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Trip Report Egypt is awesome! Having a wonderful time.

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So we've been in Egypt since 26 March. We had three nights in Cairo at the magnificent Mena House Oberoi in a room looking out at the pyramids. That was so incredible! I still can't believe it--I could see the pyramids from my bed!

We did the requisite things in Cairo and surroundings and I particularly liked going out to Sakkara and Dahshur. I couldn't help but wish that the Egyptian Museum was more like the excellent Imhotep museum at Sakkara--very interesting and worth the time. Hubby and bro climbed into the Red Pyramid but I didn't dare try because of my twisted ankle in the walking boot. They complained about sore thighs for days afterwards! We rode camels at Giza and at the Step Pyramids. I loved riding the camels and want to do it again. I have been unsucessful in talking hubby into the two hour sunset ride, though. Oh, we ate at the Moghul Room at the Mena House and boy was it excellent. We're going back on our last night in Egypt.

After Cairo we moved on to Aswan--Abu Simbel is a long drive but so very worth it! Then got on the Sonesta St. George I boat for our three night cruise. There were only 7 tourists on board, very sad, but it was awesome! Cannot recommend either this boat or a Nile Cruise more highly. We loved everything about it and actually wished we had one more night on board.

We have been in Luxor at the Old Winter Palace, an upgrade to a Nile View room because the Pavillion Winter is still closed (and I think our guide had some pulls), for three nights; tonight is our last night. It's really very nice and we have been enjoying the hotel and its beautiful grounds to the max. The waffles today at breakfast were truly memorable! We visited the West Bank twice (Valley of the Kings, Medinat Habu and Colossi Memnon one day; Valley of the Queens, Tombs of Workers and Nobles and Carter House second time). I loved Medinat Habu--it's just incredible; the color, the deep, deep carvings, wow!. We also, of course, spent time at Luxor and Karnak Temples. Loads of people but guide said it's still a lot less than normal. We saw the Karnak S&L and I had to be extra careful in my walking boot--it's very trecherous so really, bring a flashlight, I couldn't believe how dark it was. Enjoyed it.

We did a day trip to Abydos and Dendera and it was a long drive through the countryside. Very interesting temples and very interesting to see some of rural Egyptian life. The kids were so cute, lots of smiles and waving at us. We got out for a bathroom break and a young girl hugged me and asked me to be her pen pal (we think). Very cool. But a long day!

Today we saw the excellent Luxor Museum--again, this is what the Egyptian Museum should be like. Very, very interesting and very well done. I loved seeing the Tut stuff (we did pay the LE to go into his tiny little tomb).

Now we're getting ready for another dinner at Sofra and will leave tomorrow morning for Cairo--one more night at the Mena House before heading back to the states.

It has been an incredible vacation! As you may know, Ahmed Hamed Yousif, ahmedhayo@yahoo.com, arranged our trip and we couldn't be more pleased with everything. He has gone above and beyond for us and has called us at every location to make sure we are ok and happy. We had Mohammed, young, smart and enthusiastic, for our guide in Upper Egypt (he's as great as you said BeniciaChris). Our drivers have all been great. Our tour reps have been great, too, particularly Mohammed in Cairo and nice Khalid in Aswan. We have thanked Ahmed Hamed Yousif over and over again for the Pyramids view room at the Mena House--it's something I will never forget! But that was just the first of the nice surprises he had in store for us!

I've been blogging about the trip and our experiences since before we left home. You can find it at www.herewegoagain-egypt.blogspot.com I did it because our familes have been worried about us travelling to Egypt since the "troubles" but sincerely, we've had only amazing experiences and friendly, pleasant encounters. I'm so glad hubby executed his 0/5 birthday veto power and insisted we come to Egypt; it's been the vacation of a lifetime (and we couldn't have done it without Ahmed Hamed Yousif and all y'all on this forum!).

BTW, we went to Gouzlan and said "Miss Debbie" and got our cartouches for the $15 price, although not dipped in white gold. We actually were at #8 instead of #6, Salah was our clerk, and it was a very pleasant experience. They'll deliver 'em to the Mena House tomorrow.

Just two more days and we'll be back to reality! Cheers,

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