Jerusalem & Egypt advice

Old Sep 29th, 2023, 02:36 AM
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Jerusalem & Egypt advice

To all:
Next year we are planning a trip to Israel and Egypt and need the expertise of Fodor's experts.
We booked the tour through Extraordinary Journeys. Has anybody had any experience with them?
We have 4 days in Jerusalem. Is Bethlehem worthy of a side trip from Jerusalem? It seems to me that Masada would be a better option.
Any advice on what to do in Alexandria?

Thanks,
Greg
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Old Sep 29th, 2023, 01:31 PM
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I don't understand -- you booked a tour but you're trying to plan your own trip? Please clarify.

Impossible to say what's "worthy" and "a better" option between Bethlehem and Masada without knowing your interests. And your question is very hard to answer this question in a vacuum without knowing your general itinerary.

If you put a little bit more effort into describing your itinerary in general and your interests (religion, history, etc.), it'd be much easier to give you good info.
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Old Sep 29th, 2023, 05:13 PM
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I don't quite understand either. I did not see where Extraordinary Journeys goes to Israel as they for the most part are based in Africa for safaris so are you using them for Alexandria and are you doing something else from Jerusalem on your own?

Their reviews are still so I would not worry about them. They should be fine.

Personally I would try to see both Masada and Bethlehem as we actually did. They are not that far apart.

Last edited by jacketwatch; Sep 29th, 2023 at 05:24 PM.
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by LAX_Esq
I don't understand -- you booked a tour but you're trying to plan your own trip? Please clarify.

Impossible to say what's "worthy" and "a better" option between Bethlehem and Masada without knowing your interests. And your question is very hard to answer this question in a vacuum without knowing your general itinerary.

If you put a little bit more effort into describing your itinerary in general and your interests (religion, history, etc.), it'd be much easier to give you good info.
Well, one can do both. I mean does one go on a guided tour without any research? EJ has personal tour guides that come with suggested itineraries so I am trying to do my due diligence. For example, Bethlehem or Masada. Did not think this was so difficult, but thanks anyway!

Last edited by VolGreg; Sep 30th, 2023 at 02:47 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jacketwatch
I don't quite understand either. I did not see where Extraordinary Journeys goes to Israel as they for the most part are based in Africa for safaris so are you using them for Alexandria and are you doing something else from Jerusalem on your own?

Their reviews are still so I would not worry about them. They should be fine.

Personally I would try to see both Masada and Bethlehem as we actually did. They are not that far apart.
To which reviews are you referring? Again EJ has guided personal tour guides that come with suggested itineraries, Time is limited so choices must be made. Hence, what to do in Alexandria?
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jacketwatch
I don't quite understand either. I did not see where Extraordinary Journeys goes to Israel as they for the most part are based in Africa for safaris so are you using them for Alexandria and are you doing something else from Jerusalem on your own?

Their reviews are still so I would not worry about them. They should be fine.

Personally I would try to see both Masada and Bethlehem as we actually did. They are not that far apart.
To which reviews are you referring? Again EJ has personal tour guides that come with suggested itineraries, Time is limited so choices must be made. Hence, what to do in Alexandria?
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by VolGreg
To which reviews are you referring? Again EJ has personal tour guides that come with suggested itineraries, Time is limited so choices must be made. Hence, what to do in Alexandria?
when I googled that company, I see reviews. They are generally all positive. Thatís what I was referring to. As mentioned I have never been in Alexandria so I canít help you with that.

I also mentioned that I did not see them doing tours in Israel. So my question is when you are in Jerusalem what are you doing for guides? Do you have a guide or are you still planning? Do you plan to do this on your own when youíre in Jerusalem?
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 04:24 AM
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VolGreg,
Why not post your planned itinerary so folks can give you recommendations based on what you are doing? Are you combining EJ tours?

We were in Egypt for over 2 weeks last year and did not go to Alexandria so not sure where you are going on your tour. We spent 4 nights in Luxor and I wish I had more time there.

jacketwatch, I looked at the EJ website, and, if you dig through their site a bit, it does look like they have a few tours in Israel, though it’s not listed as a category.
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 04:50 AM
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Apparently, I am having trouble getting my point across. Apologies. EJ has personal tour guides exclusively attached to the two of us (not a group) and with this comes several suggested itineraries. This gives us the flexibility not found on group tours so decisions must be made. The Egypt part (except for Alexandria) is nailed down and we are happy with it. We just need Fodorites' expertise on Alexandria as it is at the end of the trip consuming two days.

