The Great Pyramids of Giza and ancient temples, tombs and treasures that line the vast River Nile have been attracting visitors to Egypt for over 4,000 years. Everyone from the ancient Greeks to Barack Obama have come to stand in awe beside the last remaining Wonder of the Ancient World. Although the pyramids have come to symbolise this exotic destination, they’re just a small portion of what this timeless land has to offer.
Once home to one of the oldest and most advanced ancient civilisations on the planet, Egypt is a vast treasure house of history waiting to be explored. Imagine standing at the foot of the colossal stone statues of Abu Simbel or smelling the musty air of the 3000 year-old tombs in the Valley of the Kings, some of which still look like they were painted with the infamous blue and gold scenes of the pharaohs just yesterday. Lose yourself in Karnak’s Hypostyle Hall, a veritable stone forest, housing 134 giant decorated columns. Watch feluccas sail the Nile, a scene hardly changed since the time of Cleopatra, or pay your respects amid the bloody sands of El Alamein, the site of Montgomery’s famous victory over Rommel’s Afrika Korps. Egypt’s capital, Cairo, offers plenty of ornate mosques, churches and museums; but make the Egyptian Museum your first port of call; this is where you’ll find the priceless golden treasures recovered from the tomb of King Tutankhamun.
Walk down any street in Cairo, Luxor or Aswan, you will undoubtedly pass by numerous jewellery shops. Gold is very popular, especially in the form of an Egyptian cartouche, a kind of hieroglyphic nameplate hung as a pendant on a necklace. You’ll also see papyrus wall hangings and traditional Egyptian dress (Galabeya) which are great for fancy dress back home.
Incredibly, after gazing upon the illustrious pyramids, this trip only gets better. Further up the Nile, your cruise ship is poised to take you to royal tombs and breathtaking temples.
Egypt’s vast wealth of antiquities take centre stage here. Marvel at Karnak, the Pyramids and Sphinx, Tutankhamun’s treasure, and the ubiquitous hieroglyphics.
The sensation of being on Mt. Sinai as the sun appears in the morning sky is impossible to forget. You get the wonderful desert dawn with truly amazing views over to the Gulf of Aqaba. Later, indulge in the custom of afternoon tea which takes after Bedouin traditions. Blend in with the locals at a Cairo sidewalk cafe by ordering your tea in a glass, not too dark or too light, and saturated with sugar.