A "few" of our 600+ photos can be viewed here.
Had a wonderful tour with Trafalgar. Haven't had time to start the album yet. Had to go straight back to work upon our return (bummer!) :-)
Next destination: Grand Canyon mule ride with overnight at Phantom Ranch followed by a storm chasing tour out of Oklahoma City (end of May / first week of June 2007).
Last edited by AZBuck; 02-17-2007 at 08:35 AM.
Reason: Preferred Link Format
I be jealous, green, envious, etc.
Luxor and the Pyramids have been on my 'To Do' list since my first history class. They are, almost by definition, the Wonders of the World. I'd appreciate a paragraph or two on how you found travel conditions in Egypt when/if you get a little time. Thanks
Who are you going with?
Syv, thanks for the Egypt photos! Are you going with a commercial outfitter for the storm chasing? Sounds like a hoot!
Originally Posted by Syv
tempest tours storm chasing
Tempest Tours - leaving from Oklahoma City.
Hope they are okay? Anybody know anything about them?
Can you adopt me?
I'm fairly small and could fit into a large steamer trunk the next time you head off into the world.
Ok in all sincerity your trip pictures are marvelous and I am incredibly jealous.
J, J & more J
A lot of people are jealous of you already. Add me to the top of the list!
Egypt is on my must-see list too. I am sure your Grand Canyon trip is going to be awesome! Have fun! And yeah, remember to look up to the night sky from Phantom Ranch.
okay - NOTES from Egypt - part 1
Here goes... Greetings from Luxor I'm posting the notes I sent to family back home...... gives you a quick summary / outline of our trip...... part 1
I worked Christmas night 25th getting off at 7 a.m. Slept till 10:30 a.m. We left for airport 2 p.m. The plane arrived at the gate. We then watched it get repaired for SIX hours. 5:30 flight left at 11:45 pm. Arrived Frankfurt. Of course, our connecting flight was long gone. Lufthansa made arrangements for us to take the next avail flight on Turkish Air. This meant a FIVE hour layover in Frankfurt airport. Then to ISTANBUL !! (well, we saw the inside of the airport at least - does that count?), then to Cairo. No problem with Trafalgar Tours picking us up at 1:30 a.m. from the airport. That's good that we were able to contact them and switch our pick-up time. However, they greeted us with the news that we had to be READY TO GO by 4:30 a.m. !!!! We arrived in our hotel rooms by about 2:15 a.m. Got up at 3:30 a.m. to be on the flight to Luxor for our first day of the Trafalgar tour on the 28th.
Well today now ends our first tour day. Wow. A lot of info already crammed into our heads and a lot of amazing spectacular sites.
We started with the flight to Luxor (about 1 hour)... By the way, EVERY flight over here even the one hour, gives you FREE (included in the price) FOOD !!! Not just a handful of peanuts. Arrived Luxor. Put our baggage on our CRUISE BOAT in very nice rooms. YES, I do feel the motion even though you cannot even see the boat rocking and the Nile is totally calm. I forgot to pack Gravol in my haste. However, it could partly be that I'm running on 48 hours or so of no sleep. Perhaps after a good night's sleep tonight I'll feel better.
Our guide took us to the east side of the Nile - to the Temples of Karnak this morning. The sky was clear clear blue with sunshine. It was a tad cool though. Perhaps 50 F. This area of excavation is 3500 years old. Could tell you lots more but you'll have to wait to see our pics.
Returned for buffet lunch on the cruise boat. A couple hours of rest in our room, then back out for a horse & carriage ride to another tour of the Temple of Luxor at 4 p.m. This was planned so that we would be there after dusk when they put spotlights on the columns, statues, etc. Pretty nice. This temple of Luxor and the temples of Karnak are all connected by the "avenue of sphinx" - 3 kilometres between the two complete rows of sphinxes (is that a word?). It is still under excavation.
Then to the Papyrus Institute. Paper was made of papyrus for the ancient scrolls, manuscripts, paintings, etc. It is a plant that grows 10-12 metres high. We saw the demo of how the papyrus is made, and wouldn't you know it, Victoria got to keep the demo piece of real plant and the papyrus paper. She also was able to hook her first hotmail address of one of the store clerks !!!! We're going to have to watch that girl!!! :-)
(we're looking for royal blood with a palace or at least an oil well for her... not just a store clerk!! :-)
Okay - back to the cruise boat for tonight's supper. It is now 7:46 p.m. our time here. We are all zonked & going to bed early. Tomorrow we have to be ready to go by 6 a.m. But after that, the guide said our morning departures will be about 9 a.m. There are many tour buses and tourists around. NOBODY drives with headlights on at night. Apparently it is not the law so nobody does it. They just flash their headlights at oncoming or approaching-from-behind vehicles to warn them. Drivers cut in & out of oncoming traffic, left lanes, etc. to wherever they think will take them through the street faster. They make left turns from the right curb lane in front of centre lane traffic, etc. Good thing we aren't driving this in a rental car! Our tour guide is very easy to understand and seems to be pretty easy going and very very knowledgeable about all this egyptology. Alexandra & Victoria share one room, and I have one to myself. So far, the food and rooms have been very nice. We are on the cruise boat through Saturday night. Tomorrow we go to Aswan I think.
