With everything going on in the world, I don’t blame you for only having negative thoughts when someone says Egypt. The media has definitely not been any help with that negative connotation. It’s unfortunate because Egypt is hands down one of the most unbelievable countries in the world! I have only visited a few but, have no doubt that not many would disagree with my theory!
I am a big fan of tours. I know they are not for everyone but the convenience of it all. You meet new people from all around the world and of course the biggest selling point is the overload of information. You have got to love the stories behind each building, fun facts that you would only find out after reading 3 different encyclopedias. You see buildings everyday and all buildings have stories but when we got to see Kom Ombo temple and hear how the priests use to ease drop on the community through underground tunnels and understand the hieroglyphics on the walls (Some of it). I get nostalgic just thinking about it. Again, you don’t need a tour to do any of these things but I just don’t take as much home when we solo travel.
What we did in Egypt:
We started in Cairo making our way to Luxor and Aswan then back to Cairo. Each town having no shortage of breath taking sites. Cairo of course included the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Photos can’t do them justice. I kept trying to take photos from difference angles trying to ensure that I got the sheer amazingness of it all captured. This happened at every single place we visited and I failed ever time. You will just have to go see for yourself.
Aswan was where we got to take our first boat trip on the Nile. We went to the Philae temple on a small island located near the lower Nile. Hands down my favorite stop on the tour. I actually do not know what’s more impressive how beautiful it is or the fact that they moved it. Due to the continuous flooding of the Nile that had to dismantle the temple into multiple pieces (+- 40 000 pieces) and move it to higher ground.
Aswan is not only home to this amazing temple but also the Nubian village, home of the gold people (Nubians) who came from Sudan way back when to mine gold (hence the name). Just like any country you visit there are always people trying to capitalise on a unique trade by selling you fake products. Egypt is no different! We got to go to a store that makes original perfumes, funky glass bottles and incense. Ridiculously expensive but very interesting to see how it is made and a good way for us to know that anything unique and original will not be sold by every second shop for a knock off price. We got to do the same in Luxor for alabaster and Cairo for papyrus (first paper made). Egypt being ancient and all they were the first to discover a lot of things!
Next stop was two nights on a felucca on the Nile. Understandably, many were hesitant to climb on an Egyptian sailing boat with little to no access to bathrooms and nothing but your sleeping bag. It was amazing, just sailing along the Nile. The weather was perfect, the stars were all out looking their best for us. Both nights we would dock on the side of the Nile to sleep. The reason being that huge cruise ships make their way down the Nile at night and they would not be able to see us. I felt guilty to fall asleep, I wanted to make sure I absorbed ever single moment!
Our group was split into two Felucca’s run by Mustafa (This amazing Nubian that knew exactly how to have a good time). The great Mustafa and his team kept us going with amazing Egyptian food and enough bathroom stops on the banks to keep us all sane! Not only were these guys top notch sailors they made a pretty decent band! Just picture a huge group of semi drunk twenty somethings dancing around a make shift bonfire to the drum beat of the Nubians! You are going to have to take my word on this one because my explanation just doesn’t do it any justice.
After that amazing adventure we were off to Luxor where we got to visit Karnak temple the biggest temple in the world. This temple is unique because it didn’t belong to just one king but numerous over time, with each new king adding their own creative flair to it. You know how difficult it is to absorb a countrie’s culture when everything is interesting. We didn’t even touch on any history or culture after BC! There was just so much to learn so many fascinating people, young kings, women pretending to be kings and one two many kings marrying their daughters!
I am not going to ruin all the surprises of Egypt, I can guarantee one hiding around every corner. A big part of Egypt I really loved as well was the food and who wouldn’t it’s a carbaloading haven! Bread for breakfast, rice and noodles for lunch and pasta rice soup for dinner. We got to eat home made fried chicken, falafels with strawberry jam and a stale camel meat burger (Ok that wasn’t too great).
The Egypt outcome:
I could write a book on all the things I loved about Egypt. We spent nine spectacular days in Egypt engulfing ourselves in the culture, amazing history, gorgeous scenery and CARBS!
If all the media has to say about Egypt is negative then they are missing out and I am glad I got to prove them wrong. Every country has negatives you can’t escape it. Instead you need to hope for the best and be pleasantly surprised like only travelling can do!
The TravelBug 🙂