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Old 06-04-2009, 01:20 AM
 
Location: Mississauga
1,575 posts, read 1,754,908 times
Reputation: 304

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Hi,

I'm thinking of heading of for a week and a half trip to Egypt focusing on Cairo and Alexandria. I can't believe the amazing fares being offered right now - 970 Canadian - which is probably like 900 U.S return out of Toronto to Cairo.. I know all the things i want to do, my main concern is the weather. I've been looking at the forecasts and it looks really hot like 30+ degrees. Has anyone been to Cairo in June and is the heat a dry heat or really humid as well. Any other general comments on Cairo/Alexandria are appreciated as well.

Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Maryland
83 posts, read 300,293 times
Reputation: 29
You'll probably be able to get some good deals on Egypt if you're willing to go during the summer. Also, because of strife in the region, their tourism is down something like 15%. However, when I was there in March, the Egyptian authorities had plenty of security every where.

Concerning Cairo, if you like to haggle for a bargain, there is the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar where you can test your haggling skills with the best. Also, there is the Alabaster Mosque which is impressive. The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities has character but, in my opinion, they're not doing the greatest job keeping it up. This may be because they're building a new museum close to the Pyramids. This museum is where they have the breathtaking King Tutankamun treasures. The Pyramids are now on the outskirts of Cairo (the city has really grown). You'll have at least a 20 minute drive from downtown Cairo to get to them. They are impressive and, the only surviving member of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World. Warning! Traffic can get really bad in Cairo. It'll be bumper to bumper and everyone will be honking their horn at everyone else it seems.

Getting a visa to visit Egypt is super easy. You go over to the MISR Bank booth before you go through immigration, pay them $15 U.S. and they give you a visa sticker to put in your passport. You also have to fill out an arrival card that you'll hand to the immigration officer. As it sounds like your Canadian, please double check and see if the visa rules are the same for you.

Alexandria has a few things to see. They have a small museum which is in a former U.S. consulate. It's all right in my opinion. They also have underground crypts where at one time 235 people were buried during Greco-Roman times. There is Pompey's pillar which isn't very far from the crypts. It's in the middle of what was the Serapeum or city temple complex. They had temples there to 5 or 6 gods of that time. They're all in ruins now. Lastly, barring when the Egyptian President is in Alexandria, you walk around the Egyptian Presidential Palace which was the Egyptian Royal Palace before the King got booted out. It was an impressive looking building.

I believe buses run between Cairo and Alexandria. I don't know how they cost or how comfortable they are. Driving wise, you're talking 3 hours to get to Alexandria from Cairo as long as there isn't any traffic. There may be flights to Alexandria from Cairo though I don't know that for sure.

As far as the heat is concerned, I can't tell you how that would be as I've gone in March both times I've gone to Egypt. Cheers!
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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Unbelievable hot! 30 degrees celcious (86 degrees f.) would be considered a cool wave.
Basically, if you do the tourist route, you do it all in the morning before about 10 AM. After that you seek shade. Humid/dry, doesn't matter - it's just hot and more hot.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Maryland
83 posts, read 300,293 times
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Oh, I forgot something. You'll need to buy bottled water to drink while in Egypt. As I understand it, the tap water isn't safe to drink. The hotels you stay at should sell it though you could find it cheaper at the bazaar or a store closeby. Also, there is a 50 Egyptian Pound charge to get in the Pyramid complex. If you want to go to the top chamber in Khufu/Cheops pyramid, that'll be an extra 100 Egyptian Pounds. The Solar Boat Museum in my opinion is worth seeing. That was 50 Egyptian Pounds. The solar boat is a boat that was built for Pharoah Khufu to travel on in the afterlife. It's a fascinating boat as it doesn't have any nails in it (they used special ropes to hold it together, it is built of Lebanon cedar, and it's 4,500 years old. It's not every day you get to see a boat built for a Pharoah. Close to the pyramids, you can do a short camel ride if you want. Your camel drover will take your picture on your camel with the 3 pyramids in the background however, he will expect a nice tip (probably 10 Egyptian Pounds). I gave my drover 2 Egyptian Pounds and, he gave me a nasty look. You can expect to see a lot of Egyptians with their hand out. As I understand it, a lot of them are trying to live on just $2 U.S. a day. That has to be rough.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:40 PM
 
Location: AmCit in Philippines
351 posts, read 1,721,171 times
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What a great fare! You should absolutely jump on it.

The weather will be a dry hot, not wet one, and you'll be fine weatherwise. Wear sunscreen and a hat and drink lots of water, and as you've been advised, the earlier you start in the day, the more comfortable you'll be. The first time I arrived in Cairo I saw families picnicking at 2:00 am, enjoying the evening cool.

If you can afford it, I recommend the Marriot at Zemalek, an island in the heart of Cairo with sonderful gardens and great for walking around.

I've done Alexandria twice, once by train and once by bus. The easiest thing is to sign up for a tour package. They'll take you to the catacombs and to the library, and will get you there and back. It's a day trip, and I've done it twice (and felt that I'd seen it).

Make sure you also get to Memphis while in Cairo. It's not on every tour, but is worth seeing. The pyramids and museum, of course, are given...

If you want to read up on Cairo, you can't go wrong with Naguib Mahfouz (fiction), for a taste of what life is/was like.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Mississauga
1,575 posts, read 1,754,908 times
Reputation: 304
Thanks all for the great information!!

Yeah i really can't believe the fare!! - i think its a trip of a lifetime and I'm gonna book - so excited

Cheers
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Cairo - Egypt
4,500 posts, read 2,602,982 times
Reputation: 3240
Come to Egypt Mississauga!!....and don't think about the hot weather...you will totally forget it through the tour.....Trust me!!
You can go to Hurghada and Sharm-alshak, they are great resorts, and The weather is wonderful overthere.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Cairo - Egypt
4,500 posts, read 2,602,982 times
Reputation: 3240
Quote:
Originally Posted by wastina View Post
What a great fare! You should absolutely jump on it.

The weather will be a dry hot, not wet one, and you'll be fine weatherwise. Wear sunscreen and a hat and drink lots of water, and as you've been advised, the earlier you start in the day, the more comfortable you'll be. The first time I arrived in Cairo I saw families picnicking at 2:00 am, enjoying the evening cool.

If you can afford it, I recommend the Marriot at Zemalek, an island in the heart of Cairo with sonderful gardens and great for walking around.

I've done Alexandria twice, once by train and once by bus. The easiest thing is to sign up for a tour package. They'll take you to the catacombs and to the library, and will get you there and back. It's a day trip, and I've done it twice (and felt that I'd seen it).

Make sure you also get to Memphis while in Cairo. It's not on every tour, but is worth seeing. The pyramids and museum, of course, are given...

If you want to read up on Cairo, you can't go wrong with Naguib Mahfouz (fiction), for a taste of what life is/was like.

Enjoy your trip!
Wastina!!! I love Naguib Mahfouz too..One of my favourite authors on this planet...... in novel of course....So glad you hear about him.
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:00 PM
 
Location: New York City
55 posts, read 193,224 times
Reputation: 43
Egypt has DRY heat !
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Cairo - Egypt
4,500 posts, read 2,602,982 times
Reputation: 3240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip S1 View Post
Egypt has DRY heat !

That is totally true!!! The heat is living with me now!!!!
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