Returned from Egypt

May 17th, 2001, 10:15 AM
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Returned from Egypt

We just got back from visiting Cairo 6 nights and a 7 night Nile cruise plus the flight to Abu Simbel. If I have the answer to a question, glad to be helpful.
May 17th, 2001, 12:54 PM
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Did you use a tour company for the trip and also what hotel and boat were you on? Would love to hear your comments. Thanks.
May 17th, 2001, 04:00 PM
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We are from Canada so our air travel would be different. Just to break the trip up a bit we decided to fly to London and stayed over night near the airport and got a early flight to Cairo.
We used Ikon Travel in England and they arranged our air to Cairo, Cairo to Luxor and Luxor back to London and while we could have easily made connections both ways, staying over just made it a little nicer when we arrived in Cairo. We flew Egypt Air London to Cairo and domestic flights and they were just fine. We felt that we could do Cairo without the need of a tour company. We booked our hotel via the internet and from friends who had previously travelled to Cairo on a regular basis we had the Semiramis Inter-Continental recommended to us and we are glad we took their advice. It is very central, right on the Nile and just a block or so from the Egyptian Museum. It's a bit pricey but has all the amenities, good dining and comfortable rooms.
Ikon Travel made the cruise reservation for us. As we were not part of a tour on leaving Cairo we wondered whether all would be well when we arrived in Luxor. We selected an early flight out of Cairo and no problem at the Luxor airport. The tour representative was there with his sign, got us through customs in a flash ( we elected to get our visa before leaving home )and to the boat before lunch so we had the rest of the day to just wander about the town before meeting up with the rest of the Ikon tour group who arrived late afternoon from London.
The boat was the King Tut II and I think there was about 70 or 80 on board for the trip. The boat is 4 or 5 years old - the room was amply large, 2 single beds and a love seat and a desk &fridge to keep our water cold for the morning trips. The food was very acceptable.
This is possibly more than you wanted to know but when you see Egypt, it has so many great things you just tend to go on.
If you have specific questions, please ask.
May 17th, 2001, 06:42 PM
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I just got home from a 17 day tour of E w/ Maupintour and I cannot say enuff wonderful things about it. It was a perfect tour. We stayed at Mena House in Cairo, Montazah Sheraton in Alexandria, Conrad International back in Cairo again, then the Sonesta Moon Goddess for the cruise....private balconies which I used was fabulous, then....An Oberoi hotel in Aswan on the island, and then another Sonesta for our last nite in Cairo. All incredible rooms, mostly w/ balconies and super views..and never once was I stuck in a broom closet because I was a single!!! What else can I tell you?
May 18th, 2001, 07:46 PM
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Was so glad to see the messages from Sue and Leanna as I am leaving for Egypt on Thursday. Was expecially glad to hear that as a single I will not be stuck in a broom closet! Leanna, you stayed at some of the same hotels where I am booked - the Mena and the Aswan Oberoi. My Nile boat is a diffent one. Have heard different opinions on dress - can one wear conservative shorts in Luxor and Aswan, etc. I do know that they are not acceptable in the mosques. How about the trip to Abu Simbel? Good?
May 18th, 2001, 08:14 PM
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Shorts are quite acceptable throughout Egypt except for the mosques.
We found Abu Simbel to be one of the highlights. We got our tickets at Egypt Air in Cairo and you may be able to save a little compared to the tour price. Like they all say, try to get on board early and sit on the left hand side of the plane/
May 18th, 2001, 09:36 PM
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Leanna, I am so glad you enjoyed your trip so much, especially the different hotels.
We will be at the same one in Alexandria, so it was reassuring to read your report. What did you think of Alexandria? and what did you do and see while you were there?
You obviously survived the mummy's tummy problems - did you do anything special about the food or just take care as we have been warned by so many other posters?
May 19th, 2001, 08:25 PM
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Hi everybody. Lets see if I can answer all the ?;s. First of all I did get sick and it happened about my 3rd day...I was a mess. Tried Lomotil and it did nothing. As fast as you can get the pills your tour guide can get. They get them locally and they worked..although I had to take a double dose. I also took them w/another kind of pill which was to help my colin. Wish I could give you names but the boxes were in Arabic. But Im sure your TG will know what I'm talking about.

