As ever, a succinct and informative post from PM. It definitely gets its teeth into the eternal travel dilemma - how to feel comfortable when you're unconscious ! I always maintain (in life generally) that the greatest gap lies between expectation and reality. PM also found the smallest; that between scalding and frigid on an unfamiliar shower 😆😎
A brilliant collection of pictures and commentary. Avoiding the bus loads is all down to timing, so your patience was well rewarded ! I've visited the West Bank loads of times with groups and it never fails to astound ! Our trips began by meeting up with a host of donkeys from the ferry, at 4.30am. We rode up to cross the cliff top above Hatshepsut's temple then walk down to the Valley of the Kings. Riding a donkey named Saddam up there was always a guaranteed wake-up
It sounds a perfect way to see the area, though at that hour you'd likely have enjoyed the views without me. I understand the path from Hatshepsut's Temple to Valley of the Kings is now off limits, presumably because of the incident at the temple. You're lucky to have had the experience when you did. Thanks!
Egypt is always going to be a conveyor belt for most visitors, outside of the resorts, and it's hard to get around this, given the country's geography. But PM is right to take the costs on the chin; how many times are you going to be there in this life ? Obviously didn't miss much, from her photos !
Back in 1989, when TWA still existed, took their 14 day tour. I believe there were 35 of us. We started in Cairo - 4 days staying at Mena House opposite the pyramids A huge WOW! During our stay there we traveled to Sakkaha and Memphis. Boarded a bus that took us to Alexandria - 2 days staying at Montazah Sheraton. From there we took a train to Aswan (dirty dishes - everyone sick). In Aswan, we stayed on Elephantine Island's Loews Aswan Oberoi. Went to Temples of Philae and flew to Abu...
I've really enjoyed this journey...thanks! For anyone who hasn't, I'd suggest checking out the first 3 parts as well. It's amazing to realize how varied the architecture and the wildlife and even the river itself seem at different points along the way. Some of the variation serves to remind us, as well, how many many years went into all this; all of our civilizations are young by comparison, no matter how old they seem to us!
What a fabulous conclusion to a delightful series, Mac. Thanks so much for sharing this journey with all of us. I've wanted to visit Egypt for some time, but have always been a little reluctant to go somewhere I might get targeted for extermination simply because I'm a visitor from the west. But your series has made me want to see this sooner, rather than later.
Although I've wanted to go to Egypt most of my life, to Egypt and Japan, for some reason I haven't made it to either place (except through the Suez canal, which hardly counts). Your pictures of the colonial-era hotels, though, may be the encouragement I need to finally get there. It's probably less crowded now than it will ever be, also an encouragement.
Thank you kindly fellow Gumbo-ists. You have rightly detected that we greatly enjoyed our trip and it is so photogenic and endlessly fascinating. I always feel a total dullard when going to the tombs and temples and hear all the lists of Pharaohs, dynasties, goddesses and gods - all doing fantastic things at the same time as us Brits were living in mud huts.... I do encourage you all to go and visit now. You will never get better deals than now (but go in the cooler period). You will be well...
..an amazing journey, Mac, thanks for sharing it with us...and for anyone who hasn't been to Egypt, forget all the bad publicity you've heard and make this a priority on your adventure list; as someone who has been there, I can highly recommend it
Thanks for the journey, Mac. Yes, it is sad that tourist numbers are down as there is so much to see. We were there in January'13 and loved every minute. Such a fascinating country and with friendly people too. Forget what you hear in the news, just go!
Egypt is planning to invest millions in an advertising campaign to build tourism to 20 million visitors by 2020, more than double last year's 9.8 million. The peak was 14.7 million in 2010. The campaign will launch in August. Egypt, long a...
Poor Egypt gets some bad press at the moment and in the process their tourist numbers have fallen dramatically and that is understandable, however, in cities like Luxor tourism provides employment in one way or another for some 85% of the...
And so we arrive in Aswan, the furthest navigable point before the High Dam. From here some courageous souls can continue to the beautiful temple at Abu Simbel which was relocated with fantastic precision prior to the construction of the High Dam. The...
Thanks for sharing you Egyptian adventures. I'm sure you were looking over you shoulder for any tourist lurking danger. I especially liked the Roman fresco and Amun profiles. You are a true traveler, story teller and photographer of ancient locations that I would probably never visit. You are also a great advisory to ID'ing those WITW Gumbo photos.
Thanks, George, so glad you're enjoying them. I laughed at 2 things you said - I actually forget to remember the possibility of "lurking danger". And if you mean "adversary", every week I forget to look at the WITWs until you've probably already named them. Not much of an adversary.
Like you, we were completely blown away by the temples and monuments along the Nile - to the extent that we booked an identical tour for the following year. The second time round we explored the more distant parts of the sites. We often found ourselves completely on our own.
I was often completely alone, too, possibly for a different reason, the shortage of visitors. I am considering going again next winter, and because independent travel is always a learn-as-we-go experience, I'll do some things differently and mention them later in the story.
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