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We’ve wished to go to Egypt for some time now, so when the chance to…

We’ve wished to go to Egypt for some time now, so when the chance to get away over the Christmas and New 12 months interval arose, we knew we wanted to move there for a break. We joined Expat Discover on their 10 Day Explorer Tour by Egypt, taking within the sights of Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, and Hurghada.

Expat Explore Group Photo

We selected Expat Discover as a result of they had been the most cost effective with all the identical sights and in the long run, we had been proud of our alternative.

Pre-departure, they emailed us our itinerary with the optionally available excursions and extra prices for entry charges, together with budgeting appropriately. In addition to following up with our pre-trip questions relating to flights, insurance coverage, and well being and security recommendation.

From the beginning, they had been very skilled. Touchdown in Cairo, we had been personally greeted the day earlier than our tour and transported to our Metropolis middle lodge. That drive was an eye-opener to Egypt with loopy lane adjustments, honking, swerving, and flashing lights with animals, folks, and automobiles in all places.

El Tonsy Lodge is your base in your arrival and final evening. Fortunately we didn’t anticipate a lot as our door didn’t lock, which was a bit dodgy, and the rooms had been chilly with a damaged heater and just one blanket. You wouldn’t assume you would want warmth in Egypt, however it was the center of winter, chilly at evening. No complaints with the situation, although, as we may see the Pyramids within the distance and had been solely 5 minutes stroll from the Nile and quarter-hour to Tahir Sq. (completely secure, by the best way). Plus, they’ve a bit of bar/restaurant with low-cost meals and free Wi-Fi. Simply purchase your snacks and water from the grocery store throughout the highway, and you’re going to get on fantastic.

El Tonsy Hotel View of Pyramids

It’s fairly laborious to interrupt down a complete journey into one put up however right here goes:

Day One

Your tour begins with the most effective for my part by touring some sights of Cairo. The steeply angled Step Pyramid, the mind-blowing Pyramids of Giza, and the smaller than anticipated Sphinx. Today was the spotlight.

Pyramids of Giza

That evening is spent aboard the prepare for 10-12 hours to Aswan. I extremely suggest the Sleeper prepare for an additional £50 per individual. Others who caught the usual prepare froze their butts off whereas we had a toasty sleep with dinner and breakfast. Sadly, Expat Discover by no means instructed us in regards to the supplied meals, so we ate earlier than we received on board however what we may slot in was scrumptious.

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Day Two in Egypt

The tour splits in Aswan as one group embarks on a River Cruise aboard a 5-star ship whereas the others spend time in motels and on a Felucca. No shock that we went with the cheaper choice aboard the Felucca, so the following few days are from that perspective.

The afternoon is yours at Sara Lodge on the banks above the Nile. We lapped up the gorgeous rays of the solar and managed to show our pasty white our bodies a extra becoming, barely white shade. The Lodge was nice till the bathroom subsequent door erupted, sending a river of smelly waste throughout our bed room ground (throw your rest room paper within the bin, not the toilet)! Fortunately we woke in time to rescue our luggage from the watery mess! Not the fault of Expat Discover, and we didn’t blame the Lodge both, as shit occurs.

Day Three on the Nile River

Your day begins by visiting the monstrous Excessive Dam for 10 minutes (moderately boring) and driving previous the Unfinished Obelisk. On the identical time, the spotlight is the Philae Temple. It’s fairly magical when the sunsets throughout the Nile replicate off the stonework.

Philae Temple Sunset

The night ended with an optionally available dinner in a standard Nubian household’s home. The meals was scrumptious, and also you higher deliver your singing and dancing sneakers.

Day 4 on the Felucca

The next day and evening are spent stress-free aboard the Felucca for a sail up the Nile for a number of hours. Sleeping not more than eight folks, you may be cosy when you deliver your sleeping bag like us. The remainder of our crew was jealous because it did get fairly chilly within the night. Nonetheless, blankets had been supplied.

With scrumptious pita bread and falafel cooked on the boat, you’ll not be disenchanted with the meals both.

The day ends with a bonfire on the Nile shoreline as you sing and dance with the loopy enjoyable Nubian crews. This was one of many highlights of the complete journey for us.

Journey Tip: Don’t be postpone by doing all your “enterprise” amongst the reeds of the Nile. Simply benefit from the view and keep in mind to deliver your rest room paper (which you want in all places in Egypt anyway).

