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Final Thoughts – Egypt

Happy times smoking sheesha and sipping tea in Aswan

The perfect day in Aswan and Egypt's Nile Valley starts with the usual breakfast of coffee, bread, and egg. Progress onward to further readings of Paul Theroux's “Dark Star Safari” while the symphony of Egyptians' daily lives delight the ears. Honking taxi horns punctuate the call to prayer sounded over mosque loudspeakers. Glancing up from my book, Egyptians smile at one another during friendly interactions, horse-drawn carts clack by in search of their next foreign customer, and the local women walk by with their bright, gossamer head scarves occasionally catching the breeze. Lunch, strong Turkish coffee, and a few puffs from a sheesha add to the enjoyment. A breezy felucca ride along the Nile River in the mid-afternoon completes a day in my kind of Egypt.

Playing around at the Great Pyramids

Highlights –

  • taxi ride from airport to Berlin Hotel upon arrival in Cairo
  • Egyptian Museum, specifically King Tut's room and animal mummies
  • touring the Great Pyramids and Sphinx on a camel
  • Valley of the Kings and xxx
  • Luxor Temple
  • my clean, comfortable, private, modern room with bath on the cruise ship
  • Edfu Temple
  • watching the landscape as we cruised up the Nile River Valley
  • Kom Ombo Temple
  • hanging out with the Korean guys, Darcy, Gary, Amy, Joe, Natalie, Nate, and Jim on the cruise and associated tours
  • Aswan and High Dams (for their views)
  • Temple of Isis at Philae
  • smoking sheesha and drinking tea
  • walking through the Aswan market
  • the early morning convoy to Abu Simbel
  • felucca rides
  • the Nile cruise in Cairo (even if the bellydancing was a letdown, at least I saw the city at night and stuffed my face with good food!)
  • couchsurfing with Megan
  • exploring Islamic Cairo with Tim

Spices

Lowlights –

  • dealing with the hassles of souvenir salesman
  • avoiding the scams and hustles of guides and felucca captains
  • negotiating for a Ho-Ho, Twinkie or bottle of water (some things should not require bargaining!)
  • picking up a case of traveler's diarrhea after the cruise

tasty kushari is cheap and filling

Eating –

Tea, Turkish coffee, Stella beer, falafel, chicken shawarma, hummus and tahina and baba ghanoush with pita bread, lots of kushari (mixture of noodles, rice, macaroni, lentils and onions in tomato sauce – chili optional), kofta, stuffed pigeon, cucumbers, and various cakes and desserts from the cruise ship buffets.

# of Days Couchsurfing –

1

Average Cost Per Day –

$90

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Friday 8th of June 2012

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