Sep 19th, 2006, 10:12 AM
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heymo -

We picked up our Gallabeyas while cruising the Nile, in Edfu, I believe. There are some very lovely ones at pretty stiff prices found in Cairo, but for our purposes, the ones found along the Nile were lovely - Price $10, if that. There are short-sleeve and long-sleeve and do check the length, so open them to be certain what you have. We did buy some for children when back in Cairo, but sizes were somewhat difficult to determine, though prices were less than $10.

Papyrus is a nice gift which they place in a tube for packing. Those you find being sold in plastic sleeves with lots of gold on them, aren't real papyrus, bus banana leaf. Good for friends if you don't want to spend higher for the real thing. Though even the real thing varies in price depending on where purchased. It's the framing, once home that can cost a fortune.

Friend had a cartouche made, visiting the shop in the morning and picking up in the afternoon.

Have fun, Egypt is a wonderful country with warm and welcoming people.
Sep 19th, 2006, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,282
Thanks Sandi- I've appreciated your input and suggestions on several of my questions in the past few weeks. I had been told conflicting information about buying the Gallabiyas, someone said they were cheapest on the ship (which seemed surprising to me, I would have thought they would be even MORE expensive there)...thus my query.

I plan to pick up at least one papyrus, if not for a gift then at least one for my classroom! I think I am going to need to bring extra luggage!
heymo is offline  
Sep 19th, 2006, 02:02 PM
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I don't think they are cheaper on the ship. They did have them for rent for gallabeya night, however. We bought ours across from the ship at the shops in I believe Edfu and paid a lot less than the rental! I think about $5 for a pretty one but with not too much decoration.
I got silver cartouches made for gifts in the Khan for about $15 each last year (took an hour or two). I got gold for myself. Actually the one I liked best was a short gold one which I got for my mother whose name has only 4 letters. I think it looks much nicer than my long 7 letter one!
By the way, a hint, if you want to just gaze at all of those spices heaped up in the market in Aswan and not be bothered by people wanting to sell, sell, sell, just say you are an Aussie as the Egyptians know very well that Australians cannot take spices back into their country and they back off the sales pitch and just explain.
We only found this out as we caught a cab in at night with an Australian couple we met on the boat. The cab will come back and pick you up at a prearranged time which is very nice.
Philbill is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 07:11 AM
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Thanks Philbill for the suggestions. My name is also short (Beth) so I was thinking it might look silly on a cartouche. Good to know it doesn't.

And thanks for the hint about the spices...I didn't realize that Americans can bring them home. I would think there would be restrictions on that...I'll work on my Aussie accent!
heymo is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 07:42 PM
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Boy, you got a ton of info! And, I forgot one souvenier item. Buy bookmarks to put in your Christmas cards. Don't pay more than 10/$1 US. I purchased them at numerous sites. Okay, so I bought $5 worth. Here's my Christmas letter: Dear (Names) While we were in Egypt, I thought of you and here is a bookmark, etc. Get the idea? Have a great trip and feel free to ask any more questions. Obviously, you're getting great answers! Melissa
trophywife is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 07:44 PM
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Don't miss the sound and light shows at both Philae (sp?) and at the pyramids. It's not expensive and well worth it.
trophywife is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 07:49 PM
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No, I didn't buy a cartouche necklace. They were gorgeous, but not my style. I settled for a hollow Nefretiti, and she set me back about $50. I prefered the handmade papyrus that you could add the names to for about $18.
trophywife is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 05:28 AM
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You're right, Melissa...I have been very fortunate to have people make some very good suggestions. Thanks for the input on the cartouche necklace, I have a feeling I'm going to have to keep myself in check buying too many things while we're there!

The bookmarks are a good idea, I already thought we would end up putting a picture of us in Egypt on our Christmas card, that will be a great addition!

And thanks for your take on the sound and light shows. Wasn't aware of one at Philae, can you tell me more about it?
heymo is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 08:45 AM
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Sound and light at Giza was fine but I wouldn't go back. Glad I went.
Forgot one important thing..Egyptians will not take torn or worn American banknotes. They want newer ones. I wish we had known before we left. We changed dollars into Egyptian notes at the hotel as I said, and kept going back for small bills as they had a limit. The hotel (Meridian at the Pyramids) had a 'bank' so the exchange rate was just fine. Take lots of ones as someone mentioned. Vendors did take dollars but sometimes we could do much better exchange wise with local currency. As I said, banks and vendors were very picky about the condition of US bills.
Philbill is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 09:42 AM
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Philbill-That's interesting about the banks being fussy about the condition of currency... Did you change any money before you got to Egypt, or only when you got there? I'm thinking currency exchanges at airports may not have small denominations as readily available as local banks would. Our flight goes through Amsterdam, and I usually try to change money there.

I would like to see the sound and light show at Giza simply to see the pyramids at night...should be a completely different experience. I've heard the show itself is somewhat cheesy.
heymo is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 10:32 AM
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We didn't change any before, but we were met at the airport and taken to our hotel so we did not need any. We had dollar bills on hand for tipping if necessary as everyone wants 'baksheesh' but it wasn't.
I should say my bags were left in London so I had to wait 24 hours for them to arrive, but our person who met us took us to the appropriate place to fill out paperwork etc. and they were delivered to our hotel about 2am! He took care of everything and the hotel also called the airport to check later that day. What a blessing! The lost luggage place where we had to go to complete the forms happened to be in a building outside of the terminal!!
Philbill is offline  
Oct 1st, 2006, 08:06 PM
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I'm guessing you are on this trip or just returned. How about an update?
trophywife is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 03:14 PM
Original Poster
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We do not depart for Egypt until February 6th so no update yet. Your suggestions have been most helpful. Thanks.

KIBOKO is offline  
Oct 28th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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OAT sounds great. However, I can't find them on the web. Spelled out, dot com, doesn't work. Can you help?
mileagemaven is offline  
Oct 28th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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Try www.oattravel.com

That site will have OAT and Grand Cricle trips. Group size for OAT is smaller. Ages in our group ranged from early 20's to 80.
kp is offline  
Nov 18th, 2006, 01:50 PM
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Anyone else booked on the OAT Egypt trip leaving Mar 2? We're going on the pre-trip to Jordan so we actually leave on Feb 25th.

I've been lurking on this site for months while I considered where to go on vacation this year. Thanks everyone for all the great tips and trip reports here!
mowmow is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 04:14 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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We leave for Egypt on Dec 10 with Grand Circle Tours. We are a travel-experienced couple in our late 60's. Never been to Egypt. My wife is interested in what would be the best attire (pants? skirt?) when attending dinner with an Egyptian family, which is part of our tour. thanks to all for the terrific advice about money, shopping, etc.

jimmallory is offline  
Nov 25th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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If I had a long, comfortable skirt and luggage space is not a problem, I'd wear it and hope to wear it again at least once. If space and luggage weight is a problem, nice pants, maybe plain black.
Luisah is offline  
Dec 21st, 2006, 06:58 AM
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We are leaving for Egypt in February. I have really enjoyed everyone's suggestions. Thanks so much.

Any ideas on what to bring as a gift for dinner in a home?
1nancy1 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 09:26 AM
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We are planning a trip to Egypt, possibly with Grand Circle. Did anyone on these trips go on the hot air balloon in Luxor. If so, how was it.
smward is offline  

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