In Jerusalem, we have 4 days minus travel from the airport. One can spend a month there and not see everything. Decisions must be made with several suggested itineraries. It is my thinking that Masada might be more interesting than Bethlehem, but I have never been to Israel.
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 06:55 AM
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I was in Masada in 1971 and it was then a very moving experience. I didn’t go to Bethlehem so can’t compare.

We went to Egypt last year though didn’t go to Alexandria but I imagine you’ve seen the suggestions for what to see. It looks like a good city to end in - more relaxing, less “must-see” sights, but enough to see if you still feel the desire to do tourist activities. It has the corniche which looks popular for cafes and strolling. Several Roman-era ruins, a citadel and a large mosque can be visited.
https://www.divergenttravelers.com/t...xandria-egypt/
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by VolGreg
Apparently, I am having trouble getting my point across. Apologies. EJ has personal tour guides exclusively attached to the two of us (not a group) and with this comes several suggested itineraries. This gives us the flexibility not found on group tours so decisions must be made. The Egypt part (except for Alexandria) is nailed down and we are happy with it. We just need Fodorites' expertise on Alexandria as it is at the end of the trip consuming two days.

In Jerusalem, we have 4 days minus travel from the airport. One can spend a month there and not see everything. Decisions must be made with several suggested itineraries. It is my thinking that Masada might be more interesting than Bethlehem, but I have never been to Israel.
Bethlehem is very interesting too. In Bethlehem is the church of the nativity and underneath an altar is the spot where Jesus was born and where his manger was. Unfortunately, I did not see more of Bethlehem, because I was becoming ill with noro virus so after seeing the church of the nativity, we went back to the ship.

however, if you can manage to see the two of them, I think it would be well worth your time.

Larry
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 07:25 AM
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Thanks, Larry & progol!

Larry;
What concerns me about Bethlehem is the line to see His birthplace is long and there would be nothing left to see afterward.

progol, that was an excellent link on Alexandria!

Again thanks
Greg

Last edited by VolGreg; Sep 30th, 2023 at 07:30 AM.
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by VolGreg
Thanks, Larry & progol!

Larry;
What concerns me about Bethlehem is the line to see His birthplace is long and there would be nothing left to see afterward.

progol, that was an excellent link on Alexandria!

Again thanks
Greg
valid point. However, we got around this by having a private tour guide. And though you pay through the nose for this you bypass those lines. Just a thought.

Last edited by jacketwatch; Sep 30th, 2023 at 08:23 AM.
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 08:27 AM
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My husband and I preferred visiting Masada over Bethlehem. We learned a lot there and had plenty of time to enjoy the site. Bethlehem was very busy and crowded the day we were there which likely diminished the experience.
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by KTtravel
My husband and I preferred visiting Masada over Bethlehem. We learned a lot there and had plenty of time to enjoy the site. Bethlehem was very busy and crowded the day we were there which likely diminished the experience.
KTtravel, that was my impression, thanks!
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by VolGreg
KTtravel, that was my impression, thanks!
crowding may depend on the time of year you are going. Are you going during peak season or off-season?

The other thing that affects crowding is whether or not ships are in port at that time.

we went in the fall and I think it was late October into early November and at that time we didn’t have what I would call crowding just about anywhere.

In any case, I’m sure you’ll enjoy whatever you plan to do. It’s truly an amazing experience to go to Israel.

All the best.

Larry

Last edited by jacketwatch; Sep 30th, 2023 at 09:31 AM.
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jacketwatch
crowding may depend on the time of year you are going. Are you going during peak season or off-season?

The other thing that affects crowding is whether or not ships are in port at that time.

we went in the fall and I think it was late October into early November and at that time we didnít have what I would call crowding just about anywhere.

In any case, Iím sure youíll enjoy whatever you plan to do. Itís truly an amazing experience to go to Israel.

All the best.

Larry
We are going in November next year. We will see, trying to get a consensus from Fodorites.
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 10:12 AM
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We arrived in Egypt on October 30 last year and left on November 16. I was a little concerned it might be too hot, but it was very manageable - warm but tolerable. We were in Aswan in the middle of November and it was the warmest place by far, the only time I felt like the heat was getting to me. Overall, I felt November was a good month. If I didn’t need to be home for Thanksgiving, I might’ve pushed it a little later but not by much.
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Old Sep 30th, 2023, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by VolGreg
We are going in November next year. We will see, trying to get a consensus from Fodorites.
That should be fine weather wise.

as you were going that far, it would be really nice to see Bethlehem as well as Masada though that has to be a comfortable decision for you.

Good luck.

Larry


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Old Oct 1st, 2023, 08:57 AM
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To All:
It looks like this thread has reached its natural end. Thanks to all the links and replies helped.

Greg
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