EGYPT, A LAND OF THE GREAT PYRAMID
Egypt, a land of the Great Pyramid has one of the longest histories of any country in the world. Indeed, its history dated back to about 4000~6000 BC. It is known as one of the great civilizations and most of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanization, organized religion, and central government originates from this civilization. We were lucky enough to have a chance of visiting this great country during the covid era. We had a seven days plan and our tour includes Cairo, Alexandria, and Sharm el-sheikh. How we went through our itinerary is coming in the next paragraphs.
DAY 1, ARRIVAL in Egypt AND TRANSFER TO HOTEL
We landed in the evening and it took almost one hour to complete the process of our passport control. Before immigration counters, there was a separate counter for Covid reports check. However, they were superficially checking the PCR reports from every traveler. After that, we reached passport control and the Process went through at a smooth pace. Although, we have to wait for our luggage even then all these activities took place within one hour. Transfer to the city center was arranged by Bus. However, instead of going to the hotel first, we went to a restaurant…. Where we tasted our first Egyptian meal. Finally, we reached our Hotel Holiday Inn Maadi Cairo and decided to take the much-needed rest so that we will be fresh for the next day’s activities.
DAY 2, CAIRO AND TOP RATED EGYPTIAN SITES
As per our plan, today we have to visit Egyptian Museum, Papyrus Institute, and Giza Pyramid complex. After taking our breakfast in the hotel we headed towards the Egyptian Museum as the first stop of the day. It was the largest repository of Egyptian antiquities in the world. We toured the galleries of the Old and New Kingdoms, the Ptolemaic era, and the Greek/Roman periods. The highlight of this tour was the collection of treasures from the tomb of Tut-Ankh-Amon. You can take pictures from your mobile everywhere except the King Tut treasures. However, if you want to use your DSLR camera then you have to take a separate ticket for photography.
The ticket price was 200 Egyptian pounds and it includes the audio devices which are very necessary for the presence of a large crowd. Our guide very well explained the history and told us important information about the ancient Egyptian language and hieroglyphs.
The Great Pyramid
Our 2nd stop was the Giza Pyramids and we had our lunch in the restaurant which was just in front of the exit gate of the Pyramid. It was facing to the incredible views of The great pyramid just in front of the Sphinx. After lunch, we started our tour and visited the Incredible Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza Plateau. It’s estimated that the largest – Khufu (Cheops) was constructed from no less than 2.5 million quarried limestone blocks, weighing around 6 million tons. No mean feats, when you consider the pyramids were built without the use of modern equipment. We watched the sunset by standing beside the sphinx while it was going behind the Cheops pyramid.
Our last visit point was Papyrus institute. Where we learned how to make a papyrus through a comprehensive demonstration and found there a huge collection of bright-colored paintings on papyrus cards. We did our dinner in Maulana Restaurant and tasted a rich Egyptian cuisine.
DAY 3, DAY TRIP TO ALEXANDRIA
Alexandria is called Bride of the Mediterranean by locals. We Transferred to Alexandria by a private AC Coach. Alexandria is 220 km from Cairo and we reached there in three hours. We started our visit at 10:30 and our first stop was Pompey’s Pillar. It is known as a prime site of Alexandria, a sandstone pillar which is erected between 298-302AD in the honor of Roman Emperor Diocletian. No doubt, It is an attractive sight and a complete package for history lovers. We can see the ruins of an ancient temple named “Temple of Serapeum”. The entrance ticket was 80 Egyptian pounds.
Our next stop was the Citadel of Qaitbay. This castle was built in the exact place where the Alexandria lighthouse used to be a part. It is built in the 15th century for defense purposes. The Citadel is situated at the entrance of the Eastern Harbor. The entry ticket was 100 Egyptian pounds and there was a very less crowd when we visited. It was just due to Corona Pandemic. After that, we had our Lunch at Chicken Tikka a famous restaurant for its seafood cuisine along with the awesome views of the Mediterranean Sea.
On the way to the next stop, we had a panoramic Visit to the Alexandria library from outside and continue our visit to Nabi Denial Mosque. Finally visited our last point the Stanly bridge before making our way back to Cairo. Dinner in a local restaurant& overnight in our hotel.
DAY 4 &5, CAIRO TO SHARM EL SHEIKH
Today was the longest day, as we started our journey to Sharm El Sheikh much early or more precisely in the darkness. We reached Sharm El Sheikh before noon. We checked into our Resort Sea Beach Aqua Resort and had our lunch there.
After lunch, we went to Naama Bay for a Glass Bottom Boat tour in the Red Sea. The duration of the tour was two hours and we saw many colors of coral reefs and fish species there. The boat had two levels; the first one, the lower deck to see coral reefs. The second one was the sun deck where we can relax, take sunbathe and enjoy the sea breeze.
Finally, we went to near-by Bazar and strolled for window shopping. The Photo with “I Love Sharm” is a must thing while we were there.
After breakfast in the resort, it was free time to relax or to discover the resort. Sea Beach Aqua was a big resort and offers a lot of activities while staying inside. Some of them include Aqua Park, Health club, Beach Activities, many dining options, Bar rooms, Spa, and night musical event.
In the afternoon, we went to the city center and visited Sky Church, an Ottoman-style Alsahaba Mosque, and Finally spent there a part of our free time while shopping and roaming into the well-lit Bazars of Sharm El Sheikh.
DAY 6, SHARM EL SHEIKH TO CAIRO
Again, a long journey back to Cairo. On the way, we visited Moses Springs and reached Cairo before evening. After refreshing in the hotel we left for Nile Cruise diner. It was one of the major attractions in Cairo among Egyptian sight-seeing places. While cruising, we had a delicious dinner and enjoyed a folkloric as well as a belly-dancing show on board. we had to cruise in comfort and elegance as we were flowing in the lights of the Cairo skyline that night. No doubt, that was a beautiful evening out and a great opportunity to enjoy good food, unique entertainment, and a romantic evening gazing at the sights along the banks of the Nile.
DAY 7, OLD CITY AND KHAN AL KHALILI BAZAR
It was our last day in Egypt and our little vacations were going to an end. However, a full day was there to get snatch a couple of more experiences from the old part of Cairo in Egypt. At first, we went to Tahrir Square and stopped at the Qasr Nil Bridge which is a long bridge with an exact length of 1932m and has a historic touch too. After that, the next stop was Saladin Citadel a 12th-century historical castle and an Ottoman-style Muhammad Ali Mosque beside the citadel. Meanwhile, we took our lunch and then went to the historical Al-Azhar Mosque and university built in 972 AD. Visit Khan Al Khalili Bazar was another must-do activity there. You have to use your negotiation skills to bargain for the things you like to purchase.
Our final stop was at Sun Mart before we headed to the airport for our outbound flight from Egypt.
WHAT WE MISSED in egypt
7 days are not a fair time to visit the ancient and historical sights of Egypt. We couldn’t add Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel sides which need another one week to take a few highlights of that area. However, we think it was the best value of our time which we spent in Egypt in such a short span of time. Definitely, on the next trip, we will go to the sights which we have missed on our first trip. It is also advisable to do a combo visit by including Jordan or Lebanon with Egypt.