No problems. All going well. Haven't spent any money yet.
egypt notes - part 2
Finally got another chance to use internet (at cost!!). It seems to be on dial-up too for how long it is taking between pages as I watch the time tick away on my 30 minutes usage.
Well, we are on the cruise boat tonight in Aswan. It is 10:00 p.m. and the NYE party is just getting started. Even if I wanted to go to bed (which I do), I don't think things would be very quiet till after midnight. Apparently, at midnight all the cruise boats honk their horns. The horns are not your usual honk, honk; they are a very loud medley each and every time sounded. Several cruise boats are docked together, literally. You walk "through" several to get on and off your own boat. I am now on a boat two over from my own to use the internet.
All is going well. We will be leaving the cruise boat tomorrow morning bright and early 7 a.m. Our bags have to be outside the door by 6:30 a.m. The rest of the trip is by plane or bus, ending up in Cairo.
It has been about 50-70 F I would guess. Completely clear blue skies every day. We've been to several ancient temples - most about 3,500 years old. Today, a Nubean village, botanical garden, bird watching, etc. We went to these sites via feluca ride for the first 10 minutes. Then our guide decided it was too windy for sailing, so he called a power boat up instead - literally. The power boat pulled up beside our feluca in the middle of the Nile, and we all climbed across to the other boat to continue our journey. Shortly thereafter, we noticed the police boat going around kicking all the other felucas off the water too as unsafe conditions. So our guide was on top of things and took us off it before we were "docked" by the police.
Saw the Sahara desert where it begins right alongside the Nile on our boat ride today. Saw camels and held a baby crocodile today. The men in the bazaars (markets) are extremely annoying. Especially to groups / singles of women with no men along. They follow you / approach you constantly bugging you to come buy from them, promising "no touch / no hassle" as they touch you and pull your arm towards their shop instead of the next person's shop. Victoria has had an offer of "two million camels" to become one of their wives.
These first few days have been on the cruise boat. The rooms are very nice. I have my own, and Victoria & Alexandra are next door. The food is good. Last night was a traditional Egyptian dinner. Tonight was a larger spread for the New Years Eve celebrations - sort of a dress-up dinner. Housekeeping is excellent. There is a top deck with lounge chairs, a pool (too cold to use the pool), and exercise equipment. Afternoon tea is served up there each day at 4 p.m. I'm taking lots of notes for my album while Alexandra takes the pictures.
I was going to collect some desert sand today but too many camels had been by recently, or so it appeared!! We each bought some jewellery.
egypt notes - part 3
I'm at an internet cafe that stinks of smoke. The keyboard is very very stiff and written in Arabic, but at least the keys are in the same places.
Today, we left the cruise boat for a flight from Aswan to the temple of Abu-Simbel. This is an amazing place that they call the 8th wonder of the world. Too much to write about it here.
Then a return flight from Abu-Simbel to Aswan to Cairo. We are now in the Sofitel Sphinx hotel for the remaining nights. Everyone else from our bus is at a different hotel a couple minutes away. We paid "moderate". They paid "superior". However, if THIS is what you call moderate, wow!!!
All meals were included our first four days on the cruise boat. Now breakfasts only. Cairo is a city of 20 million, who drive all over the road but safely, apparently. No dividing lines for traffic on the main streets - what appeared to be like Highway 11 N. or Bayfield Street. It appeared it should be three lanes, but often times was five across. People just drift in and out of wherever they can squeeze through. They honk at the vehicle they are coming up on from behind or to the side and that person moves out of their way. Our tour director says it actually works very well. No rules but no problems either. Can get D.L. at 18 yrs old only after passing a medical and a very very strict driving test. Cairo is the only city in Africa that has a subway system. Our hotel overlooks the pyramids. We go to see them tomorrow, as well as Memphis, and something else. Also tomorrow night is a sound and light show at the pyramids. Our guide was saying it will be really cold and that blankets can be rented for 5 egyptian pounds, etc. He made it sound like you had to really really bundle up. Alexandra & I asked him, what do you mean by cold? He said like it has been these nights. Oh!! We had a good laugh. i.e. about 40-50 F.
My hand is getting stiff from taking so many notes but it will be really helpful for my album. Other people are asking for copies of my notes! Alexandra is taking the pictures while I scribble furiously as we learn about everything we are sightseeing. Victoria left her coat behind (intentionally) when we left Toronto. She has been borrowing an extra from our tour guide - man's size ten times too big for her! I'm sure it will end up in some of our photos.
I will be really thankful tonight that our hotel is not 'rocking'. A lady from the 2nd tour bus, gave me some anti-nausea pills. I broke them in half and used a half each day of our cruise boat time. Felt queasy quite a few times, but slept fine (the beds were great), and it never became really bad. On tour with us are a few Aussies, New Zealand, Americans, and a mom and daughter (adult daughter) from Hamilton, and a couple from Regina.
The internet guy just told me my time is up --- however, I pointed out to him I have at least five more minutes. he then smiled and said "for you, 10 more minutes, okay?" The other people in here have left now so I will finish up and get out of here too so I am not the only one in here with this guy.
Hey! The huge fancy outdoor pool is very well heated!! Guess what I'll be using?!