Just back from Egypt & Jordan - AMAZING!

Oct 25th, 2008, 07:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,465

Well in June I did the Black Sea area ,doing Bulgaria, Vienna,Moldova and Western Ukraine.

The scenery of the Carpathian mountains in western Ukraine was the nicest drive I ever had in Europe.

In August,I did Paris(4 days) and Strasbourg ( France), see what you want in Paris but Strasbourg ( 2 days) is the place to be !!!
..then on to Switzerland...did almost all of Switzerland.

Geneva was nice but I was disappointed (for my own reasons).

Went to Zermatt Switzerland to take the cog-wheel train up to the Matterhorn ( famous mountain in Switzerland)

From Lucerne (this is a great place) Switzerland to Zurich and then into Liechenstein..
from here..
..it was over the border to Germany.

First to Fussen ( 2 days) to see the original "Walt Disney Castle" as built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria .

The Black Forest of Germany is a very lovely countryside. ( Yes I had some Black Forest cake !!!)
then on to

Munich ( 3 days)..from here to

Rothenburg( 2 days) (this is a very very lovely place...you can spend a week here.)
In your mind just think of a very lovely quaint Germany town nestled in a lovely countryside...
well,that is Rothenburg.
from here
to Nuremburg....saw where the Nuremburg War Trials were held,after the War.

In a large grandstand I stood where Hitler stood as he gave his political speeches.
Hitler is no hero over there and nor should he be.. okay enough politics !!

from here to Dresden( 3 days)..this is such a lovely place with such ornate Barogue buildings.

then on to Berlin...this is a highlite place, so much history..so much to see... parts of the Berlin Wall are still remaining in a few places.
then after spending 4 days here it was off to Frankfurtand then finally the flight home ( boo - hoo!).

I was at the Huafbrahuas Beerfest in Munich!
Saw many of those Germany Castle that I saw so many pictures of over the years.

Of course the King Ludwig Castle is really something !

You know what I am planning for 2009.!
Either a Russian River cruise or an African Safari to Kenya and Tanzania.

We will see what 2009 brings

Gee you asked me where I am going next and I get long winded on you....sorry about that.

Good Night

Percy is online now  
Oct 26th, 2008, 11:25 AM
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Wow! Amazing...I'm jealous You're the one who doesn't rest!

I started looking at info on Russian river cruises and ended up somehow booking one for China next year instead. If I like the company (Viking) I'll try their Russian version another time.

I've been reading recently about safari trips, too - mostly in South Africa (only because I just read a Paul Theroux book talking about Mala Mala and that got me looking at that particular camp).

Good luck with your 2009 travels - I'm sure you'll be busy!
Leslie_S is offline  
Oct 26th, 2008, 12:25 PM
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The trouble with the Safari is that I find it difficult to get someone to go with you.

None of my friends are keen on a Safari and even more so ,since all that trouble in Kenya earlier this year.

I was going to go in July of this year but when I was making the bookings in early February ,many travel agencies were not booking due to the extreme unrest at the time.

So I did Paris ,Switzerland and Germany instead.
I could have gone to China 3 weeks after returning from Germany,but that would have been too exhausting.

Let me just add this :

I have done many cruise, but the best cruise I ever did ...was a Baltic Cruise (August 2007) that started in

Copenhagen...to Stockholm...to Helsinki..to St.Petersburg ( 2 days)
Tallin Estonia...to
Gdansk Poland...to
Oslo Norway and back to


You want to see Art and Architecture and opulent palaces ,then see St. Pertersburg...forget Rome !

Personal I found this much better than the Mediterranean Cruise ( 8 months earlier)
Just some food for thought.!!

Good Luck in all your travels
Percy is online now  
Oct 26th, 2008, 07:40 PM
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Dear fellow Fodorites-you are the best for travel info.
My husband & I live for travel. This year we went to Portugal-the Euro knocked our socks off-just going to Cancun next year to R&R but... I we are thimeshare owners & I put a request in for Malta-luckily & checkes OUR site & found out they converted to Euro this year-I called & cancelled our 2010 wee & put in for Egypt-Bingo-I got a week October on the Red sea. I will be gleaning info in the next year from all of you for the rest of our holiday-I putin a 2nd week for Israle or Jordan-we'll see what comes up. I noted the tour agency you rec'd so we'll go to Cairo & maybe the cruise on Nile before our week in Jurghada. Looked in paper & looks like October is nice as far as weather-thanks all for all helpful info
PS Last year we were in Bali & Thailand-year before Paris-Cyprus-Turkey. We have been to Greece several times-Italy several times-Germany-Switzerland. I do not pay attention to the media re places not to go to-we would live in a shell if we did.
Happy travels & thanks for all helpful info-Chris
BeniciaChris is offline  
Oct 27th, 2008, 04:27 AM
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Percy - I have trouble getting anyone to go with me anywhere - not just on safari! I think the camps in SA appealed to me because it seemed unrest would not be an issue thre like in other countries (but I know little to nothing about safaris so probably should not even venture any opinion).

A Baltic cruise sounds great. What line do you go with?

Chris - yes, there is tons of good info from fodorites on these boards - have fun in Egypt!
Leslie_S is offline  
Oct 27th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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I used Princess out of Copenhagen.

I did a trip report ,port by port of all the places on the cruise.

You really should go to St.Petersburg sometime soon.

