Date of Trip: May 2009
During May 2009 my wife and I visited to Egypt using an online web based tour operator. Though based in Australia this company has a large staff in Egypt, with excellent modern coaches and very knowledgeable Egyptologist guides. Our accommodation was at deluxe hotels in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor, on a incredibly nice Nile cruise ship, and at a more modest hotel in downtown Alexandria.
Visiting Egypt had been my dream for several years but I was put off by reports of danger, etc. To my great surprise I found that the Egyptian people were amongst the friendliest encountered in any part of the world, and that reports of ‘danger’ were hugely exaggerated. We strolled through the bazaars of Aswan and Luxor, openly discussed everything from politics to religion with the local people, shared coffee with some of them in noisy cafes, and our really expert Egyptologist guides escorted us and explained the intricacies of ancient Egypt, giving as much detail as we required.
Cairo is a big, noisy and lively city where even crossing a road can be an adventure. Drivers seem highly skilled at avoiding last minute collisions with both people and other cars. A taxi ride, for less than $5, across Cairo is a MUST for any adventurous traveller with a strong heart.
Of course we enjoyed seeing the pyramids, the sphinx, the temples, the magnificent tombs in the Valley of Kings, but the unforgettable moments spent talking to the local people, laughing at their humor, listening to their stories, were without doubt the highlights of our tour.
Our well planned, 14-day itinerary allowed lots of time for leisure, for walks along the Nile, for a camel ride at the pyramids. Most meals were included and these were huge buffet-style presentations that were an art form on their own. So all we had to spend on was drinking water, hand woven carpets, perfume essences, leather shoes and jackets at bargain prices. Egypt is a bargain hunters paradise.