Visiting Egypt was on my bucket list for several years before I finally had the chance to go this year. While most people were hunkered down for the pandemic, I was out making my dreams come true. This lack of tourism worldwide meant Egypt was rather quiet, perfect! I knew I needed a tour guide because the history is so deep and integral to understanding this ancient masterpiece. After lots of research on TripAdvisor, I decided to go with the company Let’s Explore Egypt which ranked very well among its competitors. I went for their Cairo Highlights: 3-Day Guided Tour with Dinner Cruise and Camel Ride which incorporated Giza, Saqqara, Cairo, and Alexandria. These three days were full of action and history lessons I feel would be hard to learn elsewhere!
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The tour began the hotel pickup with a private tour guide and private driver. My tour guide was Mohammed Mahmoud and was one of the most kind and caring guides that I’ve ever had in all of my tours around the world. From the first day he supplied me with sanitary wipes, hand sanitizer, masks, water, and even snacks!
The first stop was the Great Pyramids of Giza which were built 4,500 years ago. This was a place that you really need to visit to truly appreciate how impressive they are. The stones are each 2.5 to 3 tons, and took 100,000 workers 20 years to complete each pyramid. Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. We took our time moving around the pyramids, learning interesting facts along the way. I won’t give out too many spoilers! The tour also included a camel ride as well before we went to the next stop.
Up next was the nearby Great Sphinx of Giza which was also built about 4,500 years ago! With such a lack of tourists it was a great time to visit and get some lovely photos and videos.
The next stop was The Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara which was built 4,700 years ago, about 200 years older than the pyramids in Giza. While there, we got to go inside some burial chambers to see ancient hieroglyphics also. Truly fascinating!
After all this exploration and education we stopped for lunch. On the menu was a mixed meat grill. Lunch was tasty with good service. The only issue I ran into was the fact that Egyptian people can sometimes be very pushy when it comes to tipping. I was a bit turned off by the behavior of the waiter. Later my tour guide actually gifted me flowers because of this slight inconvenience and it made me feel better! He explained that he didn’t want me to worry about the people and just wanted me to focus on enjoying myself. How nice!
After this I was dropped back off at my hotel for a few hours to rest. Around 6:30pm I was then picked up again and taken to a riverboat restaurant on the Nile River. This was a buffet dinner and dance extravaganza.
Day two was all about exploring the massive city that is Cairo, Egypt. First I was picked up from my hotel and I was whisked away to the Egyptian Museum. This is where I got to see loads of items such as The Gold Mask of Tutankhamun, King Tutankhamun’s Casket, Statue of Khafre, and much more. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take many photos inside but I assure you it is 1,000% worth the visit!
After the Egyptian Museum we made our way to the Hanging Church which is a church that was built over the gatehouse of the Babylon Fortress, the Roman fortress in Coptic Cairo. We also visited the Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church and the place where the Holy Family (Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph) stayed while visiting Egypt. After all this historical magic, we proceeded onward, to the Mosque of Muhammad Ali.
It was finally time for lunch and it was something that I was extremely excited about, Koshary. Koshary is Egypt’s national dish and a widely popular street food. It’s an Egyptian dish that originated during the mid-19th century, the dish combines Italian, Indian, and Middle Eastern culinary elements. You can make it as spicy/sour/salty as you want. We enjoyed it at one of the best known restaurants for Koshary in Cairo and it was delicious!
To finish off the day was Khan el-Khalili which is a famous bazaar and souq in the historic center of Cairo.
Day three was a complete exploration of Alexandria, which is on the northern coast of Egypt, about 3 hours from Cairo by car. We started with the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa which were recently restored just a few years ago. Loads of water were pumped out to reveal an absolute masterpiece. The necropolis consists of a series of Alexandrian tombs, statues and archaeological objects of the Pharaonic funeral cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences. Basically, this was where they treated the ill and where they buried the dead deep underground.
The next stop was Serapeum and Pompey’s Pillar. I had no idea how far the Roman Empire stretched along North Africa, but from this tour I learned it went all the way across the northern edge. This whole area was incredibly impressive and incorporated tons of historical spots.
After this we visited Citadel of Qaitbay which is a 15th-century defensive fortress located on the Mediterranean sea coast. This beautifully maintained castle was worth the visit and very impressive as well.
We finished off the day with the lunch at a fish restaurant. The food and service turned out to be great and then it was back to Cairo.
Let’s Explore Egypt provided a great three day experience which I would highly recommend to everyone! The whole Egyptian experience was truly fascinating and a must visit in my book. My tour guide Mohammed Mahmoud and driver were lovely. My memories of this experience will live on with me forever. When it’s all said and done, I highly recommend Let’s Explore Egypt!