30 May Why You Need to Travel to Egypt
How do you describe a dream come true?
“Egypt had been a dream 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. Years later, my wife and I embarked on a trip that far exceeded our expectations.”
Javier R shares his dream holiday experience.
We traveled to Egypt in 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 due to a massive traffic jam (a common scenario in this hectic city) and finally had a close-up with the famous King Tutankhamun’s golden mask and it was worth every minute of the journey.
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, with ultimate relaxation on the cruise, international cuisine available for every meal, outstanding service from the staff, and the most impressive, breathtaking, sights from the deck of our ship. I do not have the words to describe the magnificence of the temples, these humongous creations frozen in time for our delight.
If your dream has been the same 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.
Egypt Fact File
Language Spoken: Egyptian Arabic
Currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)
Climate: Egypt has a hot desert climate, 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 during 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 Middle-Eastern dessert made of long thin noddle-like pastry dough. It is stuffed with nuts or white cheese and soaked in sugar 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.
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, and ‘Hwt-ka-Ptah’ or ‘House of the Ka of Ptah’ referring to Ptah, who was one of Egypt’s earliest Gods. The Greeks later changed Hwt-ka-ptah to ‘Aegyptus’.
The famous Great Pyramid of Giza is taller than the Statue of Liberty and as big as five football fields.
The longest river in the world, Nile, runs through Egypt.
The ancient Egyptians were great inventors. They invented paper, ink, and writing, along with glass objects, the clock, metal pipes, the potter’s wheel, keys, scissors and much more. They also invented the 365-day calendar and were the first to divide the day into 24 hours.
Plan on going for a holiday to Egypt? Start your Arabic learning journey today for a more authentic experience!