Have you been to Egypt??
I'm taking my Mom to Egypt in late 2010. I think it isn't too early to start planning. I want to make sure she has the BEST experience possible! So.....
Have any of you been to Egypt? On business or pleasure? On a guided tour or on your own? Do you have any other general info you think I should have?
**I think my brain is fried from all of the sites I've been on today for research**
Unfortunately, I've never been to Egypt. (My birth father is from there). But one of my best friends went a few years ago. She was on an organized tour through 3 countries, but when she was in Egypt she went to Cairo. She got to see the pyramyds (they are right outside of the city I guess) and also got to go on a camel ride in the Sahara, also right outside of Cairo. Plus that city is right against the Nile River. Her pictures were amazing!!! When I go, I'm doing that too! That's it, it's all I got! lol. Hope you have lots of fun on your vacation!
I lived and worked in Eqypt for almost a year, mostly in Cairo and a couple months in Alexandria. You must visit the mosque (take off your shoes) the old Shepheard's Hotel (if it still exists), the Khan Khalili bazaar, the pyramids ( a long ride in a taxi down Rue Al Ahram, but reasonable rates), see the Sphinx (right next to the pyramids), take a camel ride if you like (very touristy, but once in a lifetime) and see the Nile. It's hard not to see the Nile as it runs through the city. You might take in a nightclub show at one of the hotels in the evening. The featured performer will probably be an oriental dancer (we call the "belly dancers" in America...don't use that term there). Buy some falafel in pita from a vendor on the street. If you have the inkling, take a sidetrip to Sakhara, and if possible Alexandria, the city founded by Alexander the Great. It's one of the most colorful, unique and bizarre cities in the world. Cairo is noisy, dusty, and CROWDED. Drivers there believe their cars run on honking not gas. Oh, and go to the Cairo museum. Unbeleivable! Stacks of mummies. Even old Ramses (of Moses fame) is there.
Eqypt will turn your head around. It's mystical and magical.
Cairo is noisy, dusty, and CROWDED. Drivers there believe their cars run on honking not gas.
;D That is so true. The honking in Cairo is constant! And the traffic is wild and crazy.
My A#1 piece of advice is to take a lot of one dollar bills to hand out to pretty much everyone you run across. Everyone expects a tip, even if they really haven't done anything for you, and it's very difficult to get change/small bills there; so when you only have a 20 pound note, you look like a jerk for not tipping the little girl in the bathroom who hands you a couple of squares of toilet paper. Had I been prepared, it would have made the trip far less stressful for me. There will also be people trying to sell you something everywhere you go.
With that caveat, it was a great experience. There is a lot of wonderful stuff to see and interesting things to learn. We did a guided tour; we're not experienced world travelers, so I think that was best. We hit pretty much all of the major sites (except Abu Simbel and Alexandria). Our favorites were The Valley of the Kings, the temple at Karnak, and the Cairo Museum. I also liked Kom Ombo quite a bit.
Foodwise, most of the places we went served kebabs and mezza, which worked out well for my husband and I: he ate the kebabs and I ate the mezza. Yum! And if you like beer, definitely try the Stella lager.
I didn't take any shorts with me, because I assumed that it would be inappropriate, but the tour guide said it was okay and many of the women in our group wore them.