Just back from Egypt ....

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Mar 31st, 2004, 05:17 PM
  #1
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Just back from Egypt ....

My wife and I just returned from an 11 day/9 nite trip to Egypt. We booked our trip thru MISR in NYC and they were excellent.

Our tour consisted of:

3 nites at the Mena House
3 nites - Nile Cruise
3 nites - Ramses Hilton

All were fabulous. We booked the "Extraordinary" tour thru MISR.

This tour will get you to see, in my opinion, all the major things you really want to go to Egypt for. And at a great price.

Our weather was perfect. We were there a week after a major heatwave.

The Egyptian people were just awesome. Especially the little kids that would come up to you saying -- "Hello - what's your name?" Couldn't get enough of that.

There are so many highlights that I wouldn't know where to start to share them. I wrote a travelog which I would enjoy sharing with anyone who may be interested. It covers everything that my wife and I experienced in Egypt.

Just send me a note at my email: [email protected]

Sandi, I just want to thank you for your help in answering my Q's before we left for the tour. You were extremely helpful to us in our planning. And you've been extremely helpful to many others on the forum.

Egypt is just an awesome experience. If anyone is thinking about it but is maybe a bit uncertain for whatever reason -- GO! You will love it.

Happy trails. Again, if anyone wants the travelog, just send me an email and I'll get it to you as soon as I can.

Kind regards to all.

Bob
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Apr 1st, 2004, 04:33 AM
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happywanderer -

I'm so thrilled that your trip was all you expected it to be. And weren't you lucky to have just missed a heatwave! Was that heat only in Cairo? As further on the Nile at Luxor and Aswan it's often always hot.

Glad to have been of help. We email separately for your journal. Welcome home!
 
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Apr 1st, 2004, 05:42 AM
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Happywanderer!

Your trip sounds fantastic. My Husband and I are going to Egypt in September/October for a month. Your post made me even that more excited. Thanks for posting!

CWanderer
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Apr 1st, 2004, 07:10 AM
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Hi Bob:

My husband and I returned from Egypt on March 13 after a 2 week vacation there and our experience paralelled yours. We could not have stated our impressions better! It's a fantastic country, the people are great and I too would encourage anyone to go! We travelled with Experience Egypt - an Egyptian company - and they were excellent as well. We found the Egyptian travel companies to cost at least 1/3 less than U.S. companies for the very same product. Definately the trip of a lifetime!
Lori
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Apr 1st, 2004, 10:07 AM
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Hi Bob: My husband and I are also planning a visit to Egypt in late September and after reading all the wonderful posts and helpful hints here -- especially from Sandi -- we can't wait to go. I will e-mail you directly for your trip log. Mimi
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Apr 1st, 2004, 04:44 PM
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To Mimi--I am also going to Egypt at the end of September with Isram Tours. Which group are you going with? Let's compare notes. Felicia
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Apr 2nd, 2004, 07:33 AM
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Hi Felicia: We are going with Egyptian Connection -- they are at egyptontheweb.com. They offer a 2 week itinerary with a 7 night Nile Cruise which really appealed to us. Let's continue this dialog! Mimi
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Apr 2nd, 2004, 01:19 PM
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Mimi - if you're doing the 7-day cruise that means you're going up to Dendera and Abydos. You must do a trip report on these two sites - especially the Seti I tomb with the list of all the pharoahs - other than the 7-day cruise, most don't get here.

While there is a day-tour from Luxor, one still has to arrange this separate from a tour and hope you're in Luxor on the day the boat goes.

When we visited, we had an extra day in Luxor and had planned on taking the road trip to Dendera - with full military patrol and all, but we wanted to visit Karnak again (it is just so big) that we canceled the Dendera trip.

One day I hope to return to Egypt and visit Dendera and Abydos, as well as Armana and the Western Desert Oasis, but till then, please make a note for yourself to let us know about these two areas. Thanks.
 
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Apr 3rd, 2004, 05:28 AM
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To Mimi- my e-mail address is:
[email protected].
I would enjoy corresponding with you further on the Egypt trip. Felicia
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Apr 4th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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As I have told Sandi & Mimi, my husband and I went on the 15 day trip with the Egyptian Connection. The trip was fantastic and we could not have picked a better tour group to go with. All their employees were great. You will enjoy the Nile cruise, and on one of the days, you will experience natives coming out on their boats throwing all kinds of clothing for you to buy. It is just before the canal when the ships are lined up to go through. You can really get some great bargains, especially the galabeyas. You do have to do a lot of bartering. You will all enjoy the trip.
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Apr 4th, 2004, 11:44 AM
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Sandi,

I don't do cruises, however, I have visited both Dandara and Abydos by car from Luxor. Both are very worthwhile trips. The drive to Dandara is short enough to be enjoyable; the trip on to Abydos gets pretty tedious especially with the ridiculous rules for the convoys.

Dandara is as close to a complete temple as you'll find other than the one at Edfu. If I had to chose between the two, I would pick Dandara; it's set off pretty much by itself so you don't have to endure hordes of trinkets sellers and is in spectacular condition. Don't miss the replica of the zodiac (one of the oldest known) in the rooftop temple; the original was spirited off to the Louvre by Napoleon. As far as I know, Dandara is the only temple that allows you to go up onto the roof; there is also an underground room that's well worth the visit. I generally skip the local tour guides when I visit temples but took one up on the offer this time and it was actually worthwhile.

