17 Amazing days in Egypt

Jan 14th, 2007, 07:02 PM
  #1  
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17 Amazing days in Egypt

This by far was one of our best trip ever. Egypt has this special feel to it that I have never experienced in any other country I have visited. The entire trip was planned by our friend who lives in California but has relatives in Egypt and also has two teenage sons like us. We arrived in Cairo at 2am and went to our rental apartment near Nasr City. The building was set up for weekly rentals for tourist with excellent security for about $500 for two weeks(we only stayed for 3 days in the begining and 2 days at the end of our trip) but this worked out less expensive for our family of 4 rather than minimum $200 a night hotel rate. Our friend arranged a private driver, Ahmad from (Ginger Tours) to pick us up the next morning. Having the private driver drop us off at every site and picking us up at the door was priceless and most convienant.
Day 1
Visit the Great Pyramid of Giza. all of us also had a two hour camel ride around the Pyramids in the afternoon which is done by the locals living around the area. At night we went to see the Pyramids Sound &Light show which was amazing and I highly recommand it. Later that evening we went to the Khan El-Khalili and had a lovely dinner at the famous Khan El Khalili resturant and the Naguib Mahfouz Cafe. This Cafe has been created as a tribute to the Nobel Laureate novelist, Naguib Mahfouz and has become a landmark in the Khan El-Khalili. Only one day here and I was already mesmerized by the Grand Pyrmids and the beauty of Khan El Khalili.
Day 2
Visited the Egyptian Museum. We purchased the map of the Museum and started on the ground floor. This museum contains a great collection of Pharaonic art more than any other museum in the world. They recommand that you first see the rooms of the Old Kingdom, then those of the Middle Kingdom and so on. Our big mistake was that we thought the map will help us go through the entire museum. I regret not having a private guide to show us around(our big mistake). You will need at least 4 hours for a complete visit.Later in the afternoon, Ahmad took us by the Nile River for short walk and later took us to newer part of the city where the City Mall is and saw the divercity that exist in the city. The Old Marriot Hotel was crowded by the tourists from all over. We had dinner at the very trendy Abou El Sid where the food is fantastic but make sure you have reservation.
Day 3
Visited the Citadel of Salaheddin, the Alabaster Mosque of Khedive Mohamed Ali and the Rifai and Sultan Hassan Mosques.I was most impressed by the Muhammad Ali Mosque, it was designed by a Greek architect who lived in Turkey and who took as his model Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It is simply beautiful. We hired a private guide( Jamal) who showed us around and explained the history of this amazing place. The Al-Rifa'i Mosque holds the tombs of the royal family of Egypt from the Khedive Ismail Pasha to Faruk and also the late Shah of Iran, Mohammad Pahlavi.Later in the afternoon visited the Al-Azhar Park which was a nice treat. Tickets to all these places are about four times more for tourist but still very reasonable.
Day 4
Our driver picked us at 5 in the morning for a very early flight to Sharm El Sheikh. This is a beautiful resort city filled with tourist from all over the world. We stayed at the Marriott(mountain view) for $150 for double room buffet breakfast and dinner included. We were here for three days and just rested and enjoyed the amazing beach of the Naama Bay. The area around the resorts are filled with hundreds of shops and resturants which is very very crowded at all times with tourist mostly from Russia and Italy(for this time of year).Christmas Day was very nice at Sharm El Sheikh, people were getting sun tan at the beach. Our boys had a great time riding in the desert for few hours. We had a snorkeling trip to Tiran Island one day which included 3 stops lunch included and another day took a private tour guide with car to Ras Mohamed, the national Park with the most magnificent snorkeling sites. My husband and the boys had a fantastic experience and were mesmerized by the wonders of the Red Sea corals.
Next our flight to Luxor and for a 5 days Nile cruise. Later,I will write about our visits to Luxor, the Temple of Karnak, Temple of Luxor. the Necropolis of Thebes, Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo, our visit in Aswan, the Temple of Philae, and our final 3 days in Cairo.
seeall is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 02:32 AM
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Thanks for the report. Looks like you had a nice time. This is my first time on the africa/mid east boart. Just starting to research a trip to Egypt with some friends.
sharon1306 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 03:39 PM
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I enjoyed your trip report to date. We are leaving for Egypt in two weeks. What is the Sound and Light show at Giza? Our tour includes a sound and light show at Philae, should we do both?? Any advice appreciated.
safarichuck is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 04:05 PM
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do both
the sound and light show at Giza gives a history of the pyramids, it shouldn't be missed
the one at Philae gives a brief history of that temple and the times it was occupied also great
Geelong2007 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 09:14 PM
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safarichuck:
I would defenitly do both. I found the Light and Sound show at Giza very informative and entertaining. Once you get inside, you have a choice to sit in the seating area or at the "Bar" area where you get to sit at your own table (with the same view as others) but also order drinks. It was a very nice show. Enjoy your trip, you will love Egypt.
seeall is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 09:30 PM
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sorry about my late night spelling !
seeall is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 10:33 PM
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Part 2 of our Egypt trip report:
I miss Egypt. It is truly a must see country. Every part of our trip was different and unique. I found the people very warm and nice. Everyone was excited to say hi and welcome. One thing that was sad to see was the number of street childeren not so much in Sharm but in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan, it was overwhelming and very sad. We didn't have any problem what so ever about safety or being tricked or over charged. Once we arrived in Luxor, we checked in at our cruise ship, the Presidential Nile Cruise. I was disappointed at first because I thought it was going to be a five star ship and it just didn't look like one. After checking in to our cabins, the tour guide from the ship gave the complete schedule for the next 5 days and asked us to get ready for our fist tour. The cruise was all inclusive and all the guided tours in Luxor, Edfu, Kom Ombo, and Aswan plus nightly shows were included. The ship itself was more like a three star in US standards, however, after just spending one day on the ship we found the crew, the service, food, and the shows very very nice and above 5 star quality. Sitting on the upper deck and cruising the Nile with every part different and simply watching people on both side of the Nile was amazing. On our 2nd night the ship had to cross the lock(ships go through a channel where the water level gets adjusted before the ship is let go to the other side where the water level is higher)we stayed up late to watch and our boys enjoyed it very much since it made sense when they experienced it rather than someone explaining the process to them. When you are in Luxor, you have the best opportunity in a lifetime to take amazing pictures. The Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut in Luxor,the Temple of Horus in Edfu, Temple of Philae and Elephantine Island in Aswan will mesmerize you. We went back to Cairo for our last four days before returning home. Along with our friends who traveled with us to Egypt, we took our sons to the Cairo Opera House for a New Year's Eve concert, it was great. It was a open air theatre and filled with thousands(I am guessing)young people and this one singer. We didn't understand what he was singing but his music was so beautiful and lovely and made a very memorable New Year's Eve celebration always to remember.
seeall is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 10:34 PM
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I agree with seall
when visiting the museum go with a guide
if you want to then do it by yourself thats great but a guide has that info. and insigts a regular tourist wont have
and I've said it once before and I will say it again Egypt is a must for any traveller
seall love your report and how lucky to have friends there
this makes a big difference
Geelong2007 is offline  

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