Egypt Journals

Exploring Egypt 2004

A January 2004 trip to Egypt by lslay78

The Temple at Philae Photo, Cairo, Egypt More Photos
Quote: Egypt is both everything and nothing that you would expect. There are pyramids, temples, and tombs, maybe too many of them. Egypt was one of the safest places I've ever been and full of friendly people. I would go back again any time!

Exploring Egypt 2004

Overview

Osiris Pose Photo, Egypt, Africa
Quote:
The highlight of our trip had to be our three nights aboard feluccas. Floating lazily down the Nile on a felucca is the way to go! Forget those noisy, hulking cruise boats with everyone looked completely bored. We really bonded with our tour group; we talked, laughed, played cards, ate wonderful food, built a campfire every night, and learned a little "Nubian break-dancing". Quick Tips: Don't accept anything from anyone, especially if they tell you it's free! Nothing is free and you'll be asked for baksheesh. Same goes for following people at historic sites--they will expect a tip for showing you a good place to take a picture.Best Way To Get Around: Walking is great in the tow...Read More
Quote:
This five-star hotel is located near the airport in Cairo, convenient when you are arriving on a late-night flight. Our travel agent was able to book our rooms at a discounted rate, so ask around! The rooms were nice, hotel staff very helpful, and the restaurant had an excellent breakfast buffet.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 7, 2004

Le Meridien Heliopolis
51 El Orouba Street
Cairo, Egypt
+20 (2) 2290 5055

King Hotel

Hotel

Quote:
The King Hotel is a quirky three-star hotel in the Dokki neighborhood of Cairo (west bank). Cab drivers may have trouble finding it, but it's worth the search. The rooms are simple, but the staff is extremely helpful and there is a nice bar and restaurant. A great place for the price, we had no problem walking through the neighborhood at night, very safe.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2004

King Hotel
20 Abdel Rehim Sabri St.
Cairo, Egypt

Quote:
What a find! This hotel is right across the street from the famous Old Cataract Hotel and the Nubian Museum, and within walking distance of the marketplace and corniche. The rooms were clean and pleasant. Our entire group came back from Abu Simbel to find towel animals on our beds! The lobby is large with plenty of couches for meetings and the entire place is overstaffed, so you won't have trouble getting help.

The restaurant is simple with good sandwiches and pasta. Taxies are always available outside the front door and the kaleshes congrigate at the end of the street, but really you can walk everywhere!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2004

Kalabsha Hotel
Abtal El Tahrir Street
Aswan, Egypt

Quote:
Clean rooms and hot water are two very important things when you've been aboard a felucca for three nights!


The staff at the Phillipe was very helpful. Laundry service was available upon request. Also, there is a pool and good meeting place up on the roof, plus a decent continental breakfast.


This hotel was conveniently located within walking distance of all the sites in Luxor and kalesh rides to Karnak. There is a bank with an ATM right next door and the local markets are just a few blocks away, as well as good restaurants and the ferry to the West Bank.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 20, 2004

Aswan Moon

Restaurant

Quote:
The Aswan Moon is one of the most conveniently located in town being right on the water. Walk there from your hotel or hire a kalesh; it's also close to the bazaar, which is about two blocks up from the water near the restaurant. We had a group of about 15 (making a reservation is a good idea for a large group) and there was plenty of room for us in the floating dining area and the food was delicious. There is also an area of the restaurant where patrons can enjoy smoking shisha, an interesting local custom. The only down side is the bathrooms are a bit suspect and I had reports of a rat seen in their vicinity (also close to the kitchen). But hey, you're in Egypt!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 20, 2004

Aswan Moon
El Corniche
Aswan, Egypt

Amoun Restaurant

Restaurant

Quote:
This is a casual restaurant with pleasant outdoor seating. It's located in close proximity to the local markets of Luxor. Try yummy local meals like pigeon (stuffed with rice) or, if you miss home, you can get a burger or pasta. They serve tons of fresh fruit drinks, so try a couple! Now whenever I see one of my feathered friends on the street, I think, "I ate you!"

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 20, 2004

Amoun Restaurant
Sharia al Karnak
Luxor, Egypt

Old Winter palace

Restaurant | "Winter Palace"

Quote:
Some of the people in my tour group decided that it would be fun to have a nice dinner in Luxor at the beautiful old Winter Palace Hotel. If anything, it's a great excuse to get inside and poke around this posh hotel. There are actually several restaurants in the hotel and I can't tell you the name of the one we dined in, but hang a right in the lobby and head all the way to the end of the hall, it was on the righthand side. Dim lighting, music, not crowded. The table settings were beautiful and we took up two large tables with our group. It only cost about $20 for drinks and several courses. The food was good but not great. You really pay for the ambience and the chance to see inside this hist...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 13, 2004

Old Winter palace
Nile Road
Luxor, Egypt

South Saqqara

Attraction | "Pyramids of Giza and Saqqara"

