A week in Egypt?

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Nov 11th, 2003, 03:52 AM
  #1
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A week in Egypt?

I am planning a trip to Egypt for the last week in February 2004. I want to stay at the JW MARRIOTT in Cairo. Has anyone stayed there yet? It is a new property. After a few days in Cairo where should I go next? Or can the other major sites be seen in day trips from Cairo? I do not want to take a cruise on the Nile. I thought I would hire tour guides once I arrived at the Marriott, or do I need to do this in advance? I will be travelling with 2 boys, 8 and 10 years old so our itinerary must leave ample time to swim in the hotel pool! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Nov 11th, 2003, 01:39 PM
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sandi
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Haven't stayed at the Marriott, but it gets good reviews here.

So what would you like to see after two days in Cairo? If you know, then you can arrange it, but most of the sites of interest and "that are Egypt" are along the Nile going to Upper Egypt (south) between Luxor and Aswan, even Abu Simbel - and the best way to see it is on a Nile Cruise - and these boats do have pools (small, but the boys can cool off whenever).

The idea of trying to do day trips from Cairo is kind of ridiculous - like to where? Most are too far away. Sure you can go out to the Fayoum Oasis, but even that would deserve an overnight.

Anything worth seeing is along the Nile, and the cruise is the best way to do it. We're not talking about big cruise ships here, rather most hold between 75 to maybe 150 people, they're flat bottom (Nile isn't very deep, nor very wide). We had a few children on our trip and they just loved the sites and everything they saw.

You can do 2-days Cairo - see Pyramids, Sphinx, Memphis and Saqqara; next day the Museum and old Cairo and the Khan Kalili Bazaar.
Then fly down to Luxor or Aswan depending on where your cruise boat departs and do the 4nt or 3nt cruise (on the 3nt you'll probably spend the 4th nt in either Aswan or Luxor); and from Aswan you can do the half-day to Abu Simbel.

Then you can return to Cairo for a last day to do shopping or visit something missed at the beginning.
 
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Nov 12th, 2003, 03:42 AM
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Agree with Sandi about limited number of things you can see on day trips from Cairo. And while Cairo is a fascinating city, I am not sure you would want to spend a full week there, especially with kids. They will likely be much more fascinated with the ancient historical sites they have seen pictures of.

I am not sure why you do not want to do the Nile cruise thing. I am sure you have done your research, but it is unlike any other "cruise" you might imagine - much to see from deck while boat sails. But the Nile cruiser is primarily a means of transportation since the River is really the most efficient way to the many sites along the way. Think of it is a moving hotel.

Although a week might be a little tight to fit Cairo, cruise and Abu Simbel in, for us Abu Simbel was a highlight of the trip. Maybe it is because when I was a kid I remember being asked to donate coins to the fund to move it up the cliffs to avoid being swallowed up by damming of Nile.

All this will involve internal flights in Egypt. We were pleasantly shocked at the efficiency and quality of EgyptAir.

Have a good trip. We went 2 1/2 years ago with our kids when they were 11 and 15 - they still talk about the trip as if it were yesterday. Make sure you take them inside a pyramid (at Giza).
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Nov 16th, 2003, 08:32 AM
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If it is the MArriott on ZAmalek - it was being done up when I was there in MArch. It is a beautiful hotel lobby and grounds but I thought rooms were pretty second rate in the block I stayed in 3 years ago. Last time I stayed at the new Royal Nile (previously Meridien). Rooms were much higher standard and they had a new pool opening last May and a really good health club. Good location as well - perhaps Marriott has the edge being on Zamalek.
Kid's clothes are a real bargain in CAiro - go to a shopping mall called Arcadia next to Conrad Hilton, there are 10 kids clothing shops or so in the one mall - all 100% cotton stuff at at dirt cheap prices and reasonably made.
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Nov 16th, 2003, 02:06 PM
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I'm not sure February will be warm enough to swim in a hotel pool in Cairo. Why not spend a few days in Cairo, then a few days in Luxor (you can visit most of the archeological sites from there) and then on to the Red Sea with your boys (Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh - both amazing for snorkeling/scuba diving).
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Nov 19th, 2003, 11:18 PM
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Too bad your not traveling the first two weeks in Egypt. I am bringing my daughters ages 7 and 11.

I have also heard that it won't be warm enough to swim in Cairo then. Is it really warmer in Sharm? What about dahab? Warm enough to swim??
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Nov 20th, 2003, 10:06 AM
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Bchen,
Sharm El Sheikh (or Dahab and any Red Sea resort) is much warmer than Cairo. Average in Feb is 25?C while Cairo is only 20?C. You can swim in the sea year round.
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