One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, renowned for its archaeological wonders, Egypt emits a great scene of mystery and adventure when on the ground exploring the ancient ruins. The Great Pyramids of Egypt, arguable the most iconic structures in the world are a must see for any traveller, along with countless temples and museums full of hieroglyphics and mummies!
Cairo is the Capital City and also the home to Egypts largest international airport. Majority of tours commence in here and there is an array of options available to see this beautiful and exciting country, ranging from buget backpacker trips to expensive first class experiences. A portion of these tours are overland via coach and train, or alternatively you can sail down the Nile River stopping off at some of the most amazing sites in the country - which I highly recommend!
I had my heat set on an adventure sailing down the nile sleeping under the starts on the deck of a local felucca boat, however I was setting out on this adventure with my Dad and when we began discussing the accommodation on the boat he said ‘No way!’ The the sleeping arrangements on the felucca are very basic and there is no toilet or kitchen onboard. So we upgraded to a luxury cruise ship with own room and bathroom which come in very handing after we found out that the Egyptian food didn't sit to well in our belles.
All tours regardless of price, get kick backs from business that you will conveniently stop off at, where the guide will highly recommended to purchase ‘local goods’ from - I found that there are plenty of cheaper options and endless markets throughout the country so don't feel to pressured to buy goods at these stop offs.
We stayed at a larger resort a little further from town (courtesy of dad) which has a large pool, restaurant and bar, thesis where the tour parted from the next morning. We hadn't seen each other for about a year so it was awesome to spend the afternoon sitting around the pool catching up on the past year of our lives. Until it was time to leave and we walked past the pool and Dad pushed me in fully clothes - he thought it was hilarious.
We awoke early to next morning to commence our tour with our first stop at the great pyramids of Gyza. Before I arrived I believed that the Pyramids were located miles out into the desert, however we pulled up on a dirty carpark with litter everywhere, walked past the unmaintained buildings and exposed power lines, then shuffled past hundreds of hustlers and other tourists to finanlly get our first glimpse of the amazing ancient structures which I must admit was not what I expected.
We entered the world heritage site to get our first glimpse of the Sphinx and pyramids in the background - I started to get excited now. Most people touring the site for the day have a guide, ours lead us around talking about the history and also each individual structure we would come across, and then allow us a few minutes to explore and take photos.
We were next lead over to the Great Pyramids of Giza, built over 4000 years ago and standing as the wolds tallest building until 1910 when the french constructed the Eiffle Tower. It has still not been confirmed exactly how the Pyramids were constructed, but it is believed that they builders were not slaved but paid workers who lived in large workers villages close to the site. The large sandstone blocks were excavated from a quarry located hundreds of kilometres down the Nile River then transported by river boat where an estimated hundred thousand people helped build the ancient wonders.
Depending on availability, you can enter some of the pyramids. Fortunately we did get to go into the centre of the Great Pyramid of Khufu which was pretty cool. slightly claustrophobic, Basically it was a straight path from the entrance to the centre, the path is step and tight, without trapdoors and leads to a chamber about ten by ten metres with some artefacts. After we explored the pyramids for a bit, there is an optional extra to go on a camel ride which offers a better vantage point of the three pyramids, this was cool and a great photo opportunity.
The next morning we embarked on our journey south down the Nile River. We had a really nice group of people all ranging from young solo travellers to older couples, everyone got along well and had a great time. The boat was spacious and clean, with three course meals and an upstairs bar area for socialising in the evenings. Some of the main stop off are at Luxor and the Valley of the Kings & Queens (where you can also take hot air ballon ride over the Nile River at sunrise). The cruise ends in Aswan where most tour groups offer an option to take a short charter flight further south to Abu Simbel which looks like something off Indiana Jones.
At the end of the sailing trip most boats disembark in Aswan and include a return ticket on a coach or train back to Cairo to end the tour. Costing range from a couple of hundred dollars for a Felucca to $1,000 0 $2,000 for a cruiser.
Some people opted for the optional extra add on to the tour to continue on to Egypt's sea side resorts for some R & R. As we were on a bit of a tight timeframe we didn't get the opportunity to explore this part of the country which I believe is an awesome way to end your trip to this fascinating country.
The resorts are located on the Red Sea. The most popular destinations are Sharm El-Sheikh and Dahab which offers world class snorkelling and diving, camel and quad bike rides, lots of watersports or even arrange a day trip to Mt Sinai. Other people will continue their middle eastern adventure onto the less explored City of petra in Jordan or even onto Israel, unfortunately I had to leave this one for next time.
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