Nov. 6 2005 OAT trip to Jordan and Egypt

Aug 25th, 2005, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,255
I donít want you to have the impression that the trip wasnít enjoyable. The sites we saw and the variety of experiences which OAT provided were overall as described in the itinerary. The only tour eliminated was the school visit. We were told that this was due to exams. I must say however, that both earlier OAT trips Iíve taken also had conflicts with school visits and the guides always found a way for us to visit at least 2 schools. Iím a teacher so this is something I look forward to.

I believe our guide in Egypt was ready for the tourist season to end. We were her last group and in my opinion the quality of service she provided was not up the usual OAT standard. I could give many examples but the fact that she didnít know the names of everyone in her group (16) by the end of the trip I believe sums up how much effort she put forth. Additionally; her attitude was that she was always rightóno discussion allowed! This attitude showed itself the first day when she reviewed our itinerary and hers was one day shorter than ours!

Our group shopping trips included: a jewelry shop (twice since items needed to be picked up), a carpet shop, a papyrus shop, a perfume shop (optional trip), a grocery store (to buy things for our lunch), an alabaster shop, a street market (to buy things for our cooking class during the Nile cruise), and the spice market.

While in Jordan the only "group shopping trip" was to the mosaic ďschoolĒ in Madaba.

We did have a home hosted meal in Jordan, one in Egypt, and we went to a Nubian home for tea in Egypt. Unlike other OAT trips weíve taken, our guide told us we were almost expected to bring a small gift for the family. With all the shopping trips in Egypt it was easy for those who didnít bring something from home to pick up a small gift.

We think so many of us became ill at the same time because we had tea during one of the shopping trips. One person said watched one of the salespeople clean the glasses between usesórinsed with tap water. Not washed.

We really did have a wonderful trip! Iím sure youíll have many memorable experiences.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
kp is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 141
Thanks so much for the lengthy response. I hope we get to visit the school. I am a retired teacher, and I always enjoy that, also. I had wondered about the gift for the host families. I had thought about bringing something from where I live. Was this done by anyone? I can't imagine what it will be yet, but that was just a thought. We (4 of us) ate with a host family last year in Russia, and I loved it. Did you like this part of the trip?
bobbysue is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,255
Having a meal with a host family is one of the highlights of an OAT trip! After the meals in Jordan & Egypt; pita and hummus have become staples in my refrig. I wish I had recipes for the other dips we learned to love.
Some of the gifts which were brought for host families were chocolate candy, refrigerator magnets, coasters, baseball caps, postcards and handmade note cards. The handmade note cards were beautiful--the man who brought these was the artist. After seeing the cards I've decided that from now on that's what I'll bring. In addition to being a beautiful gift they're easy to pack and they are something a family would be able to use.
kp is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 141
That's a very good idea. I'm very much into scrapbooking, and cardmaking is just a step away. I will just need to find out exactly how many hosted dinners we do. I don't think my itinerary called for three. Two I think.
bobbysue is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 01:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,255
I also enjoy scrapbooking! One of the airports in Egypt has small charms and Egyptian coins, which are no longer in circulation, for sale. Prices were very reasonable and these look very nice in a scrapbook. I mention this because this airport was the only place I saw these two items. Sorry I don't recall which airport it is.
Our itinerary also indicated 2 home hosted meals. The 3rd was tea in the Nubian village.
kp is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 141
Yep, I looked back at my itinerary, and we are scheduled for tea in a Nubian household. I will have to look for the coins. I try to put some in for any country I visit, but somehow I don't get back with any very often.
bobbysue is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 05:58 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 141
kp, if you don't mind, would you send me an e-mail at [email protected]? I'll promise not to bug you unnecessarily, but I know I'm going to have questions too trivial for the board in general and would like to get answers from you.
bobbysue is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 665
HI there! We are booked on this trip. We are leaving for the pre-trip Extension to Jordan on November 6, then we'll join the regular Egypt trip, then we are doing the post-trip Alexandria extension. We live in Seattle. Look forward to a reply, you can email me at [email protected]
wanderlust5 is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 141
I would like to find out more about the ability to BYOB on EgyptAir. I have a phobia about flying, and even though I have a Xanax prescription for it, I find that a couple of glasses of wine are even better than taking the Xanax. I would like for someone to answer Shelia's question about whether or not you can BYOB on the plane.
bobbysue is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 15
Hi, We're booked on OAT's Dec. 30th trip. Anyone going on that one?
I'm eager to hear what Fodor's editor Doug says about his Sept. trip; he should be back this weekend!
According to our itinerary, we should have 1.5 free days in Cairo (if we don't take the Spiritual Tour); is that realistic? We want to engage a private guide for the full day to see some of the OAT sites plus other more esoteric ones.
RE: Valley of the Kings/Queens. Hard to believe OAT has us scheduled for only a half day there! Anyone, do they include Nefertari's temple? What do we get to see? Is it possible to stay there during the free afternoon to see more?
NDesco is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 141
I'm looking forward to Doug Stalling's report, also. I believe it should be coming up soon. Unfortunately, I can't answer any of your questions since I haven't been yet. We definitely want to do the Coptic Cairo tour and Khan el Khalil, so we won't get that free day. People I know who have done the trip say there is very little free time, but I guess that depends on the optionals booked. I happen to want them all except for the light shows.
bobbysue is offline  
Oct 16th, 2005, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,085
I hope I don't disappoint with my "Trip Report". I haven't put together anything nearly as detailed as what you are used to. But it will appear in "Just Back From" sometime this week. I'm not sure what day it will be posted. But I'll write about any specific questions anyone has. I'll try to check back here, but I started my own thread, so look for that as well.
doug_stallings is offline  

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