Felucca on the Nile

By all accounts, from the opposite tour members, the River Cruise is simply as nice, with three nights onboard in snug lodging, a pool, and buffets morning, midday, and evening.

Day 5 Temple Exploring

Waking to a dawn breaking the morning chill is an excellent solution to begin a brand new day. Sadly, there’s little time for leisure earlier than you might be off the Felucca and on a bus to Kom Ombu and Edfu Temples. The transportation was greater than sufficient, with bathrooms on the buses and room sufficient for everybody. It’s fortunate since you spend more often than not being pushed round.

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The Lotus Lodge in Luxor was most likely the choose of all of them. It was located on the Nile financial institution with a swimming pool and a tasty buffet breakfast.

Day Six on the tombs

Yet one more day, yet another busy schedule. Speeding to beat the crowds on the Valley of the Kings, it’s one other 8 am begin. You’re solely allowed to go to three tombs, and we suggest the information picks: Ramses II, IV, and IX.

Journey Tip: You’re NOT allowed to take your digital camera with you off the bus. Please don’t break it for everybody by taking images, as you may be charged by safety when caught.

We additionally squeezed within the crowded rock-carved Hatshepsut Temple however solely drove previous Luxor Temple as we ran out of time as you must go 6 hours to achieve Hurghada that evening.

Day Seven and Eight on the Purple Sea

The next two days on the Purple Sea are yours to do no matter you want, so use them correctly. We joined most of our group for a spot of snorkeling and diving. The dive and the employees had been nice, however the entire day appeared a bit of rushed, which was a disgrace. Preserve an eye fixed out for our put up on our diving expertise in Hurghada.

Diving in Hurghada on the Red Sea

So good having the ability to calm down on a seashore and browse a guide after such a busy schedule. It’s laborious to depart, and the 6 – 8 hour bus trip again to Cairo is difficult.

Journey Tip: When you plan to do the tour over New 12 months’s Eve, you’ll have to depart Hurghada half a day early, which sucked because it meant celebrating the New 12 months on the Lodge in Cairo. Little bit of a letdown, however when hasn’t New 12 months’s Eve been!

Day 9 in Cairo

Your last day of sightseeing is spent round Cairo. Our favourite a part of the day was the Cairo Museum with a wonderful tour information. It suits completely on the finish by seeing all of the historical past close-up after studying about it during the last eight days.

By the point we hit the previous space of Cairo and the Coptic Hanging Church, we had been spent on historical past, however our information made an affordable effort at preserving us entertained.

The final group exercise is free time for an hour or so on the Khan El Khalili souk markets, the place the touts attempt to prise your money from you for the final time from each nook and cranny.

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Day Ten is the top

With the tour over, it’s time to move residence. Our flight was late the next evening, so we walked across the metropolis and Souks on our personal for the day. Expat Discover supplies transport again to the airport, which was nice.

The Negatives of Egypt Journey

The journey was incredible, however we predict it’s essential to notice the little issues that might make an enormous distinction to the general expertise:

  • It felt like we had been at all times hungry. Perhaps it’s simply Kiwis and Aussies that eat on a regular basis, however it significantly felt like we had been continuously ravenous, with lunches being served normally after 4 pm and dinner at 9 pm onwards. It may be the Egyptian solution to eat at these occasions, however not for us. Journey Tip: Purchase a lot of snacks for the highway that are very low-cost at supermarkets.
  • There was typically an absence of route in what appeared to be occurring. Every thing is completed in Egyptian time, so be affected person.
  • We had been typically delayed or not on time with little to no steerage on how lengthy it could take to get from place to put. Just a little information goes a great distance as then we will plan.
  • Extra free time could be nice to discover locations independently quite than have our fingers held in all places.

The Positives of touring in Egypt:

As we stated above, the journey was glorious, and the little constructive issues far outweighed the negatives, which helped make it a memorable journey.

  • Pre-departure data and care had been glorious.
  • The tour was distinctive worth for cash, and it was the most cost effective tour we may discover though we nonetheless noticed all the identical sights the opposite teams did.
  • The guides had been extremely educated and by no means didn’t reply any questions we had. The perception into the every day lives of the folks round us was a pleasant break from all of the historical past. Additionally they ensured you by no means felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
  • The Felucca journey was higher than anticipated, and total, so had been the lodging and transport choices.

We extremely suggest you guide with Expat Discover if you’re contemplating a visit by Egypt.

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Disclaimer: Expat Discover supplied us with a reduction for our ten-day tour of Egypt; nevertheless, our ideas are at all times our personal.