Best time to see Egypt may be NOW

At the Great Pyramids of Giza
Abdulhamid spoke with his younger sister, Jamila, this week and they were on their way to Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.  They have always wanted to go there, but it was an expensive destination.  Well, a lot has changed recently.  The resorts are hurting for business and everything is priced at an all time low.  Hotel rooms that used to cost $500 per night are set under $100, and Trip Advisor travelers are reporting great conditions for a vacation.  Sharm el Sheikh is far from Tahrir Square and Cairo.  It's a seaside full of wonderful resorts and nice weather.  Some may ask, why would they go to Egypt now with all the unrest?  I mean, there are some who believe they are headed for another revolution based on the crowds in Cairo.  Well, I guess we are a little to blame.  We encouraged them to go because we'd had such a great (and cheap) experience.  Plus we felt a little obligated to help the Egyptian people.  They rely heavily on tourism, and face it, tourism hasn't been that great lately.  They don't need handouts.  They need work.  Although I would probably say Sharm el Sheikh is a better destination than Cairo, I think you could have a great time.

It was February 2011, and Egypt had just had a revolution. Our state department was still not advising Americans to go there, but we went anyway to take advantage of the lower prices and to see the monuments and tombs with no crowds.  It was nirvana!    We couldn't use an American, British, or Canadian company because most had cancelled their tours so we got creative and found a wonderful Egyptian tour agency that proved to be better (and cheaper) than we had ever expected.  We had a body guard assigned on all days we toured Cairo and Alexandria.  There was a driver, a tour agent, and a guide that was often different depending on the region we visited.  We had a private van and loads of personal attention.

We never felt unsafe.  We didn't have to fight traffic- there was a driver to do that.  We got to look out the window and ask questions.  The food was delicious.  The people were very friendly and many spoke English.  They are going to be in trouble if their tour industry doesn't rebound as most live hand to mouth.  

Here's the itinerary we used, arranged by Sherif at Vantage Travels.  We gave him a list of things we might want to do and he made it work in the time allowed.  Let me say, this was a break neck pace with lots of early mornings and not much sleep, but we couldn't have done it any other way since Jake only had a week for spring break.  It was $5135 for 3 of us and as you can see, it included most meals, all transportation and lodging.  It was an incredible experience.  I made a Blurb book after the experience that I can share.  
Egypt book made with Blurb

Here are a few additional photos.

Abu Simbel with not even one other person in sight!

09 Days / 08 Nights

Cairo / Luxor  / Aswan / Abusimbel / Alexandria including Super deluxe Nile Cruise
Meet & assist Mr. Abdulhamid at Cairo international airport, transfer to Meridien Pyramids hotel, overnight in Cairo.Meet & assist Ms. Barbara and her son at Cairo international airport, transfer toMeridien Pyramids hotel, overnight in Cairo.Breakfast at your hotelenjoy an excursion to visit Pyramids of Giza, One of the seven wonders of the ancient world still remain awesome. At the foot of the Pyramids, lies the Sphinx, which was discovered in 1912, proceed to the Valley temple - enjoy a Camel Ride at the Pyramids area - Continue your tour visiting the Egyptian Museum ( If it was opening ) which houses thousands of artifacts dating to different eras among which the famous collection of Tutankhamen - Next Visit to Old Cairo including visits to the Hanging Church - Abu Serga Church - Ben Ezra Synagogue - at night transfer to Giza train station for departure to Luxor by night sleeper train - Dinner & Overnight in Sleeper train. ( Breakfast - Dinner )Arrive Luxor train station - meet & assist - transfer to your Nile Cruise Sonesta St. George, it is one of the super Deluxe Nile Cruises in Egypt  - Embarkation before lunch - Lunch on board - Visit East Bank (Karnak and Luxor Temple) Afternoon tea - Dinner on board - Free at Leisure - at night enjoy the Sound & light show at Karnak Temple - Overnight in Luxor. ( Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner )Very Early in the morning, approx. at 05:00 am., our representative will transfer you to enjoy your hot Balloon ride over Valley of the Kings - back to your Nile Cruise - Breakfast on board - Visit the West Bank (Valley of Kings, Hatshepsut at El Deir El Bahari and the colossi Memnon) - Sail to Esna at 13:00 - Lunch on board - Afternoon Tea - Captin's welcome cocktail - Dinner on board - Folkloric Show (Rababa Show) - Overnight in Esna.Sail to Edfu at 5:00 am. - Breakfast on board - Visit Horus Temple in Edfu - Sail to Kom Ombo - Lunch on board - Afternoon Tea - Visit the Temple shared by Two gods Sobek & Haeroris in Kom Ombo - Dinner on board - Egyptian Galabya party - Overnight in Kom Ombo. ( Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner )Sail to Aswan - Breakfast on board - Visit the High Dam, Philae temple and the Granite Quarries - Lunch on board - Sail on the Nile by Felucca around Kitchener's Island - Afternoon Tea - Dinner on board - Belly Dance and Egyptian Folkloric Show - Overnight in Aswan.  ( Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner )Breakfast box from your nile Cruise, approx. at 03:00 am. drive via air-conditioned modern Van to Abusimbel - visit the great Temple of Ramses II, visit also theTemple of Nefertari - drive back to Aswan train station for departure back to Cairo by night sleeper train - Dinner & overnight in Sleeper train.  Arrive Giza train station - meet & assist - drive via air-conditioned modern Van toAlexandria - enjoy an excursion to visit Roman Amphitheatre - Cata Comb - Kaitbai Citadel - Alexandria Library - Montazah Palace - drive back to Cairo - ovenight in Cairo.Breakfast at hotel - transfer Mr. Abdulhamide to Cairo international airport for final departure.   Transfer Ms. Barbara and her son to Cairo international airport for final departure.* English speaking guide included- Air-conditioned modern van01 Day excursion in Abu Simbel including visits to :- Air-conditioned modern van Cairo / Alexandria / Cairo

Program includes the following services :
- Meet & Assist at Cairo International Airport + transfer to hotel via air-conditioned modern Van.
- 02 nights accommodation at Meridien Pyramids Hotel in Cairo ( 05 stars deluxe ) including Breakfast & all taxes.
- 01 day tour in Cairo as mentioned in program including visits to :

* Pyramids of Giza & Sphinx
* The Valley Temple
* Camel ride at the Pyramids area included !!

01 night accommodation at Sleeper train Cairo / Luxor
- 04 Nights accommodation at Sonesta St. George Nile Cruise ( 05 stars super deluxe ) including sightseeing Tours - Entrance fees - English Speaking guide + All meals daily ( Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner )
- Hot Air Balloon Ride over Valley of the Kings !!
- Sound & light show at Karnak Temple.
Aswan / Abusimbel / Aswan
* Temple of Ramses II.
* Temple of Nefertari.
* Entrance fees included.
* English speaking guide.
01 night accommodation at Sleeper train
Aswan / Cairo !!
01 Day excursion in Alexandria including visits to :

* Catacomb of Kom El Shoqafa.
* Roman Amphitheatre
* Qaitbay Citadel.
* Alexandria Library.
* Montazah Palace
* Entrance fees included.
* English speaking guide.
- All transfers in Cairo / Luxor / Aswan / Abusimbel / Alexandria via air-conditioned modern van.
- All service charges and taxes.
- Assist & transfer to Cairo Airport for final departure.

Air conditioned modern van we used for our touring
A cup of tea with our tour coordinator, Zachariah, who was like family by the end of the trip


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