The BEST Egypt trip covering almost everything there is to see, and there is a lot to see!Fantastic sights, amazing history, the pyramids, the Sphynx, the tombs, the temples, the Nile and on and on and on.Logistically and organisationally first class (apart from the train!)
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
All of it. It is impossible to choose between pyramids, temples, tombs. They are all amazingly wonderful. From Abu Simbel in the South to the Great Pyramids in the North, what a journey full of treasures.
The temples are amazing , the structures, the carvings, the paintings and only three or four thousand years old - hardly worn in yet!!!
Going inside a pyramid, alive I hasten to add. What an experience.
The mummies in the Cairo museum are spooky but mesmerising, they look so alive, yet you hope they are so dead. In a way their re-birth has been achieved, with millions of people worshipping them.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Achmed was very knowledgeable on all the various sights, and well versed in the Egyptian culture and way of life. He was a nice and personable man, and tried to explain and answer as many questions as he could.
I felt however that he did not possess the ability to put across the information in an interesting and engaging manner. It sometime came across as a lot of facts and statements, which went in one ear and out the other unfortunately. To put it another way he did not engage and capture his audience; and check their receipt and understanding of what he was saying, which is a useful skill and tool to employ. Good communicators possess the skill naturally, the ones who do not have it, don't recognise it or know they are missing it.
Organisationally and logistically, Achmed was spot on.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
1. Take loads of money with you. The Exodus advice is not enough, apart from when on the boat you will be buying at least one meal a day, and whilst Egypt is cheap, with drinks the costs mount up.
2.The sleeper train is awful. It is dirty, noisy and the sanitary conditions are unusable. The food is very poor, as has been remarked upon before. Unfortunately there appears no credible alternative to cover the vast journey south and return north. So you just have to lump it, after all it is just one night.
3. Drink lots of water, we experienced a heat wave for most of our fortnight, when the daytime temp was 44C, dropping to a cool 36C at night! It can be very hot, keep out of the sun!
4. Whilst not as strenuous as the treks that Exodus run in various parts of the world, be prepared for lots of travel, which requires a constant packing and unpacking of your luggage. This is not a picnic or restful holiday. You are there to see all the sights of Egypt, and a lot of early mornings and "get up and go" are required. You can , of course, drop out and stay in the hotel - but then you would have to ask yourself why you are there in the first place!
5. The cruise ship on the Nile is real luxury and the best food.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Whilst the organisation and logistics were incredibly well managed. The overnight train journey (see comments on standards above) does really mess up the preceeding and following days. Most people are hot, dirty and tired, yet you are "on the go" for nearly two whole days before you get to the comfort of a nice hotel and the shower! This should be reviewed, there is enough space in the schedule to change this, so people can have the chance to freshen up.
The hotels are first class, with the exception of the Iberotel in Luxor which seemed out of line with the rest of the accommodation and Exodus should look at improving upon this.
On the last day back in Cairo, the schedule is very poor. The pyramid at Maydoum is well worth seeing, but should be included in the earlier visit to Dashour, as it logically fits with viewing the Bent and Red pyramids. The other "trips" to the water wheels and then onto the lake are just not worthy of being included on a trip of this stature. The last day did feel that you were trying to just fill the time.