Abydos is described in books as having exquisite wall carvings. I generally don't put much faith in the exagerations you find in travel books, but this is one instance where the exageration turns out to be an understatement. I have never seen such beautiful work anywhere. It was something like a three hour drive to get here from Luxor but I'd do it again in an instant. There are the remains of a much much older temple outside behind Seti's that also makes the trip worthwhile. Look at the huge stones that were used to build it and try to imagine how they were put there with the precision that you find.

Neither place is as jaw dropping spectacular as Abu Simbel, but, in their own way, each is as worthwhile. I can't encourage people enough to visit both sites.
 
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Apr 4th, 2004, 01:08 PM
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rfb -

Thanks so much for your comments on Dendera and Abydos, not just in response to my post but the benefit of those who haven't visited these two sites.

From the many documentaries I've seen, books read and your excellent descriptions, I'm so sorry we didn't take the opportunity when we last visited. I believe we all get caught up in the amount of time we have, and where to visit, it's sometimes difficult not to omit a site that really shouldn't be missed. This, I believe, is especially so with Egypt - there is just so much and in so many places around the country.

As the saying goes "so many places, not enough time" to get to them all, but Egypt will definitely be a repeat visit. Thanks again.
 
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Apr 5th, 2004, 12:53 PM
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This is all very helpful information! I do have some questions if anyone has any experience. My husband and I will be traveling to Egypt for a month in Septemebr/October. I hear that it can still be very hot. Is that true? Also an suggestions on what to pack for suck a long trip. When we went backpacking through europe we stopped at Laudry mats to wash clothes since we were gone so long. Are there such places in Egypt? Should I consider bringing detergent to wash up something in the hotel sinks? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
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Apr 5th, 2004, 01:50 PM
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We went last September and returned October 1st. It was very hot especially the Valley of the Kings & Queens. You have to layer your clothing in case of coolness at night. Also, remember to bring a large hat, and maybe one with a flap on the back so your neck won't get burned. Bring sunlotion and put it on everyday. We also had spritz/fan bottles to cool us during the day. You can find them at most department stores now. Don't wait until Summer is over as they tend to run out. You should wear shorts that are not TOO SHORT, cotton slacks, etc. The most important thing is to bring very comfortable shoes. Hope this helps.
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Apr 6th, 2004, 05:46 AM
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CWanderer - as to doing laundry on a month trip to Egypt - guess you can do some kinds in your room, but depending on whether they are air conditioned or not - will things dry overnight? We've had situations (not Egypt), where they didn't dry, but since we had 5-days in this location, it worked out.

Try contacting Debbie Senter from Casual Cairo OnLine - don't have her exact website, but a "search" should locate it. Debbie is an American living in Cairo and has great offerings for folks - things not nomally offered/available under standard touring experiences, but especially information. I'm sure she could advise whether there are free-standing Laundermats somewhere and if not what your options might be.

I have found (in some countries) where more backpacker-type travelers stay, these accommodations often have laundry rooms on the premises. But contact Debbie.
 
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Apr 6th, 2004, 06:28 AM
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DBerdat and Sandi ?
Tahank you for the feedback and the great ideas. I've already stared gathering some things we'll need for our trip, being that summer will be over here in Minnesota before we leave on our trip. Thanks for the water bottle idea. That will come in very handy. And thank you for the information on Debbie. I will seek her out to get more information. You guys are so helpful!
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Apr 6th, 2004, 01:21 PM
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I have not heard of anyone that has gone to the Tomb of Mereruka in Saqqara. This is a fabulous hardly visited tomb with fine reliefs. When I was in Egypt in Jan 2004 with A & K we went there for about 2 hours and while we were there 8 Australian archaeologists were tracing over the reliefs on plastic in order to photgraph for a book. This was a real treat that most people don't get to ses. I was so impressed. Also at Dendera we went down about 35 feet on narrow walk way about 2 feet wide to see a perfect relief of Horus! These are sites not to miss!! Egypt is a fabulous country and very safe.
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Apr 6th, 2004, 01:40 PM
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MauiMaui - maybe when you visited the Tomb of Mereruka there weren't many tourists, but hearing that name jolted my memory, so I pulled out my journal.

Sure enough, when we visted, there were plenty of tourists, that I had to leave. If the tomb itself wasn't claustrophobic (there are 32 rooms) too many people got to me. I checked out the first few rooms, anywhere there was still light coming thru - then I was out of there for air.

So often it comes down to timing. As right after I left the tomb, though my friend stayed - the place practically emptied out and I could have it to myself.

But the reliefs here were outstanding, the few that I got to see.
 
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Apr 6th, 2004, 03:00 PM
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CWanderer: Forgot to mention, but on our 7 day Nile River cruise, we had the crew do our laundry. It was unbelieveably cheap. If I remember, we gave them our clothes twice during that week and it cost us $2.50 the first time, and then we gave them all the rest of our laundry before we got off the ship and it was about $3.25. I didn't both to do any handwash at all when I found out how cheap it was. And, the whites came out really white.
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