“After we have seen the Mummies can we see the Daddies?” asked my son on a recent visit to the British Museum. By the time I had finished explaining that Mummies actually had something to do with bandages and dead, rich people rather than ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’ his attention had turned towards filling his rumbling tummy.
As a child - albeit a bit older than my son currently is - I was fascinated by the ancient Egyptians, the Pyramids and the Pharaohs and despite having travelled extensively over the years, Egypt was one destination I had yet to visit. Last May half-term I was fortunate enough to join my husband (who is the E-Commerce & PR Manager at Exodus) on a research trip to Egypt.
Large cities don’t daunt me - I live in London and have visited the likes of Mexico City and Lima; however nothing quite prepares you for Cairo. Passing through the rich suburbs of Heliopolis we soon entered the City of the Dead with its dusty, ancient buildings and dark passageways. To me Cairo looks like the sort of place architects forgot and it was certainly no Paris or Venice!
However, Cairo does have a certain energy about it and this was most apparent once we arrived at the Pyramids. On one side of the Pyramids are the outskirts of the sprawling city and on the other is the Sahara Desert. It’s almost as if the Pyramids were dumped there by aliens with the city and the Sahara in a race against each other to fi nally consume these wonders of the ancient world. The Pyramids themselves are simply stunning; the sheer scale and age of them takes your breath away.
Our stay in Nuweiba village was at a comfortable hotel which has a pool and private stretch of beach along the Red Sea. So far, so good and despite a very early start for the long drive from Cairo, the children soon forgot their tiredness as they feasted their eyes upon the swimming pool. Twenty minutes later and our two were soon making friends with the other children around the poolside, while all the adults took the
opportunity to relax.
With temperatures in the mid 30s and two young children in tow, the days had to be planned carefully. The holiday included an array of activities; first up was quad biking at a location up the coast near Taba. If you need a high adrenaline start to a holiday to blow the jet lag away, then this is it. It was incredible to get away from everything and explore the desert valleys, away from the beaches.
Next up was a boat trip on the clear waters of the Red Sea. This certainly didn’t disappoint and the children continued to gasp with amazement each time a new species (often referred to as ‘chocolate fish’ or ‘stripy fish’) swam past! It is not surprising that the Red Sea is one of the most popular diving destinations in the world; the scenery and colourful marine life is truly magical.
The highlight of the holiday for me was the trip to Mt Sinai and St Catherine’s Monastery. We weren’t looking forward to walking at night but were pleasantly surprised by the mild evening temperatures. For those who like to take a more leisurely option there are even camels available en route to take you up in comfort. We all soldiered on though and enjoyed a picnic breakfast and spectacular sunrise knowing that we had earned it! By now my son had a much better understanding of all things ‘Mummy’ and even knows what a hieroglyphic is. I’m sure on his next visit to the British Museum his memories of our time in Egypt will ensure that he has a hunger for knowledge rather than for his next meal!
By Robert Dixon (& Debbie Dixon).
Rob and his family travelled on our Sinai Desert Adventure Family Holiday (Trip Code: FME)