Packing for Egypt; shopping in Egypt & Jordan

Reply

Aug 12th, 2003, 01:09 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 596
Packing for Egypt; shopping in Egypt & Jordan

Katybird, Do you have any hints about how to pack for travel to Egypt & Jordan? I usually wear slacks for travel. Did you travel light? What unique items did you want to buy over there? Thanks for your help!
Marsh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 12th, 2003, 04:06 PM
  #2
katybird
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi Marsh, Packing was quite a challenge since this was a 3 week trip. I obsessed for months about what to take. My husband didn't think about packing until the last week before the trip and he was fine!! Wouldn't you know? Our trip began in Egypt Dec 6,2002.The evening we arrived in Jordan ..around the 20th..it was SNOWING, very windy and very cold.I took lightweight slacks and wish I had my jeans! I thought it was supposed to be in the 50's that time of year! SURPRISE!! It remained quite cool in Jordan except when we went to the Dead Sea. It was in the 60's there and several people took a dip. When we toured Jerash many in our group bought kafiyas from the vendors for warmth. I don't know what time of year you are going but if you are going around the same time I would suggest you take a windbreaker [mine had a hood which I used], a pair of warmer type slacks or jeans and some tops for layering. Egypt was quite pleasant. The mornings were cool but it warmed up pleasantly by noon. Most woman in our group wore long sleeves, slacks,jeans and skirts. Be sure to remember a hat...very important. The sun is very bright. You will not believe how blue the sky is in Egypt!!
As for shopping.They will take you to the markets and you will find spices, Egyptian cotton clothing..tee shirts to embroidered galabayas [spelling?] , beautiful table clothes ..10 meters long with napkins for about $12.00!, tons of cheap jewelry,papyrus paintings,rugs, spices, perfume bottles and MORE! You have to bargain for everything. It gets rather tiring after awhile! Anuket river boat has a wonderful little gold and sterling silver shop... not much, if any bargaining there.
GCT was wonderful. Have you traveled anywhere else with them ? I'm happy you are going to Jordan. We had a terrific program director. His name was Anais...young and knowledgable. He quite often is hired by GCT so I hope you have him.
I hope I have answered your questions.
Katybird
 
Reply With Quote
Aug 13th, 2003, 04:06 AM
  #3
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Marsh -

As katybird mentions, "what time of year" - whereas she unfortunately ran into the freaky winter weather of snow and cold. While Jordan and Egypt are close, Jordan has weather more like Israel that time of year.

Generally, slacks, skirts, t-shirts work well, and good walking shoes as you often find yourself on uneven pavements, stone, steps, etc. Being desert environments, often the evenings and nites are cool, so a shawl, sweater or lt. jacket are good ideas to have.

While on your cruise in Egypt, you can wear shorts, sleeveless tops and swimsuits on board. The weather in the Upper (south) Nile area of Aswan, Abu Simbel, Luxor are much hotter than in Cairo (Lower [north] Nile. At Valley of the Kings/Queens do try to get to the Tomb of Queen Nefretari (it's usually not a regular stop, costs extra, tickets must be gotton on day of tour at 6am - about $30) - but a "must see". Be careful taking photos in tombs as you have to by a photo ticket (cheap) but only allows you to take pics in 2 tombs - guards watch very carefully. Have a small flashlight with you as some tombs are very dark.

At every stop along the way in Egypt you will find vendors selling everything and bargaining is expected, but generally things aren't expensive. There is alabaster items, papyrus (don't buy those that come in plastic sheaths w/lots of gold - they're made on banana leaves, not papyrus). T-shirts, galabeyas, perfume?? - just lots of stuff. The bazaar is very crowded and often there isn't enough time to shop, so try to get back there on your own during some free time.

In Jordan, I'm sure you're going to Petra, where it is hotter, but wear long pants since they take most tourists to the opening of the Siq on donkeyback (smelly, touristy, flies, but fun - I chose to walk). Look for the sand-filled bottles, Dead-sea salts and mud at any stops to/fr Petra.

Basically, both are easy countries to visit, but do remember to have a scarf for entering mosques, synagogues; and incase you have a sand storm (happens certain times of year)to cover your face (bandanas do best).

You should have an excellent experience and don't forget plenty of film, batteries and a brush to keep your lenses clean. Happy travels.

 
Reply With Quote
Aug 13th, 2003, 11:36 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 596
Thanks, Katybird and Sandi for your help! We are going to Egypt Nov. 1st and will return Nov. 21st after touring Jordan. This is our first GCT trip, but we have traveled with OAT to China, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia and had great trips. Yes, I think men don't obsess about packing the way women do. Being tall and having long feet always create problems for me. I order my shoes and often make my slacks to fit. For that reason, I don't like checking my bag, but with the new restrictions I am forced to do it.
Marsh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 15th, 2003, 09:10 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2
Hi, Egypt is our favourite country and Jordan not far behind. We are going crusing and a week stay in Luxor in Sept - this is our 5th trip. Cairo can be a bit damp later in the year as it is affected by the med. We toured Jordan a couple of years back in Jan and Aquaba and the dead sea were great but Amman was very wet and cool. Jerash was similar. We were snow bound in Petra for 3 days. Petra is 4000 feet + and gets very bad weather at times. The snow did help though as when Petra reopened we had it to our selves as all the road were still blocked . If you go to Luxor be aware that photography in the tombs is now banned since june 2003. The Tomb of Queen Nefretari was closed from Jan this year and no signs of reopening yet . If you can stand the heat then mid day is the best times to visit any of the sites - You have them to your selves. Last year in July we walked over the top from The Valley of the Kings to Hatshepsut at mid day, it was 106deg. We had it to our selves and the view as we brested the ridge is one I will treasure all my life. You just have to be sensible but don't let the guide books frighten you off from doing things.
For clothing we wear thin cotton long sleves and often don't bother with shorts just adds to the amount of sun block you have to put on, but take a pile coat to Jordan. But most of all enjoy your trip. Finally Jodan can be quite expensive - Egypt is cheap.
Molyball is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 15th, 2003, 02:44 PM
  #6
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It's not uusual to get snow, rain and cold weather in January in Jordan - I don't believe you have to worry about that in November.

As to shorts, we felt very comfortable out at the Pyramids, Giza, Sakkara, Memphis and along the stops of the cruise. But we're not talking short-shorts, rather those that are longer. Neither of us bothers with SPF suncreen, but then we don't regardless, so that's personal preference.

For tours in Cairo proper - mosques, temples, museum, bazaar - we wore capris or long pants and arms were covered to elbow at least.

Likewise in Jordan, we wore slacks and tops (shirts or t-shirts) the temps in Amman and north (Jeresh) were about mid-70s, but Petra was rather hot mid-80s.
 
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:30 PM.