Posts Tagged With: Red Sea

Reflection on my Trip to Egypt

I’ve been dreaming about going to Egypt since I was about 7 and read my first King Tut article. I’ve been obsessed with Egypt ever since. I own at least 40 books on the subject and am even going to school to become a certified Egyptologist just for the fun of it. Going into this trip I had no idea what to expect. My friend had backed out because of the revolution so I was technically going alone. I had “met” Alexis, Janelle, Megan, and Sonja through Facebook months prior to the trip. This was also my first time flying by myself and my first layover. So I was anxious and excited all at the same time.

Though my luggage was lost and I had to deal with the stress and lack of clothing and toiletries it was still the best trip of my life. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. Contiki, Spring Tours, Sherif (my tour guide), and my tour mates made the trip unforgettable. I honestly wish the trip was longer and covered Alexandria and Abydos.

Despite what was going in Egypt while I was there, I felt completely safe. We were kept informed about what was going on and Sherif kept us out of harms way. In southern Egypt it was completely calm and that’s where we spent the majority of our time. The locals we interacted with were all friendly. They all appreciated the little Arabic I knew and all of them were genuinely upset over my missing suitcase. So many of them wanted to stop and chat and not in a creepy way.

Egypt is beautiful! Words cannot even begin to describe how amazing the tombs, museums, statues, and temples are. You are immediately transported back in time at each site. If I had my way I could have spent hours at each site. There is just so much to see!!! I was like a kid in a candy store. I just couldn’t stop smiling knowing that I was seeing first hand what I have read about and watched on TV. My absolute favorite site was Abu Simbel. I am so glad I decided to take the 45 minute plane ride to see it. It was breathtaking! It is officially my favorite place on earth besides my beloved home city of NYC.

I knew I would be in awe of the history, but I had no idea that the Nile and Red Sea would also bring me joy. Sitting on the top deck cruising down the Nile was literally the most relaxing experience I’ve ever had. You just felt like life couldn’t get any better. The Red Sea is gorgeous and you feel like you are at a Caribbean resort and not in the middle of the Middle East.

I do not regret my trip whatsoever! Best decision I’ve probably made. Would I go back? I want to go back with my family and relive it through their eyes. I want to see places I didn’t go to like Alexandria, Sakkara, and Abydos. Would I go back in the near future? Sadly, no. The area is too volatile. I got lucky with when I went to Egypt and several other countries. There is only so many times you can go to a country during war and revolution and have a safe experience. I wouldn’t want to push my luck. If I had to go back now then I would stick to the south where things are soooo much calmer. It’s a different world down there.

Thanks for reading my Egyptian adventure. I still need to post my postcards from the trip and maybe even some of my souvenirs.

Pictures below aren’t in order. They are just some of my favorite ones from Egypt.

295689_10150356385702316_410227_n 285430_1987449890835_1736016_n cropped-s5004802.jpg cropped-s5004940.jpg Egypt Map

Categories: Africa, Egypt, History, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Red Sea Fun on El Prince Shady

8/5/11

Last full day in Egypt.

I woke up feeling much better. I guess I was just exhausted. I headed out to the lobby shop only to find out that it was closed. I went back to my room and got my belongings. I had to leave them with the front desk, which I was not happy about. I got my towel and ate my breakfast. I ran into the twins who said they weren’t coming on the boat. A part of me wished I wasn’t going either. I was worried I would be ill.

Sherif walked us to the boat and most people signed out equipment. The boat was called El Prince Shady. We sat on the top of the boat and it was beautiful. Sherif and the boat owner joked about pushing me into the water in Arabic. Somehow I understood them and told them to not even think about it. This made them laugh. I decided to change into my bathing suit and at least dangle my feet over the side of the boat. The water felt nice. Sherif made me hold onto the ladder and go into the water up to my chest. The schools of fish were really cool to look at. The boys jumped off of the roof of the boat. The staff on the boat cooked us lunch, though it looked appealing it didn’t smell that way when they were making it. I ate my animal crackers. Sherif had never heard of them. I put a cover up on and sat on the top as we sailed back. The water was perfect and we had a wonderful breeze.

