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On April 16. 2003  Jayne and I flew from Frankfurt to London and from there to Cairo. In Cairo we stayed at the Pension Roma. The Pension Roma is a simple, but nice and clean pension in the style of the 30th. From there we did several tours to Saqqara, Memphis and Giza, and also to some mosques and the Egypt Museum. Jayne had to do a presentation at the UN, that took a whole day, but it was interesting too. On April 21. we flew on to Luxor, the flight was cheaper than the sleeper train (same like in Germany). In Luxor we stayed at the Hotel Nefertiti, a really good, but cheap hotel. Aladin, the owner, also offers guided tours with a max. of 8 people, but without being pushy. Nevertheless, or therefore we booked two of his tours, but also did tours on our own to Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, Hatshepsut's Temple, Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Medinet Habu Temple, Eir el-Medina (the Worker's Village) and Luxor Museum. On April 25. we took our flight back to Cairo (we nearly missed the flight, because of the time change we didn't know of) and the next day again to London and then back to Frankfurt.

 

General information

 

Cairo Forecast

Luxor Forecast

 

 

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The best time in year to go to Egypt is the Winter, this means from end of September to early May. In summer one can save a little money, but even the Egyptians call summer-tourists crazy -- it is simply too hot!

We were within the first tourists to visit Egypt after Bush junior had his Gulf War too. Tourism in Egypt is down by about 75% because of September 11., world economy crisis and Gulf War II, good for tourists, bad for the Egyptians. Therefore RIGHT NOW is the time to visit Egypt! (of course I mean during the next Winter)

Guide book: Lonely Planet Egypt

Safety:
There are so many security checks that it becomes annoying! If one wants to go into a museum, official building or a big hotel, one has to go through a metal detector first and bags will be scanned and/or searched. In front of such buildings and others where many tourists go to there are heavily armed policemen, often behind bullet proof walls. They really do a lot to make you feel safe, but it doesn't work with me, because I get nervous with so many armed people (policemen) around.

Language:
The official language is Arab, but most Egyptians speak at least a minimum of English, even most signs are in Arab and English. Price tags are usually only in Arab and tourists get always told a higher price. For that and other reasons I think it is important to learn the Arab numbers, best already before you start your trip.

Important Arab terms:
Arab numbers
La, La  -- no, no
Hallass (but the "Ha" should be sound from the back of the throat, which isn't found in the English language)  --  enough, finished
Show-krawn (krawn rhymes with prawn)   --  thanks
La Show-krawn -- no thanks

Prices, Bargaining, Bakshish:
For cab rides it's recommendable first to ask at the hotel how much the ride should be, even if you probably won't get it for this price, but at least you've got a lead. Bargain first, then get into the cab! If the price is too much, then just leave, the driver will follow you with an better offer!

You have to pay Bakshish always, everywhere and for everything! For this you best keep all the 1 pound bills you can get.

 

Moschee At Muslim Cairo.   left: El-Rifai Mosque   center: Citadel   right SultanHasan Mosque

Sultan Hasan Moschee

Inside the Sultan Hasan Mosque, a huge open courtyard, with massive carpeted prayer areas on four sides.