Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Egypt '09

Earlier this year, Diane and I, at my insistence, were having the mandatory, "What would you like to accomplish this year?" conversation. She said some things and then I randomly blurted out, "I want to go to Egypt."
I probably said that because (a) I could not think of anything more clever at the time, (b) I had recently watched an Egypt show on National Geographic, and/or (c) I've had an urge to travel to Northern Africa/the Middle East for a long time.

So, shockingly, Diane took me seriously and we started looking into a trip. My preference is always to travel without a group, that way you can make your way across the country at your pace and dictate your own daily schedule. Diane and I did our due diligence and purchased some Egyptian travel books to read up on. We both really wanted to do a cruise on the Nile. Now, when you do that, you can opt for a very fancy cruise or a budget-friendly falucca ride. A falucca is pretty much a sail boat. Falucca riders stay on the boat during the day then dock at night and travelers sleep out on the banks of the Nile. Also, faluccas don't have indoor plumbing, so when you have to go, you either wait for the next docking station or you just ... well ... you just go over the side. Diane very humbly requested that we splurge a little and get something with a toilet. Not an unreasonable request.

After more research, and considering that this trip would take us to a part of the world with which I was culturally and linguistically unfamiliar, we thought it best that we take an organized tour. Plus, since we could only go for a relatively short period of time, we wanted to maximize what we saw while we were there. So, after some research, we ended up choosing this package.

The final payment just went in and now the trip is official. Later this fall, Diane and I are headed to Egypt. We fly from JFK to Cairo on a EgyptAir, which I understand uses a B777 on the trip. Personally, I was hoping for my first ever A340 flight. We will spend a few days in Cairo, obviously taking in the Great Pyramids, and then we head off for a mini-excursion to Abu Simbel, which means we get to take a domestic flight on Egypt Air - woot! After that, we embark at Aswan on our 4-day cruise aboard the M/S Carnival (toilets included) to Luxor. We then spend two days relaxing on the beach at Hurghada before flying back to Cairo. All of this in 10 days.So, look forward to some Egyptian pictures, and of course, a full detailing of the Egypt Air experience.

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