Egypt Journals

Pyramids, the Nile and the Red Sea

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Egypt by nofootprint

Yet Another Pyramid Shot Photo, Cairo, Egypt More Photos
Quote: Egypt was on our " Must Go" list for many years. Now that we’ve been we wonder why we waited!! Egypt has so much to show and tell us ! The following is a journal of our travels.
Kenyan Air Photo, Egypt, Africa
Quote:
Kenya AirWe took Kenya Air to Cairo.Our flight was comfortable and on schedule. We are so accustomed to delays here in North America, we’re amazed that all the flights we took throughout Africa have been on or near schedule.The security wasn’t nearly as strict as other parts of the world, which may not be a plus. We were permitted to carry on our back backs which were a little too heavy , we were pleased as we heard luggage is sometimes opened and valuables often robbed in Nairobi . The plane was a bit shabby but the service was friendly and they served two pretty good meals on our 5 hour trip.We were surprised that we had a stop in Sudan on the way, we didn’t realize there was...Read More

Here at Last

Arriving in Cairo

Story/Tip

Photo of Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Arriving In CairoCairo is a hectic , confusing and bustling airport. It seemed very foreign to us even though we have traveled to 70 countries .We booked our trip in Egypt with Five Star Travel and we were pleased to see our agent ,Tamer waiting for us and we were surprised to see he was permitted to wait inside the customs area. Tamer really was a help with obtaining our visas which to our surprise you buy at the money exchange place . He handed our $15.00 and our passports to the guy in the wicket and without even looking at our information they handed over our visa. Glad we didn’t go through the trouble of applying before we left home. Customs clearance was als...Read More

A Day Trip to Alexandria

Entering Alexandria Photo, Alexandria, Egypt
Quote:
Thanks to our driver our trip which was to take 3 hours turned out to be a short 2 hours .It was a great highway , but I wouldn’t want to drive it as the rules were somewhat chaotic!!This road was once called Desert Highway . Today you can’t really see the desert thanks to the discovery of an underground water source. Our guide tells us , cities sprung up overnight and we can even see farmland here.Along the way we see fields of corn , grapes, citrus and of course dates. We also noticed these strange little houses that looked like bird house condos! They are actually pigeon houses. Locals raise pigeons for food.For a break we stop at what had to be the weirdest restaurant ever...Read More

An Afternoon in Alexandria

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Attarine Mosque Photo, Alexandria, Egypt
Quote:
Our first stop is The Mosque.The Attarine Mosque is located in the middle of this unique area, on Attarine Mosque Street. Originally a church dedicated to Saint Athanasius in 370 AD it was converted into a small mosque, which was built up and eventually became known as tAfter lunch we continue our tour of Alexandria. As a special add on bonus our guide decides to take us to a couple of places which aren't on our agenda. He is a true lover of history and I have to admit his enthusiasm is contagious.he Mosque of a Thousand Columns. Men enter by the elaborate front entrance but women must enter by the side door. I know this is an age-old cultural practice but it offends me. ...Read More

The Old and the New

Memphis, Ramses and the First Pyramid

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

The Ancient Eqyypt Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Once we figured out we were an hour early ( didn’t know there was an hour time change) we were on our way with our guide for the Cairo area with Saed and our driver Tony. Saed is a walking history book ----he’s quite a serious man but we learn to appreciate his amazing knowledge of Egyptian history. Our first stop to day is Memphis. This city was built by Pharaoh King Menes . Once the capitol in 3500BC and due to heavy trades, the city flourished . In ancient times Memphis had many fine palaces, large Temples and beautiful gardens. With the arrival of the Greeks the Egyptian Capital was moved from Memphis to Alexandria and Memphis suffered considerably. This was the beginning o...Read More
Yet Another Pyramid Shot Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Our first view of the Cheops (also called the Pyramid of Khufu ) was from our restaurant window at lunch, as it simply towers over Giza. It’s surreal to sit eating pita and hummus while gazing at one of the top wonders of the world. We wonder what took us so long in making this trip. After lunch we’re anxious to get a closer look!!I think this is one time when the word "Amazing" is appropriate. Just to see the guards on camels in the shade of the massive Pyramid is unbelievable. Before we take any more pictures we walk together to touch the ancient Pyramid wall and congratulate ourselves for finally being able to scratch this off our life goal list!I thought the whole place wo...Read More
Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Coptic Cairo I have to admit I knew nothing about this area before we visited. It is an ancient area of Cairo dating back to the 6th century BC. We notice that the area is heavily guarded. We see armed police as we enter, with spiked chains ready to stop any intruding vehicle. As we walk the main street we also see guards behind heavy artillery shields Our first stop is the Fortress of Babylon built here by the Romans. The plaque outside is written in both Arabic and the Cryptic language.At one time as many as twenty churches were built in this small one square mile area. Today only 5 remain.Next we stop by the famed "Hanging Church" (Saint Virgin Mary’s Churc...Read More

