport in the early morning hours and we started our day naturally with the main attractions – The Egyptian museum following with pyramids including the entry into the Great pyramid of Khufu. On this day that was quite enough for us as we were still tired from the flight and we spent the rest of the day in our hotel.
The following day we explored the Islamic Cairo with the mosques, citadel, Al Azhar and some more. In the afternoon we sailed on the Nile with felucca – extremely romantic although not comparable with a felucca ride in Aswan! In the evening we booked the Sound and Light show at the pyramids and it was really worth seeing!

On the third day our guide showed us the Coptic Cairo with the churches among whose was the Hanging church and museum and in the afternoon we visited the famous Khan El Khalili Bazaar. One just can’t describe the atmosphere of the place! Narrow streets, small shops with lamps, carpets... We stopped at a café and drank tea with mint, bought Zalabia (oriental sweets) and some other souvenirs. It was great that the guide was with us as he helped us to get the best possible prices. I really don’t know how we’d have managed without him!

In the evening we headed to Alexandria. We arrived in the evening and the next day we visited the classical sights: The Qaitbay citadel (standing on the place of the former Lighthouse), the Montazah palace with its beautiful gardens, Abu Al Abbas mosque and, of course, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. In the end we crowned our time in northern part of Egypt with the visit of the Kom El Shoqafa catacombs. Little bit creepy but fascinating! After that we flew directly to Hurghada.

First two days in Hurghada were relaxing. We were accommodated in the Grand Resort Hotel in the touristic part of Hurghada located in the south on a promenade. The hotel is built in the 1001 night style and is indeed very inviting. There we met with the Red Sea Reisen company female representative and discussed further details for our next days. I have to say that she was very attentive and keen to know if everything was alright during our past days.

On the third day of our stay in Hurghada we drove to Luxor. It was the classical Luxor tour with the Temple of Karnak, Hatshepsut temple, Colossi Memnon and the Valley of Kings. In the evening we booked another Sound and Light Show but this time at the Temple of Karnak. We just loved both of the shows! We spent the night in Luxor and the next day we headed towards Aswan. There we spent a magical time! We saw the Philae Island with the Temple of Isis, Unfinished obelisk and in the afternoon we made another felucca ride.. as I mentioned before, no compare to the one in Cairo it was just.. different.
The next day we took a convoy to Abu Simbel where we saw the monumental temple of Ramzes II. In the afternoon we visited the Nubian museum which was really informative and interesting. That was our final sight and in the evening we were driving back to Hurghada. As we were quite tired from all our trips, the rest of our holiday we were just relaxing on the beach

Overall impressions: North vs. South = stress vs. relax, grey vs. green and dry vs. humid.

We were very satisfied with the above mentioned company, their prices and services. Our trip to Egypt was very informative, emotional, inspirational and unforgettable We came home full with experiences and impressions. The Egyptian people are friendly and hospitable. Staff in the hotel was polite and professional and our guide did his utmost to meet our demands and fulfill our wishes during the trips. He gave us many useful advices about everything we needed. A good job!
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:43 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,500 times
Reputation: 10
Hi Peter,

happy to know that you liked your stay in Egypt, we were there last January and with the same company we booked a private trip to Edfu and Kom Ombo! One of the sites you can't miss! Sorry to hear that there wasn't enough time for you to see those beautiful places but I really advice you to use the chance next time! The temples are magical and our guide provided us with so many pieces of information about them... and by the way I guess the female representative was the same with us, very nice and attentive! We spent our holiday in hotel Siva Grand Beach located at the same promenade you mentioned, just a little bit to the north. Once we took a walk and saw the Grand Resort, it look beautiful especially at night with all the lights, fountains and palms Do you know it belongs to the same hotel chain as Siva Grand?

Excited enough by the "Egyptian spirit", we decided to explore the desert... This time on quads.. people, nobody can describe the calmness of a desert. When we were sitting on a small hill with the Bedouins, waiting for the sunset behind the rocky mountains... I almost bursted into tears It was a great experience for me and my family and we're planning to book again this year, I guess we will be staying in the same hotel and we'll book our trips with the same company as we were satisfied with their services. Wish all of you to have such a great holiday like us!
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:18 PM
 
15 posts, read 18,507 times
Reputation: 26
It sounds rather pleasant! I assume you went to the better parts of Egypt, right? I don't know much about it, but whenever I hear about Egypt, it's always about some conflict or mass "assault". But now, I just want to visit!
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:54 AM
 
Location: La Isla Encanta, Puerto Rico
1,148 posts, read 3,034,179 times
Reputation: 1322
Took a similar tour about a year ago, just missing Abu Simba in the far south but had an equally good time. People I met on the streets, even driving by in the bus were EXTREMELY friendly - like they are all too aware of the international recognition of the political strife in the streets and want tourists (a mainstay of their economy) to feel safe and welcome. Much of Egypt was poorer and more ragged than I expected but I never felt unsafe. I'd recommending it hightailing it out of there if you see a big demonstration developing so you don't end up on the wrong end of a long trail of rubber bullets. This is not the place to rubberneck!
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Europe
89 posts, read 206,059 times
Reputation: 141
Went to Egypt back in 2010, about a year before things headed south. Interesting place but the god awful traffic sticks with me the most.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:32 AM
 
Location: Earth
438 posts, read 560,526 times
Reputation: 2938
Quote:
Originally Posted by domfromco View Post
Went to Egypt back in 2010, about a year before things headed south. Interesting place but the god awful traffic sticks with me the most.
omgosh the HONKING drove me crazy. I told my driver no HONKING would mean a bigger tip.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Not where I want to be
4,826 posts, read 7,276,134 times
Reputation: 7662
Egypt is my dream vacation! I would love to go on a trip there but have no idea how to arrange this. I would probably want to go some time in 2014. I would be leaving from NY (JFK) but would rather it be a "group tour" or something like that. Does anyone know of any companies that arrange this?

Also, how much do you tip the tour guides once you're in Egypt? Do you tip them daily or at the end?
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Maryland
18,624 posts, read 16,435,683 times
Reputation: 6348
Egypt is going through some tough economic times and is staring at instability as a result. Tourism has plummeted and the security situation is dicey.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,471,112 times
Reputation: 5401
I think Egypt would benefit greatly if it had a true democracy.
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