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Mummy Tummy Cures and Other Travel Tips for Egypt

overcast 18 °C

1) Use the metro in Cairo. It’s cheap, fast and gave us a perspective on Egyptian life that we didn’t experience anywhere else. (Like kindness, respect and generosity . . .)

2) If your itinerary allows, visit the Cairo Museum AFTER visiting Aswan and Luxor. It’s an inaccessible museum that – as presented - lacks context, and having been to the sites we were better able to appreciate content relevant to the places we had visited.

3) Don’t be concerned, as we were, that the travelling Tutankhamen Exhibition (currently at London’s O2) has borrowed too many of the key artifacts to leave the Cairo Museum lacking. We were able to see far more than we expected, including the gold (Funerary) face mask (etc)…

4) Be prepared for the expense of visiting the sites you will want to see: we spent somewhere around US$120 each on entry tickets, and that didn’t include more expensive options including Tutankhamen’s tomb in Valley of the Kings and the Royal Mummies’ exhibition at the Cairo Museum.

5) Be sure to take a balloon ride over Valley of the Kings (Luxor). The price has come down dramatically in the last twelve years. The going rate seemed to be around US$80 per person for a balloon that will hold sixteen or so passengers, but we were offered the same flight for US$50 so be prepared to haggle.

6) Don’t use Viator.com! Note that I pre-booked online and grossly overpaid at Viator.com which seems to think that 200% profit margins are reasonable. Don’t be fooled by their money-back guarantee (claims to guarantee a refund if you find the same service offered at a lower price locally), enforcement of which has turned into one of the most frustrating elements of the entire trip.

7) More on balloons. We couldn’t decide whether to go for a sunset balloon ride, or a shortly-after-sunrise balloon ride. In the end, and for no other reason than we thought we like to sleep late and get up at 5am rather than 4am (!), we went for the latter. There were a gazillion balloons out for the sunrise which meant that we were greeted with a beautiful sky filled with hot air balloons which – for me – was a wonderful sight to experience. I’m sure it was pretty awesome from the air too. Perhaps a benefit of the later ride was that – when we finally took off at about 7am – we were one of only three or four balloons.

8) Don’t miss Philae Light and Sound. It’s expensive at E£75 per person (about US$15), but it was awesome. To be fair, I haven’t been to the Karnak version which is also supposed to be quite good, but the opportunity to walk through Philae at night was unexpected and simply brilliant.

9) To get to Philae, you need to take a boat for a four minute ride. You should expect to pay about E£35 per couple, but we grouped up with three other groups to negotiate with a boat caption and ended up paying E£15 for the two of us!

10) Unless you follow my strategy and stop eating for the duration of your visit, the odds of a little Cairo Quickstep are not in your favour. Get ahead of the curve and buy ‘Antinol’ from any pharmacy as soon as you arrive. It’s an antiseptic solution (also available in tablets) that can be your fast track ticket to recovery. It worked for Lloyd!

Posted by jacquiedro 10:57 Archived in Egypt Tagged tips_and_tricks

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