Egypt Not Just A Vacation, Its The Trip Of A Lifetime!
By: Paul Groffie
Argument aside, there is a difference between a vacation and the trip of a lifetime. According to the Merriam Websters Collegiate Dictionary a vacation is defined as "a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation." A trip is simply defined "to make a journey."
In my opinion, there is no greater journey that could be made than a trip to Egypt.
If you asked me just a few years ago what my thoughts of Egypt were, I would have told you, The Pyramids, King Tut and The Nile River. That was the extent of my "knowledge" on Egypt. Then something special happened just two years ago as I was reading a brochure about an African Safari; it mentioned a side trip to Egypt. Next thing I knew, I was totally enthralled with the thought of visiting Egypt. It consumed my every thought and just a few short weeks later I made the decision to go. I invited my Parents and before I knew it I was on the phone making reservations with Egypt Tours & Travel for our wonderful journey!
My sudden enthusiasm for Egypt may have sounded bizarre and it quite possibly could have been, but as it is often said "things tend to happen for a reason." Just by reading that brochure on Africa, I was meant to fall in love with Egypt and everything the country has to offer!
From the time I made our reservations I was very eager to learn everything I could about Egypt. I watched every show that was on the television, I purchased videos, and read just about every conceivable book I could about this amazing place. I made the decision to be an educated visitor and was willing to learn as much as possible before the trip. This trip was going to be the trip of a lifetime! Why all the preparation? I felt that building a simple foundation on everything concerning Egypt would make the trip that much more enjoyable and the knowledge I would obtain while sightseeing would be increased.
How did I prepare? Simple, I sat at my computer on this very web site and I began filling a notebook full of information on all of the possible sites that I felt my Parents and I could see while we were there. I included much of the information you will see on our web site along with maps, pictures and other notes that I jotted down from my research. Our web site has so much information that you could not possibly go wrong by starting here.
Please understand, I am not suggesting that you do this much research but I would ask you to gather as much information as you possibly could because your trip of a lifetime will be that much more enjoyable!
As you prepare for your trip to Egypt, there are basically five distinct categories you should learn about:
- The Land (Ill explain this more later)
Why should you learn about the Egyptian people? In all honesty, it is because they are amazing. There is a simple beauty in the people that words can not properly express. You see it in their smiles, in the clothing they wear, and in their homes and businesses. The Egyptians that we were so happy to come in contact with were incredibly kind, very caring and genuinely concerned for us. I have made friends that will last a lifetime.
One word of advice, it is very important that you respect the Egyptian peoples religious and social beliefs while you are visiting. What occurs in other countries throughout the world may or may not occur in Egypt.
Traveling through Egypt can be accomplished using any of the ways mentioned above but understand that certain areas of Egypt are easier or more accessible than other areas. Depending on your time constraints for example, driving to Alexandria from Cairo is very straightforward and only 3 hours away. But Luxor is easier to reach if you fly or take a train.
There are many very good travel books that will be useful in your planning. This web site alone touches on all of these areas and should be used to make planning your trip that much easier! REMEMBER - you may also post your questions on our Web Board where our loyal readers will be happy to give you a hand. You may also make a new friend!
There are several airlines with flights to Egypt throughout the world. One of the most popular in the United States and within Egypt is EgyptAir. EgyptAir flights are comfortable and the flight staff is very kind and courteous. You may obtain information on this airline by clicking EgyptAir or by going to our web site for additional information.
Driving a car in Egypt is so very different than in the USA for example. The famous motto, "If you can drive in New York City, you can drive anywhere!" no longer holds the same meaning to my Parents or me. Our new motto is "If you can drive in Cairo, driving in New York City will be a breeze!" Cairo has one of the worlds largest populations and it seems that there are that many cars on the road! Not to mention the donkeys and oxen that you will see walking along side the road! Driving in Egypt generally takes on a special significance to visitors after their first trip. When I returned home to New Jersey, I could still hear the horns honking and picture the headlights flashing in my sleep. (Throughout Egypt, drivers talk to each other by using their horns and headlights to pass each other.)
Traveling by train in Egypt is exciting, especially on the sleeper trains. Go to sleep in one amazing city and wake up in another. It is an alternative to flying although the costs may be similar depending on the situation. Information concerning train travel and the location of train stations can be found on our web site by clicking here.
No matter what anyone could say, there is nothing better in the world than cruising down The Nile! The beauty you will see along the way is breathtaking and truly unforgettable. There are over 70 cruise ships that go up and down The Nile so there are differences from one ship to the next but in all honesty, the ship only adds a small amount to the overall cruise.
You will find that the majority of accommodations in Egypt are very nice. Wherever you stay, hospitality is one thing that you will definitely find in all of the hotels throughout the country. There are hotels available for every price range. Some hotels are small and quaint while others are large and elegant. Every good travel book will have this information.
As an aside, my first night in Egypt was spent at The Mena House Oberoi Hotel looking directly at the Great Pyramid! Being able to wake up every morning and look at The Great Pyramid was truly amazing! Whatever hotel you do stay in while visiting Egypt will offer something unique but you can be assured that the hospitality will be second to none.
Take your time as you drive, fly or cruise throughout the country. Take time to notice all of the small things, the beauty of the desert with its colorful and ever-changing sands, the tranquility of the water that makes up The Nile River and the amazing farmlands that are so perfectly kept. If you can drive through the country, take the time to look at the sugar cane crops, the banana trees and the wildlife.
It is true that the ancient monuments and the thousands of years of history are what draws many visitors to Egypt each year but the country itself has so much to offer each visitor.
There is so much to see in Egypt that it should keep you coming back over and over again. Since there are so many cities that could be visited, only Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor will be mentioned here.
Most visitors will begin their journey in the unbelievable city of Cairo. Most people have five senses: seeing, touching, tasting, hearing, and smell. Use each and every one of them as you travel through Cairo. Cairo has more to offer than anyone could possibly imagine. From ancient monuments and Mosques, to the Cairo Museum and the Khan Khalili market place there will continually be something to interest you.
Alexandria, located three hours to the north of Cairo offers a view of ancient Egypt totally different than that from the other cities. Bordering the Mediterranean Sea, Alexandria is similar to Cairo in that much of the same sites (museums, mosques, monuments and shopping areas) are prevalent. The Greco-Roman Museum gives the visitor a picture of the Roman period much different than that of the Egyptian period.
The city of Luxor will offer its visitors many days of excitement. Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple and the Luxor Museum are a large part of the city. Take a horse and buggy ride through the city, especially at night, and the memories you will experience will last a lifetime. The residents will wave and smile and make you feel very welcome. My personal favorite is on the West Bank and the Valley of Kings and Queens. The serenity of the valleys and the artwork within the tombs will continually amaze you. After spending a day in the Valley, you will long to come back over and over again. Along your way you will see the Colossi of Memnon and the great Ramesseum. Another amazing site is the Deir El Bahri (Queen Hatshepsuts beautiful temple!). Enjoy every moment!
This is obviously a very difficult subject to properly address in such a limited space. Please use the references available at our web site and do as much reading as possible concerning the areas that you will be. Any time spent previewing the areas and sites to which you will travel will prove to be invaluable. Even if you skim over information on the sites and topics that interest you, you will have a basis of understanding that could prove invaluable as you discover Egypt!
It would be very difficult to deny that a trip to Egypt will be your Trip of a Lifetime. When you arrive home you will bring back so many memories and you will continually question "How did they do it?" Sightseeing in Egypt is not just a vacation; you will think about her often and wish that you could return I know I do EVERYDAY! As you prepare for your trip please use all the wonderful resources found on this site and happy traveling!
Egypt - Not Just a Vacation, It's the Trip of a Lifetime! By Paul Groffie
Ye Gods - Egyptian Mythology By David Scott
What Disease was Akhen-Aton Suffering From? By Dr. Sameh Arab
Editor's Commentary By Jimmy Dunn
Ancient Beauty Secrets By Judith Illes
Book Reviews By Judith Illes
Kid's Corner By Margo Wayman
Cooking with Tour Egypt By Mary K Radnich
Hotel Reviews By Juergen Stryjak
Egyptian Exhibitions By deTraci Regula
Nightlife Various Editors
Restaurant Reviews Various Editors
Shopping Around By Juergen Stryjak
Egyptian View-Point By Adel Murad
Last Updated: June 13th, 2011