30 May Egypt
How can you describe a dream come true?
That was Egypt for me, since I was a kid dreaming of how to read the royal cartouche, imagining how marvelous the Sphinx would be or how tall the Great Pyramid is.Then my wife and I, embarked on a trip that far exceeded our expectations.
Javier R shares his dream holiday
We traveled on March 2013, when the recent turmoil was still in the air. Having the city and the historical attractions practically deserted only added to the experience, as there were no queues or waiting times to access these extraordinary places.
For the first three days, we stayed at the Mena House hotel, and the first surprise was about to come. We arrived at night so had no chance to spot the pyramids, but the next morning gave us the first of several gifts:
Having been woken up to be greeted by the marvelous landscape of the Great Pyramid of Giza, we headed to the Cairo Museum. We took almost three hours to reach downtown in a massive traffic jam (a common scenario in this hectic city) to finally have a close-up with the famous King Tutankhamun’s golden mask. It was worth every minute of the journey just to see this.
My wife and I hired a local tour company that took care of us in every aspect of our visit. They assigned us three different guides speaking Arabic, English and surprisingly Spanish! They were the ones who saved us from the swarm of hawkers coming after us to sell all sorts of touristy stuff, and guided us through the local customs.
And here it is, the most anticipated, acclaimed, and praised monument of the ancient world.
To finish our tour we sailed for a week on a 5-star cruise along the Nile River from Aswan to Luxor, visiting the temples of Karnak, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, the temple of Hatshepsut, the Temple of Horus, and the High Dam at Aswan.
This part of the tour was unbelievable, mixing ultimate relaxation on board the cruise, international cuisine available at every meal, outstanding service from the staff, complemented by the most impressive, breathtaking, sightseeing from the deck of our ship. I do not have words to describe the magnificence of the temples, these humongous creations frozen in time for our delight.
If your dream has been as mine, to visit one of the Ancient Wonders of the World, following the way of the Pharaohs, and contemplating the majesty of the ancient gods, then without a doubt Egypt is the place to indulge yourself.
Top 5 Fact File for Egypt
Language Spoken: Egyptian Arabic
Currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)
Climate: Egypt has a hot desert climate. The climate is generally dry. The temperatures are hot or very hot in summer days and warm or mild in winter days. The thin coastal strip at the north of Egypt has the most moderate temperatures, because of prevailing Mediterranean Sea winds. Most of Egypt’s rain falls in the winter months.
Kushari: – It is considered to be Egypt’s national dish and is made of pasta, tomato sauce, rice, lentils, caramelized onions, garlic and chickpeas. People prefer eating Kushari at lunchtime as it gives four sources of carbohydrates.
Konafah:– Konafah is a traditional sweet made of a very thin noodle-like pastry served with fruit syrup.
Dukkah: : It consists of a mixture of herbs, nuts and spices such as mint, coriander, cumin and sesame. It is used as a dip and eaten along with flatbread or raw vegetables.
Fun Fact: Over its long history, Egypt has been known by different names. ‘Kemet’ or Black Land because of the rich soil of the Nile Valley; ‘Deshret’ or Red Land, referring to its vast deserts; ‘Hwt-ka-Ptah’ or ‘House of the Ka of Ptah’ referrring to Ptah, who was one of Egypt’s earliest Gods. The Greeks later changed Hwt-ka-ptah to ‘Aegyptus’.
The famous Great Pyramid at Giza is taller than the Statue of Liberty and as big as five football fields.
The longest river in the world, the Nile, runs through Egypt.
The ancient Egyptians were great inventors. They invented paper, ink and writing, along with glass objects, clock, metal pipes, the potter’s wheel, keys, scissors and many more. They also invented the 365 day calendar and were the first to divide the day into 24 hours.