Two weeks in Egypt

Old Jul 11th 2007, 6:35 am
  #1  
Marc Lurie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Two weeks in Egypt

Hi,

I've never been to Egypt but I have the opportunity to go there for 14
days at the end of December.

I fly into Cairo, and I am hoping to meet up with a friend in
Alexandria if he can get there by a specific date. If I can't meet up
with the friend, I will be left to my own devices for the fortnight.

1) Will I find enough to keep me occupied that long?

2) Should I hire a vehicle? I'm quite comfortable with driving in
foreign countries.

3) Can I make on-the-fly accomodation plans while in Egypt, or should
I book accomodation well in advance?

4) Is camping a possibility?

5) While I'm there what must I ABSOLUTELY NOT miss? Bear in mind that
I've seen my fair share of souks and markets, high-priced resorts,
faux "authentic" tourist traps, and those places that are in every Nat
Geo and school books etc. I hate crowds of gawking tourists too.

I look forward to getting some of the sage advice that I've come to
expect from this NG ;-)

Regards,
Marc - Johannesburg
 
Old Jul 11th 2007, 2:15 pm
  #2  
Alan S
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Two weeks in Egypt

On Wed, 11 Jul 2007 08:35:27 +0200, Marc Lurie
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Hi,
>
>I've never been to Egypt but I have the opportunity to go there for 14
>days at the end of December.
>
>I fly into Cairo, and I am hoping to meet up with a friend in
>Alexandria if he can get there by a specific date. If I can't meet up
>with the friend, I will be left to my own devices for the fortnight.
>
>1) Will I find enough to keep me occupied that long?
>
>2) Should I hire a vehicle? I'm quite comfortable with driving in
>foreign countries.
>
>3) Can I make on-the-fly accomodation plans while in Egypt, or should
>I book accomodation well in advance?
>
>4) Is camping a possibility?
>
>5) While I'm there what must I ABSOLUTELY NOT miss? Bear in mind that
>I've seen my fair share of souks and markets, high-priced resorts,
>faux "authentic" tourist traps, and those places that are in every Nat
>Geo and school books etc. I hate crowds of gawking tourists too.
>
>I look forward to getting some of the sage advice that I've come to
>expect from this NG ;-)
>
>Regards,
>Marc - Johannesburg

I'll be there for 9 or 10 days next March.

My own plan is fairly simple. A couple of days in Cairo,
which I'll pre-book via www.asiarooms.com or a similar site
because I like to know where to tell the cab to go from the
airport. The train up the Nile to Aswan, a cruise boat back
to Luxor over four or five nights, then the plane or the
train again back to Cairo, with a side trip to Alexandria to
finish. While in Cairo I'll see the obvious things - Giza,
Museums etc and of course the people. I'll probably book the
final hotels during that couple of days in Cairo at the
start, when I can see what is available.

While that's my own plan, I'll be interested to see what
suggestions you get; as it's still only a plan.


Cheers, Alan, Australia
--
http://loraltraveloz.blogspot.com/
latest: Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest
http://loraldiabetes.blogspot.com/
latest: Self-Testing and Type 2 Management
 
Old Jul 11th 2007, 9:39 pm
  #3  
Miguel Cruz
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Two weeks in Egypt

Marc Lurie <[email protected]> wrote:
> I've never been to Egypt but I have the opportunity to go there for 14
> days at the end of December.
>
> I fly into Cairo, and I am hoping to meet up with a friend in
> Alexandria if he can get there by a specific date. If I can't meet up
> with the friend, I will be left to my own devices for the fortnight.
>
> 1) Will I find enough to keep me occupied that long?

I spent over a week just walking around Cairo, and I was disappointed to
have to leave.

The train to Alexandria is comfortable and convenient. Take the express
train, and pay the extra US$1 for first class.

> 2) Should I hire a vehicle? I'm quite comfortable with driving in
> foreign countries.

Hahaha, say that again after you've seen traffic in Cairo. Makes Saigon
or Lagos look like a garden party. Traffic lights are totally ignored. I
am not saying that in a comical or hyperbolic way; I mean that they are
totally ignored. Everyone just honks and barges through. People drive
with their side mirrors folded in because those extra few inches make a
serious difference when cars are 6-abreadst on a 3-lane road. Stopping
for any reason is a sign of weakness. If the car in front of you is
taking too long to advance through the red light into the intersection,
a gentle nudge never hurts.

