We are going. Now what.

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Jan 11th, 2004, 10:13 AM
  #1
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We are going. Now what.

We are scheduled to go to Egypt with Globus in April and now have a million questions. How much cash to carry? How can we charge our video camera? Do we need voltage convertors? The tours talk about optional evening activities, the days look busy will we want to do the evening activities? We will be staying at the Mena House and Mike is dying to get into Cheops Pyramid,what time does it open can he slid it in before the days tour? Is there a way to purchase tickets before we get there?
Please offer any advice or hints.
Thanks
Ann and Mike
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Jan 11th, 2004, 12:24 PM
  #2
sandi
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Can't answer how much money, but there ATMs where you can get local Egyptian currency, though you can use your hotel for this as rate is set by government and is same everywhere. We didn't change more than about $150-$200 to local currency.

While you can spend USD in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan where people have quick access to banks, along the Nile cruise, people don't have easy access to conversion, so use local currency.

Take USD in small denominations $1s, $5s, $10s - you can tip boat cruise in USD, your Guides/Drivers, and hotel staff.

Know nothing about video cameras.

What are the optional tours? The Light & Sound Shows? They are available at Cairo at Pyramids, Luxor at Karnak Temple and Philae. We saw the one at Karnak and worth the money, maybe $10-$15.

The first 150 people are permitted into the Giant Pyramid, but think twice about it, as your legs and thighs will thank you if you miss it. You climb inside with back bent.

The only thing I would definitely arrange to see is the Tomb of Queen Nefertari in Valley of Queens - that is if it is open, as read it might be closed again - have to get ticket by 6am and here too they only allow 150 people any given day. Cost is about USD$30. Don't let the 6am throw you off, on that day you'll be visiting Valley of K&Q and it's an early wake-up as it gets very very hot there by 9am.
 
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Jan 11th, 2004, 02:04 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Sandi - Is the tomb of Neferatari open yet? I read somewhere that it was closed for at least a year starting January 2003. Is there any way to find out if it is open yet before I go in February or do I just ask once I get there?
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Jan 12th, 2004, 04:35 AM
  #4
sandi
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wanderlust -

If working with a tour operator, they should know, but since tickets can only be purchased on day you'll visit, it's not like you prepaid and then find it's closed and want your money back.

I too read this info somewhere, but don't recall where and when the closing was to happen and for how long.

If open, know that you have to visit the tomb by 11am, no cameras allowed inside, and you're only allowed 15-minutes inside. If you get in, even without camera (they make you leave them outside) it's worth the visit; then buy the Nefertari book from one of the touts and you'll have those amazing pictures.

 
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Jan 12th, 2004, 06:24 AM
  #5
 
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About the video camera - you should be able to charge it any where since the charger will most likely have multi voltage capability. Look at that back of the power supply cable / converter and it should say something like - Input: 100-240v~50/60Hz. Egypt uses the European type plug. Here's a link to a web site and it will show you the type of plugs use in Egypt: http://www.exportassistance.com/expo...n_voltage.html

As Sandi has mentioned the Sound & Light shows are great. We went to three - Cairo, Philae and Karnak (luxor). The most magical and spectacular, for me at least, was the Philae show. It is at the temple and you will have to take a short boat ride to get to it. Once there it was so quite and dark, being far away from the city lights and that really enhance the show.

If your schedule permit take the optional Abu Simbel excursion. I just wish that we had more time there it was spectacular.

We also took a dinner cruise in Cairo on the Nile Maxim. It was ok but not great. Belly dancer was from Brazil and put on a good performance, food was so so but the cigarette smoke was too much for us.

Lastly if you like wine I would grab a couple bottle of nice wine from the duty free shop before you arrive in Egypt. Egyptian wine, all type - white, red, rose and sparkling were awful! Egyptian beers were ok though.
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Jan 12th, 2004, 08:13 AM
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annerie:
I've been looking at various tours to Egypt also and wondered why you decided on Globus. Maybe your answer will help me make up my mind!
Thanks,
Jane
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Jan 12th, 2004, 09:37 AM
  #7
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JaneB:
We started looking at Abercrombie and Kent then found out all the trips were the same we looked for something less expensive. Globus was cheaper but not dirt cheap and it didn't include the night train. Now I'm not real sure about Globus our air arrangements have been changed three times so far. We are now flying non stop on Egypt Air round trip. I have not heard good things, Any advice?
Ann and Mike
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Jan 12th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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sandi
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JaneB

Have you checked out any of the in-country Egyptian tour operators? There are two that are favorable:

Check MISR, one of the official operators of the Egyptian Government, but you'll have to do a search for their site address, the other

www.egyptonline.com

and there is also (from the States)
ISRAM and GATE1, both with comparable prices, reputable companies in business for years.
 
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Jan 12th, 2004, 03:16 PM
  #9
 
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My niece and I are scheduled with Maupintour in April. Several groups of friends have taken this trip at different times and loved it. They will not go unless there are 8 people and as of Friday there were a total of four. So, if anyone is interested - we need more people!!!
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Jan 12th, 2004, 06:36 PM
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annerie:
I had already decided that I would make my own air arrangements regardless of which tour (or nontour) I decided on. They all seem to route through NY which is out of the way, since it's more convenient for us to fly via Houston or Atlanta to Cairo. I thought the Globus tour looked good also, since it included a trip to Alexandria.
sandi:
I have been considering Gate 1 but they seem to require you to use their air arrangements. I haven't looked at Asram or MISR but certainly will. Thank you for the tip.
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Jan 13th, 2004, 03:49 AM
  #11
sandi
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JaneB

I doubt that Gate1 requires you use their air, most companies don't and Gate1 shouldn't be any different. Simply ask. What happens with many companies when you don't use their air and arrive on a flight separate of theirs, is charge you for the "transfer" from the airport to the hotel, but if you arrive even on another carrier, but the same time, you can usually get the included transfer.

I know ISRAM allows that, and as far as MISR, they probably handle this same as most other companies - they'll probably suggest Egypt Air, but just see what land packages these other companies have for comparison purposes. Then make your decisions.
 
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