People

Wanda Takes Egypt

Egypt is a timeless journey. When you are there you feel that time has not passed. It stimulates the imagination of tourists like few other countries.

Wanda, and a friend traveled to Egypt last September. Despite all the bad rumors, she took the chance and fulfilled her big dream of visiting this unique place. She’s a true believer of the quote “Go and see yourself”

Wanda is Dominican, but is living in Madrid for several years now. She is a very close friend. We know each other since 1993. We don’t talk everyday but every so often we catch up and talk about our plans and trips.

Egypt used to be one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world but its tourism industry has been rife with political chaos, violent protests and terrorism attacks. The number of tourists visiting has decreased dramatically because of this. You can notice in her photos, that practically nobody is there.

Egypt is a transcontinental country in North Africa with its capital located in its largest city, Cairo. Egypt also extends into Asia by virtue of holding the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is bordered by Israel and the Gaza Strip to the north-east, by Sudan to the south, and by Libya to the west. The country is bounded by the Mediterranean and Red Seas (to the north and east respectively) and geographically dominated both by the Nile River and its fertile well-watered valley, and by the Eastern and Western deserts.

Egypt is best known as the home of the ancient Egyptian civilization, with its temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and – visible above all – its pyramids. Less well-known is Egypt’s medieval heritage, courtesy of Coptic Christianity and Islam – ancient churches, monasteries and mosques punctuate the Egyptian landscape.

 

Top 10 Attractions:

  1. Pyramids of Giza
  2. Luxor Temple
  3. Souqs Market
  4. Bahariya Oasis
  5. Red Sea & Nile river
  6. Abu Simbel Temple
  7. Siwa Oasis
  8. Abydos Temple
  9. Egyptian Museum
  10. Edfu Temple

Her favorites were Luxor, Edfu, Abu Simbel and Karnak temples, Giza pyramids and a bath she took in the Nile River… One of the best experiences she ever had. It was very cold but she loved it!!!

Her recommendations to stay safe:

You can never eliminate all danger, but you can certainly take action to reduce risks. The majority of Egyptians are courteous, polite, and extremely helpful especially to tourists. Most of my friends that already being there didn’t have any problems and only positive experiences. Here her recommendations:

  • Plan your trip before you go. Book trusted, and recommended hotels.
  • If you are booking tours. Do a bit of research in advance.  Know who you are hiring. Very well-known operators like Expedia, Viator, Orbitz, etc have very good tours.
  • Minimize the amount of travel you do by road; It’s better to fly domestically rather than going overland.
  • Dig a little deeper when you get this advice: TRAVEL AGENTS WHO ADVISE YOU AGAINST PLACES IN EGYPT. Probably they have contracts with lots of other places so, of course, that is what they want to sell you.
  • Don’t go walking away from the main streets. Never!
  • Always go everywhere with copy of your documents.
  • If you are a ‘party person’ try to stay at your hotel. Is a terrible idea in any strange country.

Egypt facts:

  1. Tipping 10%
  2. Primary religion is Muslim.
  3. Negotiate before ride with taxi drivers
  4. Currency is Egyptian Pound. 100USD equals 1,771.22 EGP
  5. October through March are the most comfortable months for travel in Egypt.
  6. Hot & high pollution is from June – September. She went at the beginning of September and it was not bad.
  7. Must try food: Falafel / Shawerma / Kebabs / Ful Medames  / Konafah Pastry / Egyptian coffee and tea.
  8. Women: Should wear long pants and shirts with sleeves to avoid unwanted attention. Tight fitting clothing should be avoided out of respect for the culture.
  9. Language: Arabic –  Here is some basics.
  • Hello – marhaban
  • Good morning – sabah el-khair
  • Good night – tisbah ala khair
  • Good bye – bay bay
  • Good – jayyid
  • Fine, thank you – bi-khair shukran
  • Please – min fadlak
  • Thank you – shukran
  • Yes – na am
  • No – la
  • Maybe – munkin
  • Excuse me – ismahli
  • My name is – ismi
  • Im sorry – ana asif (male) ana asifa (female)
  • Do you speak English? – hal tatakallam el-ingliziyya
  • I can’t speak Arabic – La atakallam arabi

With sand-covered tombs, austere pyramids and towering Pharaonic temples, Egypt brings out the explorer in all of us. Definitely a place I want to go and see. What do you think?

Thanks Wanda for sharing! I will also share in a Smart Tips Post: What not to forget when traveling to Egypt. Stay tuned!

Joa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *