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Old 07-07-2012, 04:42 AM
 
Location: Strathclyde & Málaga
2,980 posts, read 7,288,476 times
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Hi all, my fiance and I are looking to visit the red sea (Sharm El Sheikh) and do the pyramids visit - the whole cultural side.

Is Egypt safe to visit for a trip next year, are they any things I should worry/know about? I know it is a popular place for Scottish people to visit and the majority said it was a good trip but they're stomachs were really dodgy.

Can you also recommend good places to visit and hotels in Sharm and for our culture side too?

Thanks
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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Sharm El Sheikh is at the tip of the Sinai Desert. Another major attraction in the Sinai Desert is the St. Catherine Monastery (see The Holy Monastery of the God-trodden Mount Sinai, Saint Catherine˘s Monastery).
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:15 AM
 
Location: NH Lakes Region
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Sharm is not really the cultural part of Egypt - it's more like the vacation spot to take a break in between touring the cultural sites in the country. As the previous poster mentioned, there is St. Catherine's in the Sinai, but if you are interested seeing the famous sites of Egypt you will want to spend most of your time along the Nile. There are some really phenomenal Nile Cruises that goes from Aswan to Luxor (or vice versa), with options for a trip down to Abu Simbel from Luxor or out to some of the farther out sites up near Luxor. (There are larger or smaller boat options - I preferred the smaller). The boats travel to the various temples along the Nile overnight, and you spend the days touring during stops. Spend several days in Luxor to see the Valley of the Kings, Queen Hatshepsut's Temple, the temples at Karnak and Luxor, etc. A couple days in Cairo itself tagged onto one end of your tour (Pyramids, sphinx, Egyptian museum, Sakkara, souq for shopping, walking through some of the city with the old gates, the Citadel) and possibly a couple days in Alexandria.

Things seem to have calmed down a bit since the elections, with people waiting to see what will happen with the new president. There are occasional demonstrations and clashes, but as long as you keep aware of where people are congregating and stay clear, things should be ok. It is the stupid thrill-seekers that want to be in the thick of things that may run into problems.

Ramadan begins on 20 July and lasts for about a month, so right now would not be the time to travel to Egypt. After September, the temperatures will moderate quite a bit, especially in the southern Egypt areas. By that time there should be a much better idea of how stable (and safe) the areas will be.

All that being said, it might be worth your while to opt for the travel insurance, just in case flights become unreliable.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Strathclyde & Málaga
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I know Sharm is a tourist resort I worked in aviation, however it is primarily to holiday in the red sea/relaxation and to see what culture is around that area. However I am doing a second trip too later in the year so I can do the pyramids etc so I am looking for information on which sights are recommended etc. It is purely for culture.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:47 AM
 
Location: NH Lakes Region
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Sorry, I don't know much about the cultural side of the Sharm area... hope someone else can help you out. Have a great trip!
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Strathclyde & Málaga
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I asked about areas in Egypt to visit when we return after our trip to Sharm. We are taking 2 trips like I said in my previous post but not sure where to go for our next one.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotslass View Post
Hi all, my fiance and I are looking to visit the red sea (Sharm El Sheikh) and do the pyramids visit - the whole cultural side.

Is Egypt safe to visit for a trip next year, are they any things I should worry/know about? I know it is a popular place for Scottish people to visit and the majority said it was a good trip but they're stomachs were really dodgy.

Can you also recommend good places to visit and hotels in Sharm and for our culture side too?

Thanks
The Sinai areas had a tourist feel for me, but still fun despite that.

Cairo was a different story, I will say past the history and buying a bunch of souvenirs, it was not a great experience, I would say it was annoying. People crammed everywhere, very crowded, and everyone is trying to ask for money and hussle you for something, the first couple days was good, but it just turned irritating after that.

If you are a woman, or are going with a woman, prepare for even more of a hassle. I went with a woman and could not even walk five feet without guys giving their little cats calls all of the time.

The pyramids in Memphis were actually a better experience than the Great Pyramids, you can climb all over those things and no one is around, whereas the Great Pyramids have tons of restrictions and past "been there, done that", where not exciting.

As far as safety, I was there before all of the recent events and there were soldiers with rifles everywhere, every 100 meters there were groups of soldiers. Common sense will go a long way in terms of safety there, stay in the popular areas and stay away from large gatherings. Get a room at the Sheraton and they will have some good cab drivers to get you around and avoid trouble areas as they do not want to lose their cab. Sure, they will try to get some extra funds out of you, but that is just how it is.

One last thing, for everything you do, negotiate the price first, and repeat this to yourself over and over again. Do into step foot into a cab until everyone agrees on where you are going, the route, and the price. Same goes for purchasing things as well. Also, always take lots of small money with you to give to the beggars, it is sometimes easier to toss money to them than to put up with them, especially when they "give" you gifts, then ask for money.
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:37 PM
 
Location: SW France
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I don't think that anyone would be able to say whether that area would be safe next year.

Ask us next year!
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Strathclyde & Málaga
2,980 posts, read 7,288,476 times
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Hmm not sure whether to give it a miss or not and go to Rome instead...we could consider the trip in a few years though (if things get better). Safety is really important for me and my fiance.

Quote:
If you are a woman,
I thought the whole "me and my fiance" and my username would have made it obvious that in fact I am a woman
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,014,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotslass View Post
Hmm not sure whether to give it a miss or not and go to Rome instead...we could consider the trip in a few years though (if things get better). Safety is really important for me and my fiance.



I thought the whole "me and my fiance" and my username would have made it obvious that in fact I am a woman
It is quite a long time since my last visit to that area ( I went as part of an Archaeological field-trip with Uni ) but I would recommend St Catherine's Monastery ( Byzantian) and the Chapel of the Burning Bush, and the Seven Elders Anphitheatre too.

Both on Mount Sinai and it might be better as an overnight trip as it will be a long day .

Serabit al Khadem I think is the only ancient Egyptian site within reach from Sharm from memory and still quite a long way ( about 250kms each way I think) . It was a mining site for Turquoise and there is a temple. I think you might need a guide though ( ??).

We saw quite a few Wahamis ( bronze age burial grounds) too whilst in that region .

I suspect you can get a tour to pretty much anywhere of interest as Shark el Sheikh is so touristy . I found this link which might help a bit :


Sharm El Sheik, Egypt - Sinai Sites

Compared to the rest of Egypt obviously more slim pickings but I think you still find things of interest if you get a decent guidebook and do a bit of online research. It was quite easy for us as we were taken by an Egyptian Archaeologist to all the different places but sadly I don't remember everything . Sorry.
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