10 Days Walking Like The Egyptians

Egypt, a country linking northeast Africa with the Middle East, dates to the time of the pharaohs. Millennia-old monuments sit along the fertile Nile River Valley, including Giza's colossal Pyramids and Great Sphinx as well as Luxor's hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs. The capital, Cairo, is home to Ottoman landmarks like Muhammad Ali Mosque and the Egyptian Museum, a trove of antiquities.

We booked our Egypt trip thru MenaTours, they made it really easy for us Americans to get to explore such an amazing city. We were escorted by the Police while leaving the airport, and driving from hotel to hotel, we also had our own personal security most of the time. We felt very safe and protected, as we were going temple-to-temple, and different major cities. The trip started in old Cairo, where we stayed at the Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa. From there we went to Giza to see the Great Pyramids while riding camels. This was one of our favorite parts of the trip. Make sure always to have your tour guide book your camel rides, so they can negotiate. Also make sure you always shake your head and say No, No thank you, people are going to keep pushing on you for things. Do not let them touch you, if they do tell the tour guide, and they will handle the situation. From there we went to the Spinx, which they were doing some digging so we really couldn’t get too close.

We then took a flight to Aswan, where we stayed on a Cruise on the Nile River. The first day we were docked in Aswan and headed to the Temple of Philae. This was one of our favorite temples, because it was on it’s own island. We had to take a small fishing boat to get there. After that we returned back to the cruise where we sailed overnight to another little town off the Nile River. The town was quite the experience, since they haven’t had tourists for over 5 years. The locals were a little pushy in the markets. We took a carriage ride, from where our ship was docked to the Temple of Edfu.

After that we cruised down to Luxor, where we stayed docked. The next day we headed to the Temple of Karnak. We ended up going back at night for the Light Show, which was really cool! The next morning we headed to the Valley of the Kings. It was crazy to see the different tombs that are built into the side of the mountain, and most of the tombs and temples are still all in tact. After we did a quick stop at Temple of Hatshepsut. We were exhausted; the time change defiantly hits you, and then waking up early and the nonstop moving. Naps are much needed throughout your trip.

Lastly, we then flew out of Luxor and headed back to Cairo. When we go back to Cairo we went to the Egyptian Museum, which was huge and had over 120,000 pieces of ancient history. Including the Mummy exhibit, highly suggest buying ticket to go see it. After that we headed to the Khan al- Khalil Bazaar, which was a huge market with different types of things. For example, gold, silver, copper, clothing, hookahs, and anything else that was related to the Egyptian culture. It was quite the experience, you can easily get lost, since everything looks the same, and there are so many people. Make sure you stick together and have a meeting spot in case you were to get lost. The last day of our trip was spent at the Red Sea. The Red Sea was so clear, and you can rent kayaks, and snorkel if you wanted. It felt nice to have a relaxing day and just to soak everything in. For the last night we stayed at the Intercontinental In Cairo, it was a really nice hotel, with great service, and was very close to the airport for our departure.

As we came to the end of this awesome trip we really got sad. This really did feel like the longest trip ever because we fit so much into a day. But it was well worth it. We had so many good memories. This was such a trip of a lifetime. Everyone had such a great experience, and we all left with smiling faces, and better friendships. It was something that we will never forget, and we are so thankful and fortunate we had this amazing opportunity.

TRAVEL TIPS

  • Always pack light, you can always buy cheap when you get there.

  • Make sure to exchange once you get to the airport, and don’t forget to get your visa. (The Bank Counters offer both)

  • Women should dress respectful, long dresses, always cover up shoulders and chest area.

  • Bring Scarfs for both male & female, or you can always purchase there.

  • Always keep your passport with you at all times, make sure it is secured.

  • Always book with guided tours. They know the areas and culture the best.

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. Try to stick with a group of people at all times.

  • Use Uber over public transit - its SUPER cheap

  • 4 & 5 Star Hotels are very reasonably priced - you'd be surprised

  • Drones are prohibited in this country and require prior authorization from the Ministry

  • Certain archeological areas are No Photo Zones (HOWEVER - the temple guards can be easily bribed)

  • “Shukran” means thank you in Arabic.

  • Prepare yourself for the time change. Naps are a must.

  • The days feel like they are super long.

FOOD TIPS

  • Don’t Order Dominos, only get Pizza Hut.

  • McDonalds Menu is a little different FYI they don’t use the same oil.

  • Most of your meals will be bread, beans, and potatoes.

  • Chicken Shwarma and Falafel are our new favorites.

  • The food service tended to be extremely slow.

  • Espresso Shots were our lift savers throughout this trip.

  • The Beer “Stella” will be your go too.

  • The Mango Juice is delicious.

  • Just be cautious of what you eat.

  • Travel with Imodium, and Pepto-Bismol.

  • Don’t drink tap water. Bottled water only.

  • Don’t eat the market food - your stomach isn't ready for the dietary change

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