Cairo or Alex?

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Jul 3rd, 2004, 05:32 PM
  #1
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Cairo or Alex?

We're going to be in Cairo for 1 week in November before flying to Luxor for a 1 week cruise on the Nile. We have an opportunity for a 1 day trip into Alex, or spending an additional day browsing thru Cairo on our own. We've browsed around Istanbul, Marakesh & other exotic places on our own so we're not exactly rookies. Besides the library and Museum, is Alex worth the trip?
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Jul 4th, 2004, 02:26 AM
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3 or 4 days in Cairo is plenty,allowing you time to see Alex also.
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Jul 4th, 2004, 03:24 AM
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sandi
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One week is a long time in Cairo, so allows you time to go up to Alex for a day or two. There are some itineraries of two days, but you'd have to check for exactly what is covered. Alex also has a different air then Cairo as it isn't often visited by tourists. An alternative to Alex might be to go out to one of the Oasis west of Cairo.

I do hope that your time down to Luxor from where you start you cruise, you also take the opportunity to visit Abu Simbel south of Aswan.
 
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Jul 4th, 2004, 08:34 AM
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Thank you Sandi. We certainly will visit Abu Simbel. Unlike so many others on all these travel boards, we don't do backpacking, water stuff, or anything that requires "saddles or paddles". We're just old fashioned soft-adventure sightseers.
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Jul 4th, 2004, 12:27 PM
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I don't do water either. Just the idea of the Nile cruise was a push for me, but since I knew I'd be able to see both shores, knew the river wasn't all that deep, I went for it. You'll love Egypt.
 
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Jul 4th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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I don't cruise either.I don't fear it it just has no allure for me. The one cruise we did take was the NILE. Oh the history.
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Jul 4th, 2004, 01:39 PM
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mgmargate - Agree - no allure here for a cruise. Besides too much H2O, what sense of adventure can there be with 1,500 other people. Prefer to do our holidays on our own, our way - and "play it as it lays"
 
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Jul 4th, 2004, 01:53 PM
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Sandi: I never saw the fun in spending most of my vacation on a ship.I like to see the history and architecture of the world.Our fun,winter vacations still have the learning experience for our 8&10 yr. olds.In november we'll take them to Cancun w/side trips to Merida,and Mayan ruins.
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Jul 7th, 2004, 04:43 PM
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We spent 8 days in Cairo mostly for business and took a day in Alexandria. It is definitely worth it. The library is incredible - the antiques museum in it is a separate charge but is well worth it. The quantity of objects is much smaller than that of the Egyptian museum, but they are so beautifully displaced and actually are labelled with information! After the library, we went to a little cafe across the road that is right on the Mediterrean. We enjoyed a can of Pepsi (which was in Arabic) and the view of the sea. We took the train up, which was quite an adventure - not one that I'd want to repeat. There's a lot of shopping in Alexandria as well.
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Jul 21st, 2004, 05:10 AM
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I found Alex very disappointing; compared to the rest of Egypt the history is just not there. If you are making repeated trips, Alex is worthwhile just so you know what it's like. There is great, unrealized potential there; if this is a one time visit you shouldn't waste the time.

A lifetime is not enough time for Cairo, it is one of the most vibrant, exciting places I've ever been. I've probably spent a month there all totalled and would be ready to go again in an instant if time and resources were available.
 
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Jul 23rd, 2004, 08:36 AM
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I've lived in Cairo for about a year now. I'd recommend you take the day trip to Alex, especially since you will have already had so much time in Cairo. You can take the train, which really isn't all that bad, or you can arrange for a driver to take you there. The advantage of the train is that you can spend the night if you like, without paying for the driver to spend the night as well. The advantage of the driver is that he can take you around the city so you won't have to rely on taxi drivers, who have one eye firmly affixed on your pocket and assume that it is very deep. Anyway, Fort "Q" is on the harbor - you could easily spend a couple of hours there. Pompey's Pillar is interesting, the old library is also there, and the guards are happy to show you for a small fee (five pounds should do it; one US dollar is approximately equal to six Egyptian pounds) There are also some catacombs and a colesseum, remnants of the Roman occupation. The "jewelry museum" was closed when we went there, but we are going back to see the gem-encrusted gardening tools. Should be a hoot! Don't expect to spend time on the beach, though, unless your idea of bathing attire is a full-length dress complete with long sleeves.
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Jul 23rd, 2004, 08:42 AM
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By the way, you will have an awesome time on the cruise. Unlike ocean cruises, you are never out of sight of land, and we really enjoyed watching life on the shores as we sailed to our next destination - plenty of historical site visiting (which I loved!) coupled with plenty of downtime (which my spouse loved.) Even though I saw more Pharonic sites than I even knew existed, it was also one of the most relaxing vacations we've ever done.
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