> 3) Can I make on-the-fly accomodation plans while in Egypt, or should
> I book accomodation well in advance?

No shortage of hotel rooms in Egypt. It shouldn't be a problem to sort
it out as you go.

miguel
--
Hit the road! Photos from around the world: http://travel.u.nu
Detailed airport information: http://airport.u.nu
 
Old Jul 12th 2007, 6:36 am
  #4  
Marc Lurie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Two weeks in Egypt

On Thu, 12 Jul 2007 05:39:14 +0800, Miguel Cruz <[email protected]>
wrote:


>I spent over a week just walking around Cairo, and I was disappointed to
>have to leave.
Good to know.
>
>The train to Alexandria is comfortable and convenient. Take the express
>train, and pay the extra US$1 for first class.
Thanks for the advice. I will certainly look at that option.
>
>Hahaha, say that again after you've seen traffic in Cairo. Makes Saigon
>or Lagos look like a garden party.
Well, that answers that one. :-) Actually, I meant that I might hire
ar car to travel around Egypt, not in Cairo itself. Is that an option?


>No shortage of hotel rooms in Egypt. It shouldn't be a problem to sort
>it out as you go.
Excellent. I hate having schedules when I travel.

Thanks for the good info. Miguel. I appreciate it.

Marc
 
Old Jul 12th 2007, 12:46 pm
  #5  
Alfred Molon
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Two weeks in Egypt

See my two travelogues:
http://www.molon.de/travelogues/Egypt/2003/
http://www.molon.de/travelogues/Egypt/2001/

and the photos to get an idea what there is to see and do:
http://www.molon.de/galleries/Egypt/
--

Alfred Molon
http://www.molon.de - Photos of Asia, Africa and Europe
 
Old Jul 13th 2007, 12:47 pm
  #6  
Nisse PowerMan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Two weeks in Egypt

Alan S wrote:
>
> On Wed, 11 Jul 2007 08:35:27 +0200, Marc Lurie
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >Hi,
> >
> >I've never been to Egypt but I have the opportunity to go there for 14
> >days at the end of December.
> >
> >I fly into Cairo, and I am hoping to meet up with a friend in
> >Alexandria if he can get there by a specific date. If I can't meet up
> >with the friend, I will be left to my own devices for the fortnight.
> >
> >1) Will I find enough to keep me occupied that long?
> >
> >2) Should I hire a vehicle? I'm quite comfortable with driving in
> >foreign countries.
> >
> >3) Can I make on-the-fly accomodation plans while in Egypt, or should
> >I book accomodation well in advance?
> >
> >4) Is camping a possibility?
> >
> >5) While I'm there what must I ABSOLUTELY NOT miss? Bear in mind that
> >I've seen my fair share of souks and markets, high-priced resorts,
> >faux "authentic" tourist traps, and those places that are in every Nat
> >Geo and school books etc. I hate crowds of gawking tourists too.
> >
> >I look forward to getting some of the sage advice that I've come to
> >expect from this NG ;-)
> >
> >Regards,
> >Marc - Johannesburg
>
> I'll be there for 9 or 10 days next March.
>
> My own plan is fairly simple. A couple of days in Cairo,
> which I'll pre-book via www.asiarooms.com or a similar site
> because I like to know where to tell the cab to go from the
> airport. The train up the Nile to Aswan, a cruise boat back
> to Luxor over four or five nights, then the plane or the
> train again back to Cairo, with a side trip to Alexandria to
> finish. While in Cairo I'll see the obvious things - Giza,
> Museums etc and of course the people. I'll probably book the
> final hotels during that couple of days in Cairo at the
> start, when I can see what is available.
>
> While that's my own plan, I'll be interested to see what
> suggestions you get; as it's still only a plan.

Sounds quite OK, I would add a full day for Pyramid excursions outside
Giza, hire a taxi with driver, go south to Saqqara and the Bent and the
Red pyramids, check them inside.

Also remember, the Giza pyramids only open twice a day, morning show
plus afternoon show. There are a very limited number of tickets, be in
time to buy a ticket, don't miss the sun boat museum at Giza.

Go INSIDE the pyramids, very exciting how it was built.

In Cairo the modern subway is cheap (50 piasters last time I was there),
but avoid the rush hours. The subway is fast and cheap.

Why not see Port Said and the boat traffic if you have extra time?