Getting to Aswan

Cairo Train

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "A Rocky Trip On The Overnight Train From Cairo"

The Sun Set Over the Nile Photo, Egypt, Africa
Quote:
Well this was a part of our agenda that I was a little concerned about. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Instead of flying to Aswan to catch our Nile Cruise we decided to try the train.The first thing I realized is we shouldn’t have come early The tiny waiting room is shabby crowded and hot. There are only a couple of chairs and no AC. The toilet is absolutely filthy. I have to say this is the worst I’ve seen in all my travels.Our guide came with us and insisted on waiting with us. We assured him we would be fine , after all this was country 73 for us . We’ve been around a bit. None of the less he stayed. The people we waited with, however, were so friendly th...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 29, 2009

The Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor

Presidential Cruises - Nile Plaza

Attraction | "Cruising the Nile on the Ship Nile Plaza"

Presidential Cruises - Nile Plaza Photo, Egypt, Africa
Quote:
5 Star Presidential Cruise – Nile PlazaThis is a comfortable ship with friendly staff and really good service. As soon as we board we’re given our keys and time to relax before meeting our tour guide who will be with us for all our excursions. We really like our room . We have a huge King Size bed and a big window. There is a TV a modern bathroom and much ti my delight a hairdryer!! It’s better than we expected and our room is much larger than the one we had on the Carnival Cruise we took a few years ago.The food is excellent with a buffet breakfast and lunch. We have table service at the dinner meal with a different theme each evening. The Cruise line proudly boast...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 2, 2010

Presidential Cruises - Nile Plaza

Egypt, Africa

Egypt Banks

Story/Tip

Photo of Aswan, Egypt
Quote:
Banks ATMS etc.

We are always very careful which ATM’s we use when traveling. A couple of people in our group were out of cash so our driver stopped in front of this Bank. It didn’t pass our scrutiny with its broken windows and soaped up doors. We thought it was better to pay a couple of dollars more to exchange money on the Cruise ship!!

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 7, 2010

Boat Crew and Venders Meet Us Dockside Photo, Egypt, Africa
Quote:
Temple of PhilaeLocated on an island we take a boat over to reach the first temple , known as the Temple of Love ( Temple of Isis).The trip to the island is part of the magic . Our boat crew are of the beautiful, dark and exotic Nubian race. Nubians are the people of southern Egypt and northern Sudan,with a history and traditions which can be traced to 3800BC. They have their own language that can be spoken but has no written word.Along the Nile,they developed one of the oldest and greatest civilizations in Africa. Until they lost their last kingdom (Christian Nubia) only five centuries earlier the Nubians remained as the main rivals to Egypt, the other great civilizat...Read More
Russian Monument to the Grand Dam Photo, Egypt, Africa
Quote:
Visiting High Dam
We’re greeted to this rather drab area by a modern monument, which was built as a tribute to the joint effort in building the dam by the Egyptians and Russians. It looks out of place in this land of world-renowned ancient temples and monuments.

