So we made it to Cairo at about 2.30am, and were collected from the airport by the very wonderful Ahmed from American Express Travel. If you ever go to Egypt (and you should) book all your trips with Amex and make sure he is the man looking after you. What a godsend. He delivered us to our hotel (Four Seasons Nile Plaza Cairo) and told us about our guide who would be with us for the next two days.
Our first destination was the Cairo Museum. It is a wonderful place with SO many treasures on display. It would take a very long time to see them all. They have a special section dedicated to Tutankhamun, as well as a section for actual pharaoh mummies discovered over the years, including probably the greatest of them all, Ramses II. You are not allowed to photograph any of the special collections which makes them even a bit more special, perhaps?
These are sarcophagi that fit one inside the other - there were usually seven for a pharaoh.
After the museum we went to see the Great Pyramids of Giza. I had always thought that the pyramids are way out in the desert but actually they are right in the middle of suburban Cairo, which was a bit weird. SO amazing to see though.
And they are so much bigger than you realise from reading about them in books or seeing on TV and in movies. We also visited the Khan El-Khalili market, and the Citadel, which contains the Alabaster Mosque, a really lovely building.
The next day we went to Memphis, which was once the capital of ancient Egypt, and saw the museum dedicated to Ramses II.
We also went to Saqqara, and saw the very first pyramid ever built, and a few other things. It was amazing.
I think Cairo is an absolute hellhole and I never EVER want to go back again. Having said that, it was worth it to visit and see the sights, which were indeed wonderful. But never again will I visit Cairo. I did not enjoy the city one bit.
Our next stop was Hurghada on the Red Sea, where we stayed for four days to chill out. Our accommodation was the excellent Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh, I highly recommend it for a lovely stay.
After a relaxing few days we travelled to Luxor to join our Nile river cruise. We stayed on the Oberoi Philae, and it was unbelievable. The most ridiculous part was that we were the only passengers. Yes, just me and Kendall, on a cruiser with a capacity of 44 passengers. Apparently they do not ever refuse a booking so we had the whole boat to ourselves. It was wonderful.
I will not bore you with the details of every single temple and sight we visited, but the list included:
- Temple of Abydos
- Temple of Dendara
- Luxor Temple
- Karnak Temple
- Valley of the Kings
- Colossus of Memnon
- Temple of Edfu
- Temple of Kom Ombo
- Aswan high dam
- Philae Temple
Temple of Abydos:
Valley of the Kings: tomb of Ramses VI
Colossus of Memnon:
Temple of Horus at Edfu:
Hathor, goddess of fertility:
Honestly the river cruise was probably my favourite part of Egypt. We saw SO much and it was all quite astounding.