/Regards, Nisse



>
>
> Cheers, Alan, Australia
> --
> http://loraltraveloz.blogspot.com/
> latest: Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest
> http://loraldiabetes.blogspot.com/
> latest: Self-Testing and Type 2 Management

--
Remove the obvious part before replying by mail please!
 
Old Jul 13th 2007, 3:11 pm
  #7  
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Joined: Nov 2006
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Default Re: Two weeks in Egypt

Hi Marc:

Though I was in Egypt 10 years ago, I can say it was one of my best holidays ever, you will NOT be disappointed!.

1. No worries, you will have plenty to do. In Cairo, I recommend you take a tour; it will include the obvious, Pyramids, Cairo Museum (I could have spent an entire day here), Papyrus Institute and much more, on your own you will likely miss a lot, there is more to Cairo than just the Pyramids/Sphinx.

2. Absolutely DO NOT drive yourself.

3. Probably is best to do things in advance. I would suggest also that you take nothing of much value as the luggage of 2 of my friends were not stolen, but items were taken.

4. Overnight desert camping will take your breath away....did not do it in Egypt, only in Israel, but I would think the experience would be similar. Also, desert safaris are a lot of fun.

5. Though I was only able to be in Cairo for 4 days, I was told the Nile cruise and Valley of Queens & Kings are magical & not to be missed. And unless you like markets, I would skip the market in Cairo, though city was surprisingly clean, the market was awful and shopkeepers the most aggressive ever, some will actually force you in their stores.

Can you fit me in your suitcase?. Have a fantastic trip.

PS: oh, inside the pyramids is NOT exciting, maybe in Dec. it is, but in the summer it was terrible, extremely hot & humid and extremely difficult to enter/exit, avoid this if you suffer from back-problems...pyramids are much more impressive from the outside than the inside.
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Old Jul 14th 2007, 2:36 am
  #8  
Alan S
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Two weeks in Egypt

On Fri, 13 Jul 2007 14:47:23 +0200, Nisse PowerMan
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Alan S wrote:
>>
>> On Wed, 11 Jul 2007 08:35:27 +0200, Marc Lurie
>> <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>> >Hi,
>> >
>> >I've never been to Egypt but I have the opportunity to go there for 14
>> >days at the end of December.
>> >
>> >I fly into Cairo, and I am hoping to meet up with a friend in
>> >Alexandria if he can get there by a specific date. If I can't meet up
>> >with the friend, I will be left to my own devices for the fortnight.
>> >
>> >1) Will I find enough to keep me occupied that long?
>> >
>> >2) Should I hire a vehicle? I'm quite comfortable with driving in
>> >foreign countries.
>> >
>> >3) Can I make on-the-fly accomodation plans while in Egypt, or should
>> >I book accomodation well in advance?
>> >
>> >4) Is camping a possibility?
>> >
>> >5) While I'm there what must I ABSOLUTELY NOT miss? Bear in mind that
>> >I've seen my fair share of souks and markets, high-priced resorts,
>> >faux "authentic" tourist traps, and those places that are in every Nat
>> >Geo and school books etc. I hate crowds of gawking tourists too.
>> >
>> >I look forward to getting some of the sage advice that I've come to
>> >expect from this NG ;-)
>> >
>> >Regards,
>> >Marc - Johannesburg
>>
>> I'll be there for 9 or 10 days next March.
>>
>> My own plan is fairly simple. A couple of days in Cairo,
>> which I'll pre-book via www.asiarooms.com or a similar site
>> because I like to know where to tell the cab to go from the
>> airport. The train up the Nile to Aswan, a cruise boat back
>> to Luxor over four or five nights, then the plane or the
>> train again back to Cairo, with a side trip to Alexandria to
>> finish. While in Cairo I'll see the obvious things - Giza,
>> Museums etc and of course the people. I'll probably book the
>> final hotels during that couple of days in Cairo at the
>> start, when I can see what is available.
>>
>> While that's my own plan, I'll be interested to see what
>> suggestions you get; as it's still only a plan.
>
>Sounds quite OK, I would add a full day for Pyramid excursions outside
>Giza, hire a taxi with driver, go south to Saqqara and the Bent and the
>Red pyramids, check them inside.
>
>Also remember, the Giza pyramids only open twice a day, morning show
>plus afternoon show. There are a very limited number of tickets, be in
>time to buy a ticket, don't miss the sun boat museum at Giza.
>
>Go INSIDE the pyramids, very exciting how it was built.
>
>In Cairo the modern subway is cheap (50 piasters last time I was there),
>but avoid the rush hours. The subway is fast and cheap.
>
>Why not see Port Said and the boat traffic if you have extra time?
>
>
>/Regards, Nisse
>

Thanks for the suggestions; I'll look into them. Time is one
problem. I have a lot to see in a short time and I've found
it wise to include "do nothing" days in the itinerary. Even
if just to get the laundry done, some essentials shopping,
and so on.

