The Mysteries of Egypt
Egypt is a mysterious and unique country. With some of the most amazing ancient artefacts anywhere in the world, it remains a favourite destination of mine
I travel back in time to ancient Egypt on my last visit, sailing down the Nile on a hand built Dahabiya boat. It was an awesome experience. Gliding along the beautiful green Nile the sights and sounds of Egypt over the centuries are easy to imagine. Like so many destinations, unrest in the country (plus covid 19) has meant that there are very few tourists there at the moment. Here are ten reasons to head there when we can travel again.
One – The sites of ancient Egypt
You will get to see the ancient sites of Egypt without hordes of tourists! The last time I went to Luxor pre 2005, I thought I would faint in Tutankhamen’s tomb. I was so squashed into the enclosed space with a lot of other people and it was very, very hot.
You couldn’t really see much except cameras thrusting in front of your face (you can’t take pictures in the tombs now) and the stars on the ceiling. It was pretty claustrophobic. Just at the moment, especially if you go early, you can have these sites almost to yourself, and it’s so much easier to envisage how things were back in ancient Egypt and soak up the atmosphere of these impressive sights.
Two – It’s great value for money
You can get cheap deals. It’s a traveler’s truth that when a destination suffers for any reason, it becomes a buyer’s market. They want you back! So if you go to Egypt now you will get great deals on hotels, trips, guides and souvenirs. You may even get a very good deal on the stunning trips down the Nile on the Dahabiya boats which is something you cannot do anywhere else in the world.
Three – the weather!
It does not rain much in Egypt. It never rains in Egypt except for a few minutes or so once a year! If you have been suffering with our dreadful English weather, our dreary winter and cold wet spring, then a dose of Egyptian sunshine will perk you right up. Early in the year is a great time to go. The temperature remains in the late twenties, early thirties (that’s 86 degrees Fahrenheit) all day, every day. It gets a bit toasty later in the year.
Four – the Camel Market
Daraw Camel Market. This amazing old Arabian market is a real slice of African cultural life. I’ve never seen so many camels! They can go for upwards of £1,000 (700 US dollars) It’s dusty, noisy and a genuine slice of local colour. You can also buy donkeys, goats sheep, bridles and fly swats. It’s commerce at its old school liveliest.
Five – wine tonight!
Drinkable wine! In times past it proved impossible to track down anything that was vaguely quaffable in Egypt. I once paid good money for a boy to go on a bike to see his cousin, who knew a man who knew how to get me a bottle of Obelisk wine. It has the dubious accolade of being the worst wine I have ever tasted.
Things are different now. I tried the local wine again with my typical tenacity, and lo and behold it was tasty! I drank quite a lot of rose wine on my last visit, enjoyed it and suffered no ill effects whatsoever!
Six – the Egyptian people
The Egyptian people. Egyptians are generally charming, friendly people and I have always got on well with the ones I have met. In the interests of international relations, go there and talk to them. They are as appalled about what’s happening in the world as we are, and they need our support.
Seven – swimming in the Nile
Why not take the plunge! There are no crocodiles in the river any more. The ancient Egyptians could not swim in the Nile as it was full of large aggressive reptiles. They were liable to get eaten or at least dismembered.
The crocodiles are now all confined to a lake down near the Aswan Dam. So, if you pick your spot carefully (watch out for the currents) you can swim in this beautiful fresh green, river. The Nile is the longest river in the world.
Eight – awesome ancient ruins
Egypt has the best ancient sites in the world. The temples and tombs of Egypt are incredible and irreplaceable wonders. They need visitors to survive and indeed excavation teams are uncovering new temples, treasures and wonders all the time, buried beneath the desert sand. Everyone has heard of the Valley of the Kings but there is so much more than that. The story is not nearly finished.
Nine – travel safely but travel again
Don’t let the terrorists win. Terrorists want to control how we think, where we go and what we do. Don’t let them. No one wants to be unsafe, but remember sometimes the picture is distorted by a content hungry media. Check your facts and your travel plans but don’t change them unless you have to.
Ten – so much sunshine!
With an average of nine plus hours of sunshine every day this is the perfect destination to top up your Vitamin D supplies!