Fantastic trip to Egypt with Lady Egypt

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Feb 25th, 2013, 04:51 PM
  #1
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Fantastic trip to Egypt with Lady Egypt

Just returned from 12 great days in Egypt. Our itinerary was 3 nights Cairo (Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino) 2 nights Aswan (Movenpick), 3 nights Sonasta St. George Nile cruise, 3 nights Luxor ( Steigenberger Nile Palace), 1 night Cairo airport (Radisson Blu). Our trip was a private tour with Lady Egypt. We were so pleased with the services provided by Lady Egypt. Their city reps, guides, and drivers were all top notch and made for a fabulous and stress free first trip to Egypt. We were so glad we had chosen them and all the great reviews I read about them were true.
Cairo
We loved the Marriott hotel. Had a great room on executive floor (8th) with Nile view and balcony. The breakfast buffet was fantastic. We found the hotel's location convenient as we bought beer and wine from Drinkies that is across the street. We would later find Drinkies had the best prices and selection we would see in Egypt. Dinner one night at Abou El-Sid that is 5 minute walk from hotel. It felt like a local place and had great food and the atmosphere was really neat.
Our sightseeing included a day to Dashur ( went in Red pyramid) which was a trip highlight, Sakkara and Memphis. Highly recommend this day as there were no crowds and the pyramids were outstanding.
Other highlights in Cairo: Giza - even with the crowds and the touts, the pyramids are awesome and a sight that you won't forget seeing. We loved the Egyptian Museum. King Tut exhibit is incredible. I could have looked at the mask and sarcophagus for hours! Islamic Cairo was interesting and saw 2 beautiful Mosques.
Aswan
Movenpick hotel was fabulous. Lovely room with balcony looking out to Kitchner's Island. Our first day was amazing with visit to Philae Temple and then Kitchner's Island Botanical Gardens. Watched the sunset from the 13th floor tower bar at the Movenpick. Dinner was in Aswan at Salah Ed-Din restaurant. Excellent food, service, and cold beer. We liked the Egyptian beer, Stella.
The next day we flew to Abu Simbel and saw the Ramses II and Nefertari temples for 2 hours and then quick flight back to Aswan. We found the temples incredible and very glad we splurged on this day!
Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor
When we arrived back in Aswan we boarded the Sonesta St. George cruise boat. We loved our cabin! The boat was outstanding in all aspects: food, service, facilities. It was a real highlight of our time in Egypt. The boat was pretty empty on our trip, so that made it feel like we had our own gigantic yacht. If you have the chance, definitely select this boat for your cruise!!
Our guide sailed with us and took us on the excursions to Kom Obu and Edfu, both of which were great temples.
While our boat was docked for the day in Luxor we saw Karnak and Luxor temples. We really liked Karnak. The buildings were not as intact as some of the temples we had already seen on the trip, but you can still get a great sense of the gigantic scale of the place when it had been intact. The Hypostyle hall and the obelisks were amazing.
Luxor
After a last breakfast, and disembarking from the Sonesta St. George, we spent the day on the West Bank. First stop was Valley of the Kings. We did 3 included tombs and the extra ticket Ramses V/VI. We thought the extra ticket was worth it to see the brightly colored wall & ceiling carvings in the Ramses V/VI tomb. The other tombs had them as well, but this one was the biggest and best of what we saw. Afterwards, we went to Valley of Queens, Hatshepsut’s temple, and the Colossus of Memnon.
We then checked into Steigenburger Nile Palace hotel. Our room was nice with great Nile view and large balcony. On two of the three evenings we stayed in Luxor, the electricity went out in the area of the city we were in. The hotel seemed to have backup power, so we were in the dark for just a few minutes although the restaurants and shops in the surrounding area remained dark. I only mentioned this in case you experience this, not to worry. Power came back shortly and the hotel was functioning fine the entire time. All in all, the hotel was OK, but food at the included breakfasts and service from personnel we encountered at the front desk were a step down from the other places we stayed in Egypt. If we were to be in Luxor again, I would check out the Sonesta St. George hotel. As excellent as their cruise boat had been, I would want to try their hotel.

The next day was a full day trip out of Luxor to the temples at Abydos and Dendara. This day was a lot of time spent driving (probably 5-6 hours in all), but very well worth it. The driving felt like race car driving at times, with the way that Egyptian drivers will go 3 across on what is a two lane highway. Also, instead of red lights in the small towns we passed through, they had speed bumps. Slowing down for these did become a bit tedious. On the other hand, the 3 hour drive to get to Abydos was through rural Egypt and provided a real view into life along the Nile. Once we got there, the temple of Seti I was more than worth the trip. Other temples that we had seen thus far have some great wall carvings, but the ones in the Temple of Seti I at Abydos were by far the best we encountered. The good condition of them, the amount of ancient paint left on them, and the superior skills of the ancient artists who had done these, adding so much more detail, made them really stand out. From Abydos, it was a 1 1/2 hour drive down the desert highway to Dendara. This temple was much “newer” than the one at Abydos, having been built in the Greco Roman era. It also was terrific. The huge hypostyle hall here with intact columns and beautiful colors on the columns, walls and ceiling was really awesome.
Back in Luxor later, we had dinner at Jewel of the Nile and it was wonderful. The food was delicious, beers cold and service welcoming and attentive. This restaurant is just a few minutes’ walk from the Nile Palace and St. George hotels. Highly recommend it.