Bear in mind I'll have come from Angkor, Petra and Agra and
be heading off via London, New York and Washington to
Yucatan and Mexico City. Egypt will be the longest period in
one country. It'll be hectic, but fun.

How safe is it for a 60yo 6' tall obvious Westerner to
wander around freely in the bazaars and subways? I had no
problems wandering the back streets of Istanbul; is Cairo
similar in that respect?


Cheers, Alan, Australia
--
http://loraltraveloz.blogspot.com/
latest: Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest
http://loraldiabetes.blogspot.com/
latest: Self-Testing and Type 2 Management
 
Old Jul 15th 2007, 8:17 pm
  #9  
Miguel Cruz
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Two weeks in Egypt

Alan S <[email protected]> wrote:
> How safe is it for a 60yo 6' tall obvious Westerner to
> wander around freely in the bazaars and subways? I had no
> problems wandering the back streets of Istanbul; is Cairo
> similar in that respect?

I am not so obviously a westerner but most people seemed to figure out I
was a foreigner (the big camera helped). In Cairo I walked everywhere
that seemed interesting, no matter how back-alleyish, run-down, or
deserted, day and night. At no time did I feel threatened in any way.
Also, nobody ever warned me to be careful, something I find often
happens in places where there is real danger.

On the subway I accidentally got in the ladies-only car (it seemed so
much less crowded!) I got a lot of tittering and moved back to the mixed
car at the next stop, where I just got more snickering from the men. One
of them gave me a congratulatory clap on the shoulder with a big grin.

The subway is quite crowded, and I could imagine there might be
pick-pocketing, but I never felt (or lost) anything.

miguel
--
Hit the road! Photos from around the world: http://travel.u.nu
Detailed airport information: http://airport.u.nu
 
Old Jul 16th 2007, 1:29 am
  #10  
Alan S
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Two weeks in Egypt

On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 04:17:31 +0800, Miguel Cruz
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Alan S <[email protected]> wrote:
>> How safe is it for a 60yo 6' tall obvious Westerner to
>> wander around freely in the bazaars and subways? I had no
>> problems wandering the back streets of Istanbul; is Cairo
>> similar in that respect?
>
>I am not so obviously a westerner but most people seemed to figure out I
>was a foreigner (the big camera helped). In Cairo I walked everywhere
>that seemed interesting, no matter how back-alleyish, run-down, or
>deserted, day and night. At no time did I feel threatened in any way.
>Also, nobody ever warned me to be careful, something I find often
>happens in places where there is real danger.
>
>On the subway I accidentally got in the ladies-only car (it seemed so
>much less crowded!) I got a lot of tittering and moved back to the mixed
>car at the next stop, where I just got more snickering from the men. One
>of them gave me a congratulatory clap on the shoulder with a big grin.
>
>The subway is quite crowded, and I could imagine there might be
>pick-pocketing, but I never felt (or lost) anything.
>
>miguel

Thanks Miguel


Cheers, Alan, Australia
--
http://loraltraveloz.blogspot.com/
latest: Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest
http://loraldiabetes.blogspot.com/
latest: Self-Testing and Type 2 Management
 
Old Jul 29th 2007, 9:47 am
  #11  
Me
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Two weeks in Egypt

> Go INSIDE the pyramids, very exciting how it was built.
>
I believe that only the first 150 visitors are allowed inside the
Pyramids
 
Old Jul 29th 2007, 1:50 pm
  #12  
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 266
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Default Re: Two weeks in Egypt

Originally Posted by Me
> Go INSIDE the pyramids, very exciting how it was built.
>
I believe that only the first 150 visitors are allowed inside the
Pyramids
You're correct, there is a limit and that is why is better taking a tour then doing it alone as with a tour company, we were guaranteed entrance.
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