We went back to the hotel and the girls all changed in one room. I realized I burnt my shoulders on the boat despite the sunscreen. The bed in the room we changed in had a canopy which was cool. I gave in my towel and the guy gave me a hard time about getting my card back. He didn’t believe I had the right room number. After that I went to the lobby shop, which was finally open. I bought some mirrors. The shop guy was really freaky. He read my name off of my cartouche and wanted me to sit with him. I didn’t. He wound up giving me a hair scrunchie. I used the bathroom and got on the bus.

Categories: Africa, Egypt, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Learning How to Make Paper Out of Papyrus

8/4/11

Our next stop was going to be the papyrus museum on the East Bank. We passed Carter’s house and the Temple of Luxor. Everyone was running short on cash and we all owed Sherif money for our optionals. So we were going to drive to an ATM and pick up the twins. On our drive we find out that now Janelle is sick and they are calling a doctor for her. So we won’t be picking up the girls. We stop at the ATM and I tease with Sherif that it is the oldest ATM because everything else we have stopped at has been the oldest or the first of something. I pay Sherif what I owe him while I wait for everyone to use the ATM. Paul pays me back for his Valley of the Kings tickets.

Sherif drops us off at the papyrus museum. He then heads back to the boat to pick up the twins. We walk around the museum, which is really just a store, for a minute or two before we are led to the back. I immediately saw the papyrus painting I wanted. It was of Isis leading Nefertari through the afterlife. Our demonstration was in the back of the museum/store. I found the guy super fascinating and funny. I never knew how they turned the plant into paper. I filmed the whole thing. See below. The guy liked me because I knew the answers to his questions. He asked if Josh was my boyfriend and if I hit him over the head with a rolling pin. He had me explain the famous Osiris judgement scene.

Then we broke into pairs. One sales person per Contiki person. The guy from the demonstration shooed my sales person away because he wanted to personally wait on me. I showed him the picture I wanted and that the picture seemed to have two prices. He gave it to me for the lower price and I had my name added to it. You can see the one I purchased in this picture (it is the one in the blue frame). The twins arrived. Meg looked better and Janelle looked awful. Janelle got a seat and had the garbage can with her. Meg ran around to pick out pictures. We all attempted to get the free wifi, but it didn’t work. We used the bathroom and we were off.

Before we left Luxor Sherif had us stop at a grocery store. They had everything and were so cheap!! I bought water, M&M’s, Twix, and a Kit Kat. Now we were officially off to Hurghada. Janelle decided to lay down on the floor. Most people slept or listened to their headphones. I listened to music and watched the scenery. I took lots of pictures of people sleeping and all the narrow roads we were on. We eventually stopped to use the restroom. We paid and entered into a huge clean restroom. It was awesome! We even took a picture. The bathroom guards asked us where we were from. The Aussies said Australia so I just went with it. Australians are preferred over Americans.

When we got to Safaga we were able to see the Red Sea. It looked beautiful. We arrived at the Safir Hotel. We were supposed to be staying at the Triton Empire Hotel. We got our room numbers and realized we were all in different parts of the building. I was alone on the main floor. I struggled to get my door to lock, but eventually succeeded. The room wasn’t much, but it was only one night. I had a view of the pool. I took pictures of the group in the pool and set about settling into the room. I started not to feel well and decided I should lie down.  However, it was about time to meet Sherif in the lobby for dinner. Dinner and shopping was the last thing on my mind. Josh was the only one in the lobby when I arrived. I tried to kill time by looking at the gift shop, but it was closed. I gave up and I told Josh to tell Sherif I wasn’t going to dinner.

I went back to the room and collapsed on my bed. Next thing I knew it was a couple hours later. I got up, changed, got my stuff ready for the next day, put stuff in the fridge, read a bit, and then went back to bed.

Categories: Africa, Egypt, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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