Jonathan Cook – Egypt
11 Jan 2011 Jonathan Cook – Egypt
A quick response, copied to the others in case they have something to add. We have well over 600 photos, but maybe someone will pick out one or two!
I thought Excel did an excellent job as your local agent. There were no slip ups in the arrangements. We were met everywhere and taken where we needed to be. We were impressed to be given guides and vehicles as a party of four, and the guides were well qualified and helpful. They prepared well and were able to make helpful recommendations when we asked for help in our planning.
The whole tourist industry in Egypt seems to be efficient and well organised.
The hotels were adequate, with some oddities that we forgave.
I was looking forward to the train trip, but although it did give a good different perspective on Egypt, the train itself was not great – lots of jerking that kept us awake during the night.
We enjoyed the boat cruise, with fascinating visits to temples and burial sites. The Red Sea is very geared towards large tourists who seem to prefer doing as little as possible, but we enjoyed a trip into the desert and some good snorkelling. We enjoyed Cairo too, and found that the Metro is easy to use, with English signs where needed. This is not something the guides encouraged, so is something you can pass on to future visitors. It seems to be a very safe place (tourist police everywhere) with friendly people. Visitors should not be put off by the Alexandria bombing. The driving (worse than in Johannesburg) is a far greater hazard, although we did not see serious accidents.
The weather was pleasantly cool, which helped with Nile visits but limited the swimming at Hurghada. We were somewhere north of Luxor for what was apparently the first hail storm in living memory – our guide thought it must be snow.
Egypt is a good destination.
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