I am not sure if the Bangles knew that walking like an Egyptian really referred to the death-defying way in which locals cross the streets: dodging a myriad of honking and road-raging drivers who pay no heed to traffic signals or lanes. I have discovered the secret to safe passage is to “do as the Egyptians do” and tail local pedestrians, all of whom seem to not have the slightest doubt that a car would never hit them.
I traveled through Egypt for 11 glorious days in January. I began my trip with Natalya, my fellow honeymoon destination traveler (Greece and Bali posts to come), and later joined up with my childhood friend, Justin, who was on a 3-week extravanganza through Dubai, Hong Kong, and Egypt. Justin was traveling with his Four Seasons colleague, Coral, and taking advantage of their sweet employee perks, which included free nights in any Four Seasons hotel and resort. Obviously, Natalya and I tagged along for the ride.
In my typical efficient tourist fashion, I covered a lot of ground (and water) during my trip. Hopefully my itinerary will give you an idea of how to take on Egypt, from a backpacker’s budget to a luxurious Four Seasons “charge to the room” kind of budget.
Day 1: Arrival in Cairo
Activities: Climbing up to Cairo Tower, Moonlit walk along the Nile, Shisha at a local alley way cafe
Day 2: The Pyramids
Activities: Visiting Giza’s Pyramids and Sphinx, Step Pyramid in Saqqara, Bent Pyramid and Red Pyramid in Dahshur, Sunset felucca boat ride on the Nile
Day 3: Day Trip to Alexandria
Activities: Alexandria Museum, Very long walk along the Corniche, Lunch at the Fish Market, QaitBey Citadel, Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Day 4: Islamic Cairo & the Egyptian Museum
Activities: Al-Akhar Mosque, Khan el-Kahlili, Bab Zuweila, Egyptian Museum
Days 5-7: Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor
Activities: Aswan (High Dam and Temple of Philae), Kom Ombo Temple, Edfu Temple, Luxor (Valley of the Kings, Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Colossi of Memnon, Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple)
Days 8-9: Sharm el-Sheikh
Activities: Relaxation at the Four Seasons Resort, Scuba diving and snorkeling in the Rea Sea
Day 10: Alexandria again
Activities: Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Pompey’s Pillar, Kom-el-Shuqafa (Roman catacombs), Roman theatre, Montazah Palace
Day 11: Cairo
Activities: Giza pyramids and sphinx, Khan el-Kahlili at night