Gee I could help you with this trip

Take Care

Percy is online now  
Oct 27th, 2008, 07:50 AM
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Leslie S: I just noticed that you mentioned that you booked a trip to China for next year with Viking. I recently returned from there (and Viet Nam) and I was favorably impressed with Viking. If you have any questions, let me know.
Lolo12 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2008, 11:26 AM
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Lolo - I replied to your kind offer on another thread of yours - "leaving for China tomorrow & can't wait" - can you go there when you get a chance. Thanks.

Leslie_S is offline  
Oct 27th, 2008, 02:05 PM
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I expect a trip report.!

I feel like I should have gone in September..but I was still re-cooperating from Europe (sigh!)


Percy is online now  
Dec 17th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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bookmarking...Fabulous trip report Leslie. Thank you.

We're planning a similar length trip for these 2 places. I will check out STI.
JoyC is online now  
Dec 18th, 2008, 07:20 AM
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Joy - we really thought they (STI)were a great company and a good value -- I hope that would be true for anyone else who used them. Hate to recommend and then someone be disappointed.
I plan to go back in a couple of years and would go through them again.

I think I did mention above that when you add the Petra extension it's outsourced to a different, Jordan-based, company (Dakkak when we went) and they were slightly less organized than STI. No real problems but not quite the same level as STI.
Leslie_S is offline  
Dec 18th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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Hi Leslie!

Yes, you did mention about the outsourcing of the Petra part. We only plan to be in Jordan for 2-3 days, so its not a big deal if they are slightly disorganized than STI.

When exactly were you in these 2 countries? We are planning on Spring 2010 (can't go Spring 2009 as we will be in the Dolomites for the break), but if that's too far off, maybe December 2009. My son kinda want to take a dip in the Dead Sea.
JoyC is online now  
Dec 21st, 2008, 05:23 AM
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Joy - We were there in May this year. The Dead Sea was really an interesting experience - slimey feeling water from all of the minerals in it but there were public showers to rinse off. The feeling of buoyancy is so cool. If you do plan to try that, having some water shoes made it much eaiser - the bottom is covered with salt deposits (I'm guessing that's what it is) which are sharp like coral. My mom went in in flipflops and that was a disaster. I had brought some cheap little water shoes from Target (like $6) and then disposed of them there.

The weather in May was hot but not unbearable. I think in December going in the water might not be doable altho' maybe your son is hardy enough for a quick dip.
I've seen pictures of people in Petra in December and they're in coats & gloves so not my kind of swimming weather!

Jordan was lovely - everyone very helpful and friendly.
I think maybe they don't see as many tourists and aren't burned out on them (or resentful) like they are in other countries.
Leslie_S is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 05:04 PM
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Did you notice any problem with the water level in the Nile affecting the cruise? Also, was your ship moored bow to stern, sided to side with other boats? Do you think 4 nights was enough and do you think you had plenty of time to see all the sights in and around Aswan and Luxor, and in between too?
tinydancer is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 05:22 PM
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tinydancer - I was in Egypt last month and the Nile's water level was low. Our ship was unable to cruise from Luxor to Dendera, we went there by bus instead. This turned out to be fine as we drove past a lot of farmland. I enjoyed seeing the farmers and the small towns we passed.
jerseysusan is online now  
Feb 7th, 2009, 06:05 AM
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tinydancer - the water level was not an issue when we went in May. Our boat was moored side-by-side with others. Luckily, each time our side of the boat was on the outside of the row so we didn't have another ship next to us, only the dock or the river.

As far as 4 nights on the Nile...I guess it's all relative. Depends on what sites you want to see. I felt it was enough time but I'm sure there was much more we could've visited (Valley of the Queens, for example, ran out of time for that visit). I don't know that 7 days (I believe that's what the longer version usually is) would have added that much to my enjoyment or possibly would've felt too long. A lot would depend on the ship for me. Ours was okay, not fancy, and having a lot of downtime on it would've gotten old to me.

Leslie_S is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 09:30 AM
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Hi Leslie, Percy (and anyone else with advice!),

I'm going to Israel with a friend the end of Feb for 2 weeks. During that time I have 2-3 days on my own while my friend attends a bar mitzvah. I was thinking of going to Egypt (from Elait) and my friend (who's from Israel) has suggested I check out Petra (although she's never been). I, unfortunately, only have time for one or the other.
Just wondering if you have any advice for me. I'll be travelling alone (female, early 30s) and although I really want to go to Egypt and see some of the pyramids, I don't want my decision to result in my mother having a heart attack!!

Any advice would be great!

PS I'm also planning an African safari (hopefully fall 2010)!
JC15 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 06:25 AM
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Based on only having 2 or 3 days I'd say go to Petra. Egypt would take a lot more time just to see the bare minimum. You could actually do more than Petra in Jordan in a few days - Amman, Jerash, Ajloun, maybe a dip in the Dead Sea -- altho' in Feb I guess that would be too cold.

Any, just my humble opinion but I'd save Egypt for another time when you can devote at least a week & a half.

Also, Jordan seemed like it would be easier to get around as a solo female traveler - just my sense of it. Hotels can help arrange for drivers to take you to sites and then there are guides outside of them if you wish to pay to have them show you through the sites or you can just go it alone.

Have fun whatever you decide!
Leslie_S is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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I agree with Leslie

No use coming to Egypt for that short of a time.... fighting the traffic... seeing the Pyramids and the Sphinx and then virtually heading back the next day.

Petra if your better option.
Your in one place and you can see it all

Percy is online now  
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