Quote:
What an incredible experience to start off your visit to Egypt! Our first day in Egypt we were whisked off to the Giza Plateau by guides we arranged at the airport the night before. When you exit the airport from an international flight you'll see cab drivers straight ahead, just hang a right and you'll find tons of local travel agents in their little cubbyhole offices, don't be afraid to bargain. We were on camels before we knew what was happening. Our guides led us through a tangle of streets and into the pyramid complex; they spoke good English and were quite knowledgeable. We spent 2 hours riding all around the pyramids, stopping in several places for great pictures! It was very fun! Aft...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2004

South Saqqara
About 11km south of Saqqara
Cairo, Egypt

The Temple at Philae

Attraction | "Philae Temple"

The Temple at Philae Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
The Temple of Isis must be one of the most beautiful in all of Egypt. When the High Dam was built at Aswan, this temple was partially submerged in Lake Nasser and then moved to a new island. You can see the evidence of water damage to the temple, but it is still in remarkably good condition and its setting on the island makes it more picturesque.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 2, 2004

The Temple at Philae
Philae island
Cairo, Egypt

Felucca Boat Ride

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Down the Nile on Felucca"

Felucca Boat Ride Photo, Aswan, Egypt
Quote:
We spent three nights aboard a felucca from Aswan to Silsila with our Explore tour group. What a wonderful experience! Floating peacefully down the Nile, hopping between our three boats and really getting to know our small group. Most people head down the Nile aboard a large cruise ship, from what we saw as they passed us, the passengers looked totally bored! They all came up on deck to take pictures of us! We slept on the deck of the boat surrounded by a canvas wind block in our sleeping bags and were very comfortable as there is padding all over the deck. Our Nubian captains cooked for us; there is something about lounging around all day that makes you incredibly hungry and t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 20, 2004

Felucca Boat Ride
Nile River from Aswan
Aswan, Egypt

Kom-Ombo Temple Complex

Attraction | "Kom Ombo Temple"

Quote:
We arrived in Kom Ombo by felucca just before sunset, with all of the cruise boats crowding around us to dock. An old man was showing off his cobra as the crowds of tourists walked by. On our way back to the boat, he actually put the snake’s head in his mouth in an attempt to get our baksheesh (unfortunately, we didn't have any small change or I would have taken his picture). The temple itself was quite lovely in the waning light. Visit the small room containing crocodile mummies. This temple is dedicated to Horus (falcon) and Sobek (crocodile), thus the mummies.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 23, 2004

Kom-Ombo Temple Complex
105 miles south of Luxor, 28 miles north of Aswan
Aswan, Egypt

Temple of Edfu

Attraction | "Edfu Temple"

Temple of Edfu Photo, Aswan, Egypt
Quote:
After three nights aboard our feluccas, we arrived at Edfu temple a bit disheveled. This is a beautiful temple complex; its walls are massive. Part of the ceiling and columns retain their original colors inside away from the elements. Take your picture next to Horus, the falcon-headed god.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 23, 2004

Temple of Edfu
121 km north of Aswan
Aswan, Egypt

Karnak Temple

Attraction

Karnak Temple Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
One of the most spectacular temple complexes we saw. The hypostyle hall is awe-inspiring -- walk around the statue of the scarab beetle seven times to get any wish you want. The best (and most entertaining) way to get to the temple is by kalesh. Notice parts of the avenue of sphinxes that can be seen along the way. Most of it is covered by the modern city, but it used to connect the temples at Karnak with the temple at Luxor. Do skip the Sound and Light Show in the evening. It was dreadful! Everyone in our group fell asleep!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 23, 2004

Karnak Temple
North Luxor on Corniche Ave
Luxor, Egypt

Valley of the Kings

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Donkey Trek to the Valley of the Kings"

Quote:
We were up before the dawn to catch a ferry to the west bank of the Nile. We met up with our donkey guides to go through the pairing process...between human and donkey. I was paired with a white donkey named Chocolate (I'm not sure why) who liked to hang out in the middle of the pack. Once everyone was on, we headed for the hills, passed the Colossi of Memnon and then up onto the cliffs. By this time we had learned some of the commands and strange noises you make to get your donkey moving! Up, up, up, we had an incredible view of the sunrise over the Nile Valley with hot air balloons rising in the air. The donkeys seemed to like passing each other on the most narrow trails overlooking sheer c...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 4, 2004

Valley of the Kings
West Bank of the Nile in the Theban Necropolis
Luxor, Egypt

Hatshepsut Temple - Deir el-Bahri

Attraction | "Hatshepsut Temple"

Quote:
After our visit to the Valley of the Kings we hiked out and over the hills towards Deir Al-Bahri. We had spectacular views of Hatshepsut Temple from directly above on the cliffs. The sun was hot, so a hat and plenty of water is highly recommended.

The temple itself appears to be cut right out of the cliffs in an eye-pleasing manner. However, as far as temples go, it wasn't very exciting. Maybe that's because it was the millionth temple we'd seen, but the reliefs weren't spectacular and the ramps are a bit of a climb in the hot sun.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 4, 2004

Hatshepsut Temple - Deir el-Bahri
West Bank
Luxor, Egypt