An Amazing Journey Through Time
Ten Days. Thirteen Excursions and Site visits. Five Flights. One amazing journey!
Our action packed adventure in Egypt felt as though it was over far too soon. Having the opportunity to visit some of the oldest archaeological sites – some dating back 4500 years – and so well preserved was a real journey back in time.
In just ten days we covered a lot of territory, which we could not have done without some expert help on the ground. Usually we would take on the role of scheduling, planning and booking all of our flights, transfers, accommodations, excursions, guides, tours etc., we decided that with the limited time that we would work with a local tour company in Egypt to take care of all the logistics so that we could maximize our time. In researching Egypt, we also kept in touch with the Canadian Government’s Travel Site, which also suggested for safety to work with local guides who would be aware of the local situation.
Memphis Tours did a fantastic job of keeping our trip running smoothly from start to end. We were always met by a representative and/or guide upon arrival at any location, hotel check-ins were well managed, and everyone was always on time! The guides were extremely knowledgeable, both with respect to the local geography as well as Egypt’s rich history. Deen was amazing in Cairo, Ali was so helpful to us in Hurghada, and Aladdin, who accompanied us during our cruise down the Nile, really stood out to us. He shared so much information with us at each of the sites from Aswan to Luxor, it was unbelievable! We loved his passion and he always had answers to our questions. All of the Memphis tour guides and drivers were exceptional at getting us to where we needed to be, and provided us with good local insight (on things like the tipping culture!)
Go with Memphis…they are the best! They provided us with 5 star service that made our trip to Egypt so memorable.
Egypt is Safe
We were a little hesitant as our trip departure date approached in December given some of the media reports in November and December, particularly in Israel and Palestine. In monitoring the media reports for Egypt as well as connecting with people we knew who were living in the country, we determined that things seemed pretty safe and stable, and this proved to be true while we were in the country as well. There was certainly a very visible military and police presence, but it added to our sense of safety knowing that government was taking action to keep the country safe.
As we learned during our trip to Jordan, Israel and Palestine during our big trip in December 2014, tourism in the entire region continues to suffer due to the instability of the region. For instance, our guide for our Hot Air Balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings told us that normally there would be hundreds of balloons in the air on any given day, while this year there were only 80 or so scheduled to fly.
Our message to you is this: Egypt is safe…visit this gem, it’s amazing and so worth a trip!
“What was your favourite place?”
This age-old question has no single answer!
Obviously, the Pyramids are a must-see, and it was frankly surreal standing at the base of these massive structures looking up at the tons of stone resting in place.
The pyramids at night were just as beautiful.
Abu Simbel was phenomenal, seeing the 20 m tall statues of King Rameses II carved right into the stone. It reminded us all of our time in Petra seeing the detailed sandstone carvings.
The Tombs in the Valley of the Kings were phenomenal. We were all amazed at the beauty of the carvings in the walls and the paint still in place after over 4500 years. One thing I learned was that if you take the risk of photographing inside the tombs, you may just receive the Pharaoh’s Curse as punishment!
The temples were all very impressive, whether due to the sheer size such as at Karnak, or the intricate carvings and hieroglyphics as we witnessed at Edfu. Simply amazing.
The Egypt Museum was phenomenal as you’ll have seen in Katina’s Post. We were there for half a day, and really could have spent a lot more time. It was amazing to walk into section after section seeing amazing artifacts that you really can only imagine. One section was lined with cabinets about 12-15 feet high, with each cabinet having 3 full sarcophagus’ within. Unbelievable. The royal mummy rooms were amazing…to see the bodies of the pharaoh’s preserved after all these years.
And the people were wonderful. When we went shopping and bartered for our goods, the shop keepers were all willing to bargain and said that Katina was a tough negotiator. Everyone always had a smile on their faces and we had some good-natured back-and-forth as we worked towards our best price (“New year, new price!” was our motto!). We also met many like-minded travelers from around the world who were on their own journey of discovery though the exposure to ancient Egypt!
So what’s next?
You’ll have to stay tuned!