We learn there is an older dam here as well called Aswan Dam. As we travel we see many abandoned houses that were made uninhabitable by by the floods resulting from the High Dam.
The people that lived here were the Nubians. They migrated here from Sudan.
View in the Evening Photo, Egypt, Africa
Quote:
Temple of the gods Sobek and Haroeris – Kom OmboKom Ombo stands on a promontory at a bend in the Nile Aswan and Edfu. We arrive here at sunset and had to rush before the sun sunk too low. Sunset here is at 6PM.This is the temple where the Doctors in ancient times came to study. It is pretty amazing to see prescriptions written in hieroglyphics. We see depictions of medical tools, and even women in birthing chairs. Our guide tells us there is even evidence that successful brain surgery was performed here. It is unbelievable!! We saw strange hieroglyphics of men’s penises. Our guide explains that when enemies were defeated they were castrated. It was an effective way to limit th...Read More
Waiting at dawn Photo, Aswan, Egypt
Quote:
Edfu and the Temple of HorusLast night we sailed to Edfu and it was really cool this morning to look out the window and see the horse and carriages out front at dawn waiting for the tourists!Our excursion today is to see the Temple of Horus , the best-preserved Temple in all of Egypt. The hieroglyphics here are so clear they look like they were painted yesterday. The falcon gods Horus along with his wife Hathor are on the front of the Temple.The front of the temple is a pylon which makes this huge structure appear even larger. The pylons of the main Temple are about 118 feet high with typical scenes of the pharaoh in battle with his enemies.We see the the goddess Ha...Read More
Many steps Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
Temple of Queen HatshepsutWe wake up this morning in Luxor. We’re anxious to get exploring. Some keeners in our group were off the boat before breakfast and tell us there is a coffee shop nearby.We set out at 7AM . Our destination is the West Bank . Tradionally the west side of the Nile is reserved for the dead. Our first stop is the Temple of the Queen Hatshepsut. To reach the site we drive through a small ancient village strewn with "alabaster factories". This is a clue to our second stop. The temple is massive a huge plaza in front. We really had to push ourselves to cross the wide expanse of the plaza in the scorching heat. Ahead we can see the towering pillars. We climb the many...Read More
The Valley of the Kings Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
This is high on our list of must sees and we have looked forward to our visit for many years. We soon discover the Valley of the Kings is high on many lists, so much so that cameras are not allowed in the site. I think this is in an effort to keep the crowds moving more than to protect the ancient hieroglyphics.The very name evokes a sense of dark mystery. There are 63 temples discovered to date with work continuing to uncover more. As you would expect, all of the temples are of Kings with the exception of three. The walls of the temples are in unbelievable shape with the images of the Book of the Dead ,the Book of the Gates and the Book of the Underworld are clearly visible. It is easy to le...Read More

Colossi of Memnon

Attraction

Colossi of Memnon Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
Colossi of Memnon

This was a quick stop for us , as all that remains are two massive towers. The temple itself was destroyed in an earthquake in 27BC and the stones were most likely used over the centuries to build homes for the residents.
The stone statues are of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and are still quite amazing ,standing 23 meters high . They have stood for the past 3400 years (since 1350 BC) in the Theban necropolis across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor.

Colossi of Memnon
Theban Necropolis
Luxor, Egypt

El Souk Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
Our trip to Luxor TownWe arranged our transportation from the ship and for 60 EL ( $12.00) return we take a trip to town. Our primary interest is to visit the Souk ( market) but the city is pretty interesting in itself. We see the White Palace a pretty impresive place to stay where you would feel like royality. There are touches of the western world here with both MacDonalds’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken on the main street. You can’t enter Luxor without seeing Karnak Temple , the city seems to be built around it.Luxor is so very old ,with many old dusty homes and shops built along lanes that are really just alleys.I’m a sucker for old market places , so I was happy to arrive a...Read More

The Desert and the Sea

Living Life in the Old Way Photo, Egypt, Africa
Quote:
Driving Across the Western Desert to the Red SeaWe start our trip by driving along the Nile through little towns and content ourselves watching life along the Nile. We see people carrying supplies with donkey carts and washing their clothes in the river. They lead very simple lives in much the same as did their ancestors.It seems there are checks points every 10 minutes. It is a bit unnerving .Adding to our concern is the fact that our driver pulled over and a man unknown to us jumped in. Neither spoke English so we didn’t know what this surprise traveler was about and we hope all was well. Up until six months ago cars had to leave at scheduled times as part of a caravan . I think I ...Read More

Royal Azur Hotel and Resort

Hotel | "Taking it Easy on the Red Sea"

Royal Azur Hotel and Resort Photo, Hurghada, Egypt
Quote:
We stayed at the Royal Azur next to its sister hotel Club Azur. Facilities at both resorts were available to us.
The hotel is quite grand with marble everywhere and several restaurants. It is an all-inclusive resort and the food was great. There were lots of choices of drinks and food. We didn’t make it to all the restaurants in our 4 -day stay but by the look of the scales when we returned we ate our share.
There are several pools as well. We enjoyed the salt water pool the best.
The rooms are very nice with king sized bed , nice big balcony SAT TV ( with a couple of English channels) and HD.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 29, 2010

Royal Azur Hotel and Resort
Makadi Bay
Hurghada, Egypt