Our last sightseeing day in Luxor was on West Bank including Tombs of Nobles, Tombs of Workers, the Ramesseum and the Temple of Ramses III (Medinet Habu). We enjoyed all of these, especially the Ramesseum and Medinet Habu. We then arranged for our driver and guide to drop us at the Luxor Museum which we saw on our own. We really liked this interesting, small museum. It has some terrific ancient Egyptian sculpture in it.
Dinner was at Pizza Roma-It. Great pizza and pasta dinner. They don't serve beer but will go next door and bring back to your table cold beers (you advance cash for this). It was delicious Italian food in Egypt.
Last Day in Cairo
We flew back to Cairo the next morning and were met by our outstanding Lady Egypt rep and driver. They took us to the Egyptian museum which we had arranged to tour on our own. The visit there with our guide earlier in the trip was fantastic and left us well positioned to wander through on our own, taking another look at the King Tut exhibit and other amazing things in is museum. After having been there, we think that the Egyptian museum gets a bit of a “bad rap” in the tourist literature for being disorganized and having few explanatory placards. We found that the museum was pretty well organized to a chronological walk through the sculpture collection, and that most of the things that caught our eye did have placards in English explaining what they were. The King Tut exhibit especially, was very well laid out. After the museum, our rep and driver picked us up and we drove to the Khan el-Khalili for a visit to this famous bazaar. This experience was all it had been written up to be with tons of shops and stands and tons of sellers waving us in. Walking down the narrow, crowded streets was a bit like going through a gauntlet. We were glad we didn't miss it, and we did end up getting some of the souvenirs we had left to this last day to pick up, but it certainly wasn't the most enjoyable part of our trip.
We stayed our last night near the airport at Radisson Blu. Very nice hotel, and large well equipped room. We had our last Stella beer in the hotel bar and ordered a delicious room service meal (pizzas and Bolognese pasta).

Our time in Egypt was incredible and the sights are amazing. Our whole trip was made so enjoyable by the great service provided by Lady Egypt. Everything was so well planned and executed to ensure we were delighted with everything. We loved the guides and our city reps oversaw all the details. We highly recommend visiting Egypt and with Lady Egypt. We felt safe every minute and would love to return someday.
Tuni01 is offline  
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Feb 26th, 2013, 09:20 AM
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We did a private tour with Lady Egypt 4 years ago, and liked it every bit as much as you did (the only overlapping hotel was the Steigenbergber in Luxor).
sf7307 is online now  
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Feb 27th, 2013, 01:39 AM
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Really your trip to Egypt with lady Egypt has the best information for all tourists in Cairo.
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Mar 2nd, 2013, 09:24 AM
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Great report, thanks for posting. My wife and I are working with Select Egypt. They get generally favorable reviews and have been responsive in organizing a custom tour for the two of us.

They have suggested the Steigenberger in Luxor, but we can look into the Sonesta based on your feedback.

I have heard that Abydos and Dendara are not to be missed, but we'll have to think about driving 5-6 hours. So much to see!

Glad you had a great trip.
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Mar 2nd, 2013, 11:42 AM
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Nelson - the day trip is 5-6 hours, NOT the driving only. That included the tours of the two temples. It's not that much really, and you get to see some really interesting country on the drive.

I agree that the Sonesta is nicer than the Steigenberger. They are similar but the later is just not as nice.
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Mar 3rd, 2013, 06:08 AM
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OK, that makes a difference. We will investigate further. Mara says they are worth seeing.
https://sites.google.com/site/egptwi...-how-many-days

I just checked rates on Sonesta vs. Steigenberger and Sonesta comes up a bit cheaper for same "standard Nile view" room, so presumably Select Egypt could set us up there as well. Thanks for the info.
Nelson is online now  
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Mar 6th, 2013, 05:15 PM
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Nelson, our day trip to Abydos and Dendara did include 5-6 hours of driving. It was 3 to Abydos, 1 1/2 to Dendara and over 1 hour back. Our driver was not a slow driver to say the least. We spent over an hour at each site. It was a full day but we really enjoyed it. Have a great trip!
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Mar 8th, 2013, 07:41 AM
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Thanks Tuni01. When we are in Luxor we'll have come off a long drive from the Western Desert, so we'll have to see how motivated we are to get in a vehicle again.

Also, my wife now thinks it important that we see Abu Simbel on more than just a day trip, so we might tweak our plans a bit and cut one day out of Luxor. This could sacrifice Abydos and Dendara.

Can't see it all! But planning all this is fun.
Nelson is online now  
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Mar 12th, 2013, 04:54 PM
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It's been awhile since Egypt. You evidentally had no fears and did see much. We didn't get down to Luxor but explored elsewhere, did climb inside Giza pyramid and explore Sakkara and the wonderful museum. Would you comment on safety? You have not a word about unrest in the streets.

Our tour went on to Jordan and Israel.
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Mar 15th, 2013, 06:19 AM
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Nelson, there isn't much to see and do in Abu Simbel more than the Temples themselves, I really don't think you would need more than a day there. I would definately have abu simbel in your itinerary without doubt but wouldn't sacrifice a day at abydos and dendara to have an extra day at abu simbel unless there is some major reason why your wife really wants to do it? best to fit as much in as you can on the days that you have rather than miss out a complete day somewhere when a few hours at abu simbel, IMO, would be enough.
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Mar 15th, 2013, 06:21 AM
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Great trip report Tuni! thanks for sharing with us all
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Mar 15th, 2013, 06:58 AM
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Thanks again scotsgirl. Our travel mode has always been that we are willing to sacrifice some places in order to see others well at a slow pace. This style of travel is definitely not for everyone but it really works for us.

Also, we often enjoy minor off-the-beaten-path sites more than the major famous ones. But this does present some tough choices for us on occasion. Will take your opinion into account, thanks.
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