Another Egypt First-Timer

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May 12th, 2002, 12:58 PM
  #1
Martha Peacock
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Another Egypt First-Timer

We are planning/contemplating a trip to Egypt in late December/early January of this year and I'm wondering about the clothing situation. I know it will be cooler during that time, but how cool? Will my feet get cold if I wear sandals all day? Will I need something more than a sweatshirt-weight jacket? Should I definitely bring a hat or is the sun not intense enough to require one at that time of year?

Thanks in advance for any replies and suggestions!

Martha
 
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May 12th, 2002, 07:02 PM
  #2
Dianne
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Hi Martha,

I never brought a hat on my early December trip and only one day was really hot enough to want one. Several days were cloudy too.

You might be chilly if you're out at night and it's windy. I remember they passed out blankets at the sound and light show at the pyramids. I think they may have been the camels' blankets!

I don't think I even wore sandals in Egypt because, quite frankly, it's dirty. There's sand everywhere naturally and the archeological sites can be very rough and uneven too. I may have had a pair to wear on the Nile cruise boat.
 
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May 13th, 2002, 12:17 PM
  #3
Martha Peacock
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Hi Dianne,

Thanks for your input. I was considering the hiking-type of sandals rather than some strappy, fashionable sort of thing since I know we'll be doing a lot of walking. So you'd recommend more of a walking shoe and an extra sweatshirt or sweater to throw on at night?

We are going on a Nile cruise and also down south to Aswan and Abu Simbel for a few days.

Thanks again!

Martha
 
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May 13th, 2002, 12:24 PM
  #4
Martha Peacock
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And another question I just remembered - any recommendations on how much money to bring for a two-week trip?

Thanks again!

Martha
 
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May 13th, 2002, 05:06 PM
  #5
Dianne
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Personally, I preferred a closed shoe for sightseeing. For sure take something with long sleeves. It's nice to sit out on the boat at night and just look at the stars and it does get cool.

It's hard to guess how much money you'll need. There's a lot of neat stuff to buy. The gold jewellry is beautiful and a good price. Everyone buys a personalized cartouche. I liked the papyrus paintings and bought several of those. Alabaster vases, Egyptian cotton, etc. are nice too. Food, even at the best hotels was reasonably priced. Alcohol is very expensive. Bottled water was reasonable (and essential!). Taxis were cheap, but set the price first. My major expenses were probably entrance fees and camera fees. You'll also need small money for baksheesh (tips). The last time I was in Egypt was 1996, so unfortunately I really can't remember how much I spent per day.

Usually when I travel, I rely on my ATMs, but in Egypt I used travellers cheques. All the hotels would cash them and that way you could bring a lot of money and not worry about it. I used my Visa card too.

 
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May 13th, 2002, 09:38 PM
  #6
maw
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I was in Egypt this past January. It was the coldest Cairo on record. The day we left for Aswan it sleeted! I had 2 fleece shirts with me and that wasn't enough. The past 3 Januarys when I have been there were not as cold but it can get quite chilly at night at the Pyramids. The Cairo Museum is not heated so I would recommend a jacket when you visit there -- which can not be missed.
DON'T wear sandals. It is dirty and there can be biting bugs.
You will need a hat at Queen Hatshepsut's temple. In past years it has been hot in January and you can easily burn -- especially if you walk from the Workmens Village to the Valley of the Kings. At Abu Simbel the sun can be quite intense even this year when it was chilly there.
I travel with clothes from Tilley Endurables. They are extremely comfortable and wash easily. Wear long sleeve shirts so as not to attract unwanted attention. As a blond woman I stand out enough.
I spent more than I had planned this past January in the tentmakers section of Cairo (not on the tourist trail)and purchased many large applique pieces. They only take cash here as well as in many areas where tourists don't frequent and where the locals are the normal customers. Jewelry is more reasonably priced in Luxor but you need to be ruthless in your bargaining skills (this is true for most everything you want to buy). It is better to buy souvenirs in the market places rather than at the sites. Although, if you can bargain you can get the merchants down to a reasonable price. I use my credit card whenever possilbe but be careful that the receipt is made out to US dollars or you may be overcharged on your monthly statement. This is true in any foreign country -- especially Italy.
Do not rely on ATM's. Most of the time they are broken. Traveler's checks can be cashed in all the major hotels -- just be sure you are given the correct amount of Egyptian pounds. I was shorted $100 US at a 5 star hotel in Cairo but went back and argued long and hard for the difference.
When in Luxor try not to miss the tomb of Nefertari. There are only 150 tickets sold for it each day but this last January I was able to get tickets in the afternoon since there were so few tourist there. Also the balloon ride at sunrise over Queen Hatshepsut's temple is breath-taking. You can make arrangements at the Sheraton Hotel. A very nice place compared to the Hilton and the Sonesta St. George was very nice but overly priced for the service you get.
You will love Egypt!!!! The people are wonderful. Several of the store owners in Luxor that I frequent treat me like family. I sit and converse for hours with family members while enjoying a soda or tea.
I can't wait to return next January.
 
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