As a kid, my travel list changed as my geography lessons changed. So, when I learnt of the igloos and the tundra region, I always dreamt of a life in the Iceland. When I came to know about kangaroos, I wanted to travel immediately to Australia. Koala bears made me want to permanently move to Africa! They’re so fricking cute!! Almost all these wishes were temporary. I would move on very quickly to the next thing that came under my radar. But there was one place that always stayed on my list. That was Egypt. This country never fails to fascinate me. The stories of the Sphinx, the pyramids, the pharaoh, Cleopatra, the most beautiful woman on Earth and the pharaoh, Hatshepsut, the longest ruling woman leader in Egypt always left me enchanted. I feel the history of the place is too overwhelming to be missed.
Safety at Egypt:
When you think of a trip to Egypt, the first question that comes to your mind is that how safe is Egypt. After the revolution of 2011, tourism had almost stopped in Egypt. But now it has started back again. The people of Egypt are really warm and welcoming and for us Indians they will surely strike the Bollywood chord.
Tickets and Visa:
There are Egypt Air flights from metro cities in India and hence it is very easy to travel. Getting a Visa is also pretty easy. The tickets cost around thirty grand.
What to see:
The City of Cairo:
The pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx are the main reason why people flock to Egypt. You would get a panoramic view of the pyramids as shown below.
Many of us would want to see the pyramid from inside. There is a small tunnel which takes you to the burial chamber. The Egyptians believed that by storing the body in such a way, the person would come back to life some day! There are texts written in here and some also have beautiful paintings made inside. The stones used for construction are really huge which makes us think, how they must have brought it all the way in this desert. I had read somewhere that wheel was developed by the Egyptians while building these pyramids to carry the stones. The bent pyramid of Sneferu which bent due to the wrong angle with which it was built and started collapsing, the red pyramid of Sneferu is red because of iron oxide inside the limestone and the Step pyramid of Djoser are not to be missed. The largest of them all is the Great pyramid of Khufu. Believe me no photo can capture the real beauty of these pyramids and it only has to be witnessed by seeing it!
Cairo Museum: A huge museum which contains thousands of artifacts will show you the riches and cultures of Egyptians. Do not miss the mummy section will give you the glimpse of the greatest pharoahs of the time!
Cruise at Luxor:
Just relax and take a cruise at River Nile – the longest river in the world. There is no better way to see the ruins than taking this lovely cruise. The cruise is usually from Luxor to Aswan for around 3-7 days and covers all the major sites.
The Eastern bank of Nile contains two beautiful temples of Karnak and Luxor. The huge structures at the Karnak temple will leave you spellbound ad the intricate hieroglyph carvings will make you stare at in in awe. Check the stunning promenade with hundreds of statues of Sphinxes caller the Avenue of Sphinxes. You would feel like a Queen while walking here!
The West Bank of Nile has the Thebes Necropolis, the Valley of the Kings – which contains tombs of the great Kings – and also Queen Hatshepsut. The carvings on the tombs is the reason why visitors come here. Tomb of Seti I is the costliest and best tomb in the Valley and the carvings are so incredibly intricate that you will only have to see it to experience it.
The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut the first queen of Egypt and its beautiful structures and the Mortuary temple of Ramesses II with the huge colossal statue of Ramesses II on the ground are not to be missed.
There are many more sites to visit in Egypt and I have covered just a few important ones.
The best part of Egypt is that stay is not very costly. You can get good hotels at really reasonable price.
Traditional Egyptian food has Mediterranean touch in it and they use fava beans a lot. Ful is their traditional breakfast made of fava beans. You would also get a Falafel made out of fava beans. Kebabs and Shawarmas are yummy here! Vegeterians, get ready for a treat! Mahshi is a famous Egyptian dish which has vegetables of your choice with a rice filling. Koshari is yet another yummy vegetarian treat. You wouldn’t want to miss Baklava – the yummy Egyptian desert which has a flaky pastry with loads of dry fruits flavoured with a sweet syrup. It tastes just amazing!
A few tips:
- You would need to walk a lot in Egypt and hence a very good pair of shoes is a must!
- Carry a sunscreen without fail to protect you against harsh sun. Also remember to carry loads of water with you.
- Baksheesh or tip is very common in Egypt. Every time you ask the locals for help, don’t be surprised if they demand for a tip. Same is the case when you ride in a taxi and hence fix the price beforehand.
- While taking the Nile river cruise try to avoid the middlemen to get a great deal!
I am always attracted to the ruins, the wisdom of our ancestors. Do you love to see it? Egypt has a lot to offer to the people who are really in love of history.
Would you like to plan a trip to Egypt? Do let us know!