Backpacking egypt (and israel/jordan)
Replies: 14 - Last Post: May 29, 2012 12:33 PM Last Post By: midwestmideast
May 24, 2012 9:01 AM
Backpacking egypt (and israel/jordan)Hello
I am a 19 year old Australian male in the middle of a gap year. I will be backpacking through europe between august and november with my best mate and am now considering extending the trip through egypt, israel and jordan in december. The plan is to fly from rome to alexandria and then travel by train (or bus but i've read the roads are treacherous) through cairo, luxor, aswan and hurghada (will hopefully do some of that via the nile). Then ferry across to sharm el sheikh, train to dahab and then travel across the border to israel (i'll head to the middle east forum for advice on that!)
Please be honest, am I being naive?! Is Egypt safe enough for 2 young aussies? I know it's hard to predict for december as they are in the middle of huge political shifts and elections but we're hoping to book soon otherwise we'll probably head in the direction of greece and turkey.
What's the best way to get between the places I've mentioned? And how much could we survive on per day (speaking very minimally!)?
Any advice at all would be appreciated
May 24, 2012 12:57 PM
May 25, 2012 2:09 AM
3Ditto. Cool trip... however at this moment, I don't think the ferry from Hurghada to Sharm is in operation. There is a very long bus ride though. No train.
May 25, 2012 3:29 AM
May 25, 2012 8:50 AM
5along the nile valley the train is the best way to travel. Buses are also comfortable option. NO trains to Sinai
May 26, 2012 1:08 PM
May 28, 2012 2:58 AM
7I was talking to an Egyptian friend of mine if he was going back to Egypt this summer? he said "it all depends on the Mubarak case outcome. If he gets an acquittal or ends having a light sentence than all bets are off and Egypt will be in uncharted waters." If this happens, he expects wide spread riots and protest much wider than any thing seen in Egypt and predicts that people will demand the step down of military counsel and nothing will calm them down. he expects wide spread clashes and he adviced me against any travel to Egypt until a clear picture is emerging
He has postpone his travels to Egypt until this phase of trail is concluded. I am under the impression that a verdict should be handed down soon.
This is how many Egyptians feel and fear about the outcome of the Mubarak trail.
May 28, 2012 3:33 AM
8Egypt is perfectly safe.
I have Egyptian friends and they all have different opinions as to what's to come.
May 28, 2012 11:52 AM
May 28, 2012 5:10 PM
10ahmd, 'very very ugly' for whom? And in what respect? Tourists and other foreigners here have no input to, or control over, any court rulings or political decisions, so why would they be targeted?
I'm sorry, but I just don't see it. Foreigners haven't yet been the particular subjects of politically motivated attacks, so why should they be now, or even in some 'very very ugly' future?
May 28, 2012 7:47 PM
11For every body, if there is total disorder and civil disobedient than it will surely affect every body. Tourist definitely won't be happy. Wide spread looting might occur and certainly happened during the start of the revolution.
The amount of anger that the ordinary Egyptian feel against Mubarak is very deep and should NOT be under-estimated. If the court hands down a verdict that is unfair to all the victims, this will seen to as business as usual by the system. It will be a another wake up call for the average poor Egyptian that NOTHING has changed and social injustice and favoritism is alive and kicking. The natural conclusion by every one would be that old regim is still around thanks to military council so this council will have to go. This will lead to a clash bigger than the on occurred when Mubarak was around the first time.
May 29, 2012 12:31 AM
12I think people have calmed down considerably, they just want things to go back to normal now that they got rid from Mubarak and his dictatorship, which is why many voted for his former minister. I think the time of the great protests and clashed has come to an end. Most people want stability, and are satisfied with a president that will be elected for real and that is likely to freeze relations with Israel as wished by most Egyptians, and to be less corrupt than the former regime.
May 29, 2012 2:57 AM
May 29, 2012 12:33 PM
14I'm an expat living in Cairo and despite what you see on the news; it is quite safe here if you use common sense. Alexandria to Cairo by train is a well-traveled and safe route. I know plenty of people who drive between Alex and Cairo without any problems.
I agree about skipping Hurghada. It's mostly big resort hotels; I visited not long ago and am not interested in returning. Maybe instead you might like to go on a desert camping trip and visit an oasis. This type of trip would be done with a group and is very reasonably priced. I know of several people who have traveled down to Luxor/Aswan recently without any issues. The worst they experienced was some delays due to workers on strike. If you stay around the well-traveled sites, you will be completely safe. Just avoid places that are way off the beaten path for the time being.
There is a bus that goes between Cairo and Sharm; or you can take a 1 hr flight. You can reach Dahab by bus. Some of the accommodations in Dahab can arrange transportation for you from Sharm. Plan to hang out in Dahab for a bit, it's a great place for backpackers.
As for budget, you can get falafal sandwiches for 1LE, which is less than 20 euro cents. Local beer is decent and cheap. Imported alcohol is more expensive and do not drink local hard liquor, as there have been cases of poisoning. Overall, respect local customs and use common sense; you'll have a great trip.
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