Egypt

Tourists love Egypt, its pyramids, Karnak and the Red Sea. It’s a shame to visit Egypt in a hurry, this country really deserves a great trip to explore it less superficially and immerse yourself in its culture

 

Egypt is a concentrate of culture, few countries have as much to offer as this desert land. This is undoubtedly the cause of this injustice, the whole world rushes there following the same circuits: Cairo-Louxor-Assouan-Red Sea. Yet Egypt is a land of predilection for adventure-loving travellers. You just have to leave the beaten track and the luxury tourist bus to fall madly in love with Egypt.

مرحباً ، اسمي كريستين ، أنا فرنسي ، أنا سعيد جدًا بلقائك! Hi Egypt!

Sabah el-kheir, aismi krisitin , ‘ana faransi , ‘ana saeid jdana bilqayik!

Marhabaan, welcome to Egypt!

 

From some countries we say there are beautiful things to see. In others there is not much to see but the people are great. The country of the pharaohs is not only exceptional for its monuments but also and especially for its natives. This country is little celebrated for the welcome and kindness of its inhabitants and this is a real injustice. But what are you blamed for, Ô my beloved Egypt?
I’ve searched a lot and found only one explanation that is not a fantasy: tourist harassment. Apart from that, dear travellers, there is everything to appreciate here.

In Egypt the salesmen are unbearable: yes it’s true

 

Yes dear Egypt, it must be acknowledged that the tourist areas here are world champions in commercial harassment. The rabble-rousers are everywhere and certainly recruited among the marathon runners: they follow the tourist for miles. Luxor, Aswan or Giza, it’s kif-kif (same-same), the salesmen are liars, entanglements and invaders. Only one of them is capable of ruining the visit as they are so sticky and disruptive. I’m sorry for that calamitous introduction, I swore to tell the whole truth.
But that’s almost the only thing that can be blamed on Cleopatra’s homeland. It affects precisely the pyramids and the valley of the Nile. Apart from these places frequented mainly by tourists, the harassment is not as great as one might think. 

Let’s now go hunting for preconceived ideas about Egypt, true or false, everyone will give his opinion according to his experience, here is mine.

In Egypt, apart from the monuments, there’s nothing to do: not even true!

 

It is necessary to give back to Ramses what belong to Ramses: the Egyptian monuments are, how to say, superlative

 

Egypt can be blamed for everything, but the beauty of its monuments leaves you speechless. From Giza to Saqqara, Karnak, Luxor, the innumerable tombs decorated with strikingly designed hieroglyphics, everything is far beyond what one can imagine. 
Impossible to make an inventory of the essentials, a library should barely suffice. You will find everything in a paper guide. 
Once you have gone to admire Nefertiti’s majesty, you just have to get back on the plane?  
Woe betide you, you will miss the best Egypt has to offer (apart from the stones): Egyptians, desert, oases, sand and salt villages.

No, no and no, Egypt has treasures of hospitality, benevolence and smiles to share with travellers

 
You only have to stay in Cairo for more than three days to realize that. You can get lost in the streets of Alexandria, browse in the bird market, buy your fresh fish and grill it on the spot while chatting with the roasters. Siwa is an enchanting oasis, Dahab a large village bathed not only in the fabulous Red Sea but also in a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere.

Egypt also has fabulous deserts
 

Sahara, Arabic or Libyan, the deserts are black, white, salty or golden brown. If you follow the safety instructions (see box), they are quite accessible and the experience promises to be beautiful. Sleeping in a bivouac, making a fire for traditional tea and kebabs, contemplating the stars, storming the dunes and ending the trip with a dip in the hot, sulphurous waters of an oasis are unforgettable moments.

Desert also means oasis

 

The most delicate of them all is called Siwa. There, the vernacular dwellings are made of sand and salt. The heart of the old city is in ruins and is called Shali. It looks like a hill eaten away by a few insects, but there’s nothing macabre about it. On the contrary. Walking in the golden brown alleys, climbing on the mountain of the dead (brrr) or the citadel, admiring the landscape, going back into exploration, in Siwa there are many things to do. 
Two lakes grow palm trees and everywhere springs of sulphur-laden water. All you need is a bicycle to ride to the “islands” to watch the sun set over the lake or get lost in the palm groves. The adventurer may eventually find the turquoise tiny-dead-sea, a salt lake, in which he will float to regain his strength.  

Egypt is dangerous: true or not? 

 

A little bit of real and a lot of fake

 

It’s like everywhere on this planet, if the visitor doesn’t do anything stupid he has every chance to make beautiful encounters. Egypt is fighting against dangerous terrorist factions but the tourist areas are closely watched. It is totally true that the foreigner will have to follow the instructions and cannot venture at will on all roads. This will not make Egypt the worst destination there is, it has many beautiful destinations to serve the traveller in search of a change of scenery.

Why is Egypt known to be a dangerous country?

 

Egypt is the scene of attacks by terrorist groups claiming to be Islamic State. These events are relayed in the news and the main countries warn their citizens by announcing the color: red! This is normal, it is their duty to take care, we cannot blame them for alerting travelers.
However, it should be known that terrorists are targeting Egyptians in particular. The objective is to divide the country by targeting its minorities: Copts and Shiites, respectively Christians and Muslims of Egypt.

The Egyptian state has put in place significant control in the deserts (Sinai, Sahara / Libyan desert), several roads are closed for security reasons. The traveler will quickly notice: the passenger and baggage checks between Cairo, Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab are numerous, the presence of the army constant. The safety of tourists is one of the government’s priorities.
In Cairo, Dahab, Siwa and many other cities, security is stable. The traveller has very little chance of being assaulted.

The Egyptians are very, very nice but they loud-mouthed and are often… expressive in the street

 

Indeed it can be a little scary. These exchanges rarely end in punches because the national sport here is to get in the way.
It usually does not last long but if it is the case and you are on the terrace, someone (a passer-by, the waiter …) is positioned near you to prepare for any eventuality.

In the subway of Cairo, I found myself on the men’s car at rush hour. A young man in a very bad mood expressed his anger in the wagon very loudly. The other men pushed me a little further and offered me a seat. He didn’t threaten anyone, but they wanted me to feel safe. I’m not sure you can see this kind of behavior in the Paris metro.
 

The trip to Egypt is mostly marked by the kindness of the Egyptians

 
I travel alone, I’m a woman. I walk the streets at dusk and sometimes I come back to my hostel very late. I’ve never been in trouble. At worst, a slightly heavy salesman, but nothing to justify the fear of the towns. Whether it’s Cairo or other cities, the locals don’t want their tourists to have bad experiences. It’s a commercial attitude, yes, but not only. Receiving a guest is an important tradition in Egyptian culture, they will always do their best.
 

!شكرا يا مصر ، وداعا ، أراك قريبا

Egypte, Best Of

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Next travel: let's enjoy Jordan!

The most expectful traveler will find it difficult to complain about in Jordan. The people are very nice and the country is beautiful. Off the beaten track, it is also wild and conducive to adventure.