In the next few months, I will be embarking on one of the most anticipated journeys of my life – a trip to the land of Egypt. When I think of Egypt, I think of an amazing abundance of magnificent treasures – splendid temples and tombs, ancient pyramids, museums, bazaars, and the gift of the Nile. There are not enough words to describe this expansive history and culture, so rich and fascinating to mankind. In simpler words, Egypt can be defined as a modern, vibrant nation – charming and complex, ancient and new.
So, as I step into the pages of history and discover the ancient secrets of this land, my hope is that my traveler’s tales of wonder and excitement will outlive this long-awaited dream. Egypt will be my very first encounter with the Middle East and a good choice of destination. As I leave in the next few months, here is a profile of an Egyptian Adventure:
o Tour of Cairo (the Heart of Egypt) – a visit to this huge sprawling, chaotic metropolis with a variety of archeological sites and museums. A camel ride throughout the desert to the grand Sphinx and The Great Pyramids – Chephren, Mykerionos and Cheops. A trip to the Citadel, Coptic Cairo, and the timeless Khan-al-Khalili bazaar. A traditional Felucca boat ride along The Nile and an encounter with the Nubian culture.
A visit to the splendid Cairo Opera House and then a breathtaking visit to the El-Ghuriya. Cruise along The Nile with an exciting night of Belly Dancing and some traditional middle-eastern cuisine. The most essential after-dark experience, the Sound and Light show at the Pyramids, a dramatic fusion of light and music recounting the story of Egypt. Cairo offers so much to see and do that this city alone would be an adventure in itself!
o A Visit to Aswan: this relaxing tour is blessed with natural beauties and spectacular sceneries along the Nile. The journey includes a visit to the Pharaohs. A trip to Philae Island (Agilika Island), which is famous for its various temples and sanctuaries dedicated to the goddess Isis and her husband Osiris. A view of the High Dam, which was built in the 1960s and is still considered a miracle and an engineering achievement. A visit to the Temple of Hathor, which was built in honor of Hathor-Aphrodite.
Spend a day at the Nubian Museum, which is nestled into the hillside, covering 50,000 square meters of landscaped gardens and buildings. Take an early morning excursion to one of Egypt’s most splendid temples: Abu Simbel. This site is comprised of two massive rock temples in southern Egypt, which was carved out of mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramessess II. It is a lasting monument to himself and his Queen, Nefertari. Next to the Great Pyramids, Abu Simbel remains as one of Egypt’s top tourist attractions and boasts some excellent site seeing.
o Luxor (Thebes) – The Tourist Mecca: A trip to Egypt without seeing Luxor would be a real void in the history books. The city of Luxor has been called the “World’s Greatest Open Air Museum” – which it is and much, much more. The concentration of relics in this area is overwhelming and visitors may need plenty of time to take in the vast amount of columns and pillars over this awe-inspiring site.
The town itself boasts “Luxor Temple”, while just to the north is “Karnak Temple” – a stupendous complex built over 1300 years! Across the river are the amazing tombs and mortuary temples of the Theban Necropolis. Luxor also serves as a base for trips to Edfu, Esna, Dendara, and Abydos Temples, up and down the Nile Valley.
o Mount Sinai and The Red Sea Coast – A Magical Paradise: Mount Sinai is all about contrasts…a desert interior full of history, where Moses received the Ten Commandments en route to the Promised Land, the Pharaohs found gold and searched for their gods, and where Bedouins camp beside ruins of Crusader forts. Mount Sinai is known as the “holy land” and over the years, tourists have crossed this same area as the prophets, the saints, the pilgrims, and the warriors.
Every year, Mount Sinai and St. Catherine’s monastery are frequented by visitors all over the world. When the desert comes to an abrupt end, The Red Sea becomes a vacationing paradise and an underwater playground for divers and snorkelers looking for a pristine, colorful adventure with exquisite coral reefs and bustling marine life. The coral reefs along the Sinai coastline are among the best in the world and the Red Sea has one of the highest amounts of marine life variety in all the tropical seas. This area offers visitors the experience of sun, sea, and sand.
Egypt, the Land of the Pharaohs, is so unique and magical. Where else on earth can you find the wealth of antiquities, the pyramids, and the vast temples and monuments? In addition, the Red Sea Riviera provides miles of sandy, white beaches, clear blue waters, and marvelous coral reefs with incomparable underwater adventure. This country seems to have such broad appeal – families, surfers, divers, sun seekers, explorers, historians, and dreamers. It really does have something for everyone. So, if you had to plan your next vacation, hopefully, you will start dreaming of Magnificent Egypt.