One Week in Egypt

Egypt in one week. That was our task. An impossible one that we set for ourselves. We did some planning prior to going, but nothing specific (as it turns out, though this is generally my favorite way to travel, I highly advise against it in Egypt). Our itinerary upon arrival was more like a list of things we wanted to do: pyramids, library in Alexandria, Egyptian museum, and the Hanging Church in Coptic Cairo.

We had read enough in the guidebooks ahead of time to determine that we didn’t think we had time to go to Luxor as it is a 10 hour train ride from Cairo. The Lonely Planet guidebook advised a one week itinerary with 2 days in Alexandria and 5 days in Cairo. As I mentioned previously when I discussed our plans to go to Egypt in this post, my cousin Jennifer and I have been dreaming of this trip for at least 10 years now.

We arrived in Cairo, exhausted, but so glad to finally be there!img_3657Our hotel provided transportation to and from the airport which had been one of the selling points for us. When we got to the hotel we had the requisite tea and coffee with the proprietor. He initiated a discussion of what our plans were for our time there and offered the hotel’s services as a travel agency.

The rough timeline he recommended was this:

Day 1 – Giza and Saqqara

Day 2 – The Egyptian Museum & Nile Cruise

Day 3 – Alexandria

Day 4 & 5 – Tour of Cairo (Coptic Cairo, Islamic Cairo, The Citadel, Khan-al-Khalili)

Day 6 & 7 – Open to several options including a tour to the Red Sea or a day in Luxor

IMG_3698

Knowing that it was likely that the tour prices offered by the hotel would be higher than we could find elsewhere, we were initially resistant to this, but our lovely hotel man sold us on at least one tour when he told us that we could have an English speaking tour guide to Giza and Saqqara with a private car and driver as well as lunch included for the next day. His price was $35 per person which we knew was slightly high, but the convenience of not losing our first day to figuring things out, and having time to get ourselves oriented to the city felt like it was worth it.egypt-day-1-79

This was our first mistake. Just one of many to come. But that story is for another day… actually, I should probably write a whole post just on mistakes we made, so that you don’t have to repeat them.egypt-day-4-8

Anyway, we were only a few days into the trip when we started regretting not trying harder to include Luxor into our itinerary. We planned the trip based on the recommendations others made according to the time frame we had available, but the reason we came to Egypt was to see ancient Egyptian history. After a frustrating day in Cairo where we spent nearly 3 hours trying to get to the Citadel (apparently they don’t call it the Citadel…) and a day in Alexandria where we spent a lot of time looking at ancient Roman artifacts, we decided that come Hell or high water we were going to find a way to get to Luxor and we are so GLAD that we did.img_3813Luxor turned out to be our absolute favorite part of the trip!

Our itinerary turned into this:

Day 1 – Giza and ?? (we were promised Saqqara, but not actually taken there)

Day 2 – The Egyptian Museum & Nile Cruise

Day 3 – The Citadel, Islamic Cairo, & Khan-al-Khalili

Day 4 – Alexandria

Day 5 – Coptic Cairo & Night Train to Luxor

Day 6 – Luxor & Night Train to Cairo

Day 7 – Khan-al-Khalili and Cairo last looks

It was a whirlwind, but we had an amazing trip and I’m so excited to share more about it!

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One thought on “One Week in Egypt

  1. Pingback: 2016 – A Year in Review | The Life Discovered

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