Alexandria is super and a big difference from Cairo and also southern Egypt. We saw the Montazah gardens, the catacombs, the fort, the big pillar , the jewelry museum, & the Greco Roman museum...very full and fascinating day.

VERY modest shorts would be ok I knee length..Im an old pudgy grannie and still was "appreciated" a bit too much....sometimes...its a diff culture and western women are purceived differently. I wore lots of skirts and tshirts....and the skirts were long at that!!

Abu Simbel is amazing and a perfect last stand! It was hot be prepared but its just for a short time..and the wonders are worth it.

Everybody wants to sit near the window so getting thru the gate and on the plane was a bit of a struggle...but I managed the aisle seat and then leaned over and saw the stuff from the air.

Anyway,..its a fabulous trip and you will love it. Its like no other place I have been and I"ve been a few! Its fascinating, hypnotic, horrific, beautiful, majestic, exotic etc etc.

Do watch what you eat and dont drink the water...and find out about those magic pills!!!

"See the Nile and return....drink the Nile and never leave!!! Let me know how your trips go ok???? xoxo
May 20th, 2001, 10:49 AM
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Thank you for the info on your trip to Egypt. We are considering the Globus tour. Has anyone taken this tour? I would like to go independently but am thinking Egypt may not be the easiest place to get around.
May 22nd, 2001, 07:42 AM
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In response to Ken - we have traveled many places, tours and not. We did Globus 10 day tour of Egypt and are very glad it wa a tour. We were able to see and do far more in those 10 days than we would have done in half the time on our own. Navigating the language and culture might have given us some experiences we missed - but we wanted to see as much really old stuff as we could rather than experience the modern Egyptian culture - it all depends on what your priorities are.
May 22nd, 2001, 09:40 AM
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My husband and I book a 10 day tour with General Tours last October. We ended up cancelling the trip because of the problems in Saudi Arabia. We were devistated. We were thinking about re-booking our trip in 2002 in March or April again. This time we are not cancelling. We are just a little nervous about going again because of the fighting always going on over there. If anyone has any recent feedback about the mood over there. Let me know. Do we have anything to worry about? Is Egypt pretty safe for the most part even though the fighting still goes on?
May 22nd, 2001, 01:16 PM
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I don't feel you need be concerned.
We just got back from travelling throughout Egypt and never felt uncomfortable. The security are everywhere in large numbers particularly in the Upper Nile.
May 24th, 2001, 02:11 PM
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We went to Egypt with Globus in January and February and had a glorious time.
Felt perfectly safe - tourists are much appreciated and well-protected and Cairo is much safer than American cities ( except for the traffic!) We traveled from Alexandria to Abu Simbel. Nile cruise was wonderful - we were on an Oberoi boat and our stateroom had two bathrooms! The quick view of Abu Simbel from the air is not worth the loss of dignity in scrambling for a window seat on the left -all the tour guides tell you to do it and people's behavior in that regard is appalling - take the high road, you'll see plenty when you get there. I did not get sick although about two-thirds of our group had at least one bad day. I had shots and was careful what I ate and drank although I tried everything that wasn't raw. The dessert called Om Ali is spectacular and every restaurant has its pet recipe. We loved the Mena House. Do ride a camel but stick to your guns on payment. Everyone is out to hustle you but no one gets mad when you say no. I think a tour is the best way to see a lot in a limited time frame - on your own the negotiating and bribing necessary to accomplish even the smallest transactions would eat up all your time. We loved everything about our trip and the weather was SanDiego perfect every day. It would be way too hot for me I think between April and October.

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