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Published: July 10th 2010
Our first day
Egypt - 4 1/2 Weeks
My visit to Egypt was a gift to myself for my 30th birthday, and one in which I wanted to share with special people.
The first month will be shared with my little brother who has just finished his GCSE's.
We arrived in Cairo on my 31st birthday and spent a couple of days acclimatising to the heat, the prices and the hectic city life.
From here we traveled into the desert stopping at Bahariya Oasis to spend a couple of days enjoying the White Desert area. We saw the Black desert (an area with tarnished black rock). crystal mountain (an area with crystalline rock and a natural arch) and then we camped in the white desert national park with its amazing chalk rock formations, like mushrooms. We camped that night under an amazingly starry night, the milky way was as clear as ive ever seen it, and we were visited by a few little desert foxes with their massive ears. After the white desert we returned to Bahariya Oasis to visit a salt lake, some hot springs and to see some more beautiful desert. In the evening we wandered around
My Birthday dinner
and met a farmer who was so enthusiastic to show us his land and crops that we couldn't refuse and he ended up giving us a bag of grapes, dates, and some kind of figs, plus we also tried his fresh watermelon.
From Bahariya we went to another oasis called Dakhla and from here visited the Muzawaka tombs with its mummified Romans and sheep, the curator of these tombs seemed so happy to have a visitor that he sat us down, gave us tea, we smoked some sheesha and then played dominos for what seemed like hours. In this oasis we also visited Al-Qasr, an 11th century mud town with a really cool mosque and little mud buildings, here we were invited to have lunch with a local policeman and his family was very interested and keen to have their photos taken.
From Dakhla we spent 16 hours traveling to Luxor where we walked along the Nile, visited the Luxor temple and the simply massive Karnak temple and also flew in a hot-air balloon. The ballooning was amazing, we got really lucky and had an extended flight as the captain couldn't find anywhere to land - this worked
The traffic procedures are mental
for us as we got to see the valley of the kings area, the sun-rise, fly over little villages and farmland, we crossed the Nile and then flew over Luxor with its plentiful mosques.
An amazing experience and a big thank you to those that made it possible.
From Luxor we took the train to Aswan to spend a couple of days before sailing down the Nile in a felucca. From Aswan we visited the Philae temple, which had to be moved from Philae island to another nearby island due to flooding caused by the creation of a dam. Amazing to see the reconstruction and impressive how they moved it, labelling pieces with metallic labels. There was some nice hieroglyphics and interesting to see the stamp of the early christians that defaced them.
From Aswan we left in a Felucca where we spent 2 days admiring the scenery whilst floating down stream towards Luxor. We decided not to visit the temples of Edfu or Kom Ombo deciding to wait for the day after when we visited the Valley of the Kings. We got to go inside 3 tombs in the valley itself to observe the impressive hieroglyphics and
No he's not gay, the tea was minging
then we visited the Hatshepsut Temple, also with impressive hieroglypics. The heat in Luxor was intense so we left that day on a bus to Dahab, on the Sinai Peninsula, to relax on the beach for my brothers last week.
Here we chilled, doing some kite flying and beer drinking and I did a couple of dives at "Blue Hole" and "The Canyon"
After Dahab we returned to Cairo to meet my girlfriend, Steph and we used her first day and Matt's last to visit the Pyramids at Giza, Saqqara and Dahsur. I ate my Egyptian Flakes at the massive Giza pyramid, gladly sharing them then we took a look at the Step-pyramid at Saqqara, believed to be the oldest of the pyramids, a prototype for the later versions. At Dahsur we were able to go deep down under the Red Pyramid, 68 metres under sliding down a passage less than a metre in height.
We dropped my brother at the airport then went straight to Alexandria on the train, enjoying the A.C in first class. Here in Alexandria we spent 6 days relaxing.
We went on a horse ride, went to Cleopatra's Palace to dive
White Desert Trip
View over the Black desert area from the top of black mountain
the underwater ruins and we got drunk and tried to show the locals the benefits of not suppressing women
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