I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous about going to this foreign, “out of my comfort zone” destination, but for some reason it was on my list of ‘must see’ places. I talked myself right through security and before I knew it, I was buckled into my seat on Turkish Airlines and there was no turning back. Immediately I was impressed with the service and food on the airline and thought to myself that this is a sign of good things to come and that I had dreamt of this for the last 10 years and I am going to love it and embrace everything this country has to offer for the next 9 days!
Upon arrival after a long flight I was immediately met by my guide – a warm, welcoming smile and hug and I instantly felt taken care of and safe. From this moment forward, I never felt ANY sense of fear.
I was taken to my first hotel and met by the hoteliers and guides and even though it was 11pm, everyone was happy to see me – as if I was someone special! They explained what the next few days would be like for me and off to bed I went.The next day I met the guide who would be with me for the rest of the trip. He spoke for almost an hour about the next 8 days and spoke about himself and his credentials. He had 12 years’ experience as a guide, a Masters degree in Egyptology and placed in the top 6 in the World Guide Awards. But Waleed was so much more than that – his great passion for his country, the people, the history, the mystery of so much yet uncovered and his love of teaching this to others was evident . We were in the best hands possible.
We were off to see our first sights- the Pyramids and the Sphinx! When my eyes first landed on these incredible structures I knew why Egypt was on my list all these years! Every temple was a piece of art and my mind could not comprehend the work that must have gone into every story told on every wall and every pillar.
The Valley of the Kings is the most magical place on earth. The tombs are in almost perfect condition with more to be uncovered. When I came to King Tut’s tomb, I found myself weeping, experiencing overwhelming emotions that I couldn’t explain.The Nile River cruise on a felucca boat was incredible with the Nubian crew that were extremely kind and hospitable. The scenery along the banks, farmers working their land and the Mosques seen from afar sounding their call are a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Egyptian people were extremely welcoming and happy to have us tourists in their country. Everyone I spoke to said “please come back again, don’t be scared”. They are very aware of our perception and feel the pain of the low tourism that they have experienced in the last few years.I didn’t want to leave Egypt…. I wasn’t ready. I could have stayed another month and explored more.
I left that beautiful country with more knowledge on their history than I ever thought I could absorb. I left vowing to myself that I will push this destination to anyone that will listen and to anyone that is even slightly thinking of going here. If you have any hesitation please come and speak with me! A guided tour is definitely the way to go and there are many of them out there. My tour group was a mix of all ages and they were extremely helpful and made it seamless.
It was perfect. I will be going back again someday.