Trip cost $5000(ish), 9 days
March 2009 my sister and I went on the trip of a life time, Egypt on Contiki. I can’t say enough about how great contiki is. If you’re in the age bracket (18 – 35), and have the money, you should seriously consider a Contiki trip.
We started, where anyone would start, in Cairo. There are 3 main things you need to see in Cairo; the pyramids (the sphinx included), the Cairo museum, and the market.
The pyramids are like nothing else on earth. No matter how much time you spend looking at them in pictures or on tv, the size of them will surprise you. They’re also not guarded the way you might think they are. Feel free to climb up them. I did. The other thing that surprised me is how close to the city they really are, you can easily walk to either KFC or Pizza hut, they’re both unusually close to the site. You can get inside the pyramids, but if you’re claustrophobic, I wouldn’t recommend it. As with any of the Egyptian tombs I have the honour of exploring first hand, it is very hot and small inside. I would recommend taking a camel ride around the pyramids, it is very worth it.
If you’ve been to the British Museum in London, the Cairo Museum is pretty similar. I was lucky enough to be there when the King Tut exhibit was there. Amazing. The one thing I regret most about my trip to Egypt was that I didn’t pay the extra to see the unwrapped mummies.
About 8 days before my sister and I arrived in Cairo, someone had blown up a large portion of the Cario market with the intention of killing tourists. If a 22 year old and her 20 year old sister can manage, I’m sure you can too. It is a gigantic bazaar where you can find….anything….just anything you want. Spices, street food, butcher shops, clothing, pets, there was even an entire store that sold only whips. While you should expect the typical tourist clothing, if you look in the right stores, their’s actually some really nice stuff.
If you can, buy Egyptian oils and Egyptian cotton sheets while in Cario. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to find quality products in the bazaar. That is one of the reasons I recommend Contiki so highly. They take you directly to high quality suppliers. I still have my oils and use them as perfume on special occasions.
After Cairo we took an overnight train to Aswan. The facilities were disgusting and you have to sleep with your valuables near by, plus it’s a very loud and shaky way to sleep.
Aswan is like a completely different Egypt than Cairo. It’s absolutely beautiful. We went to check out another market, but were interrupted by a sand storm which is more painful than I expected. Bring sunglasses.
Next we flew to Abu Simbel, I wish I could properly explain the awe I was in upon seeing this temple, but this blog would be the longest blog on the internet (that’s right, the whole internet) if I could do these wonder’s justice. It’s expensive, but again, completely worth it.
We then went back to Cario via cruise ship. This is the way to see Egypt! Private rooms, clean bathrooms, and you can sit on top deck and drink while you watch this amazing country go by and think about your amazing trip. It was truly amazing.