Winter holidays in New York
December 28, 2022
All roads lead to Rome
January 30, 2023

Since childhood, I have been fascinated by the stories of Ancient Egypt, with pharaohs, pyramids and mummies.

I have wanted for many years to explore the land where Cleopatra, Tutankhamun, Ramses II and the Nerfetiti once lived. After many years of reading a lot of negative news about the safety of tourists in this Middle Eastern country, I’ve had the courage and go to visit.

Together with some friends, we decided to spend New Year’s Eve in Hurghada, in the height of the Covid season.

The people were extremely friendly and always ready to help, so I have to tell you that there was never a moment when I didn’t feel safe. The resort we stayed was wonderful, with fresh and varied food.

What did we do for a week in Hurghada?

Temperatures are excellent in December, somewhere around 26 degrees C, and until 4pm you can sunbath without any problem. After that time, it starts to get chilly and you’ll need a hoodie/jacket.

After getting tired of lazing in the sun and eating good food, we decided to visit some famous sights in Egypt. So we went to the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor, then ventured by ATV through the desert and experienced unique moments on the Nile cruise.

The Valley of the Kings is the burial place of the pharaohs, where there are currently 63 such tombs. Ramses and Tutankhamun are the most famous pharaohs who rest here . Over 4500 years old, the tombs are full of colorful messages and images. It’s an impressive place with a powerful energy.

From there, we headed to Karnak Temple, which is the largest temple in the ancient world and one of the most important places to visit in Egypt. Here you’ll find over 134 massive columns, up to 21 meters high. Marvel at the grandeur of the columns and the beauty of the hieroglyphs carved into the stone.

We also stopped at one point to see the Colossi of Memnon – two giant stone statues, 18 meters high and weighing around 720 tones each, created during the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who ruled ancient Egypt 3400 years ago.

On the way to the next temple, we made a stop at an alabaster factory, where statues, vases and other alabaster ornaments are handmade. The people there were full of jokes and gave us quite a show.

Temple of Queen Hatshepsut is another temple that I didn’t know much about and which has an interesting history. It is dedicated to the Pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut, one of the few women who ruled Egypt. The temple is also known as the ‘Splendour of Splendours’, and was designed by Senemut, who was close to the royal court, to serve as a place for religious services to be held for the queen after her death.

As a group of 10 people, we hired a guide, who took us for an adventure into the desert, where we rode ATVs, boogie car and visited a Bedouin village, where we tasted bread made by them there. Here, you really need a scarf and glasses because you’ll be covered in dust from head to toe.

We also couldn’t miss the cruise on the Nile, which we know is the longest river in the world, 6690 kilometers. The ride was very pleasant, relaxing, a real spectacle.

Useful tips for a holiday in Egypt!

  • Choose a 5 star hotel, all inclusive or ultra all inclusive, with good reviews. Even at all inclusive, it won’t be all inclusive like in Turkey. The food is very good, but the drinks are not premium.
  • For your own safety, opt to go on agency-organized and guided tours. When we travelled outside the resort, we were accompanied by an armed police officer (a safety rule enforced by the Egyptian authorities) and our car was only stopped at guarded, pre-announced locations.
  • For internet, I bought myself, as soon as we arrived in Egypt, a $25 card and it was a great help as the internet there doesn’t work very well.
  • The New Year’s Eve party, lasts until 1:00, after which it’s lights out and the bar closes.
  • Don’t drink the tap water!
  • If you have the patience and are up for a lost day on the road, go see the Pyramids too. I’m sorry I didn’t see them, but no one in the group wanted to sit 10h with a mask on their face in the car. Another time, when it’s not Covid season, I’ll definitely go to Cairo.

For me, Egypt was a nice surprise, peppered with adventures and immortal legends.

At the earliest opportunity…travel, love, live…in the land of the pharaohs!

Mada

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