My first impressions of Egypt are something I will never forget. The contrast between cultures and landscapes of what I have always been used to and those of Egypt were unbelievable and I could not decide how I felt. If anyone had told me then that by the end of the week I would have fallen completely in love with this country, I would have laughed at them.
My first experience of Egypt was on a Nile Cruise from Luxor to Aswan. I would recommend this as an excellent way to see the sites and find out about the history of ancient Egypt. The cruise ship was very comfortable and my friend and I quickly made friends with another couple who shared both our table and our guide. The tours from the ship were well organised but still left time to relax. Our tour guide was very friendly, extremely knowledgeable, and professional and all the staff associated with the tour were very security conscious, making us feel very safe at all times. Nothing was too much trouble and our guide even took extra time to show us some things of interest that were off the beaten path, introduced us to Egyptian street food (absolutely delicious!) and generally made sure our holiday was unforgettable. I cannot praise the cruise staff, hotel staff, tourist guides, company staff and security staff enough for their friendliness and eagerness to show us just how beautiful and safe Egypt really is at the moment.
If you want to explore other places, ask your tourist guide to arrange it for you and don’t just follow the crowds, but go to the smaller authentic restaurants, street markets and coffee shops where you can drink coffee with Egyptians and learn how to smoke shisha. Try some of the street food, your guide will know where to get the best tasting chicken or bean wraps. Experience not just the postcard or ancient history of Egypt, but learn about Egypt now.
Since my first visit, I have returned to Egypt twice and will be visiting again very soon to go back to some of my favourite places including Aswan and Luxor, The Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel and the Temple of Philae, which has to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. A night visit to the Temple of Karnak with the light and sound show is magical and is not to be missed. To be quite honest, there is still much more I have to explore, but leisurely, and not just a quick visit with a “selfie” to prove I was there like some tourists I have seen.
I would probably have to say the most memorable part of my visits to Egypt, apart from the amazing temples and ancient sites, was all the wonderful people we met. That is why I will keep returning to Egypt time and time again to meet up with some of the kindest and most hospitable people I have ever met, added to which they have a fantastic sense of humour, which I love.
Egypt was probably one of the earliest tourist destinations in the world and deserves to be put at the top of everyone’s list of places to visit. Don’t be put off by fears about your safety. Egypt is as safe as anywhere else and the Egyptians are waiting to welcome you to their beautiful country.