Replies: 9 - Last Post: Oct 25, 2012 1:59 PM Last Post By: fear_rua
Oct 11, 2012 7:17 AM
first timerwanting to travel to Egypt from Perth in western Australia in early december for about 3 weeks.
First time travelling outside of Australia but want to go it alone. Not looking for luxury or a relaxing holiday but more like a mystical pilgrimage experience. want to see the pyramids and the sphinx but not stay around cairo the whole time. was thinking maybe travelling down to Luxor and Aswan or maybe going over into Israel to Jerusalem. whether i should fly into and out of Cairo or if I should fly in there and fly out from elsewhere or fly in elsewhere and leave from Cairo.
Am willing to go it rough as I said: not at all looking for luxury or relaxation but wanting an amazing experience.
I have absolutely no travel experience but unfazed nonetheless. "Civil unrest" doesn't bother me at all.
Just looking for some advice or anything i should be aware of or reccomendations.
Anything would be very much appreciated thank you.
Oct 11, 2012 7:52 AM
1Welcome, First, don't set yourself up for failure. A trip such as yours can be very fun and a great experience, but expecting a "mystical pilgrimage experience" may be overdoing it a bit.
In order to make the best use of your time you'll definitly do better flying into one city and out of another. It will make things easier for visa issues if you fly into Cairo and out of Jerusalem (TLV airport is actually between Jerusalem and TA). You can get your Egyptian visa on arrival at the airport and you do not need an Israeli visa, you're fine on just your passport. If you do it the other way you'll need to arrange your Egyptian visa in advance.
With three weeks you have time to travel by train from Cairo to Luxor to Aswan along the Nile and then head north again to Israel. You might even consider popping over to southern Jordan for a few day visit to Petra and / or Wadi Rum. You can then take the bus from Eilat in southern Israel directly to Jerusalem.
It's pretty easy and straight forward. Get a good guidebook to help you decide specific destinations that will interest you.
Oct 11, 2012 1:57 PM
2I'm all for the free flowing, limited planning trip, but I would say that it being your first time out of Australia it's going to be a mind blowing experience...even just the first trip from the airport into Cairo will be one of the most exciting moments of your life....to not get overwhelmed though, you will need some level of organisation.
Things like....have a hotel booked for your first few nights in Cairo...and have an idea of the places you want to see and how much time you're going to alocate to them so that it drives you a long to get what you want to done. Overnight trains to and from Cairo are a good way not to waste a day of getting amongst it, same with heading to Israel...
I'd recommend taking a feluca ride (Nile sail boat) out of Aswan if you can find a couple of people....2 nights sailing down the Nile, drinking shitty beer and whiskey and smoking joints is my idea of mystical!
I wouldn't say "civil unrest" really bothers me.....but don't be flippant about safety. Awareness and good sense is not being scared or stupid.
Cairo is worth some exploring....I love that city....20 million people give or take, is about what we've got in all of Australia...so it's surely not possible to get bored! The best part of 2 weeks to see what you want in Egypt and then a week to take in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv would be quite an adventure.
Oct 11, 2012 7:02 PM
Oct 11, 2012 7:18 PM
4Yes it is, but of course it means you won't be able linger at every spot for days at a time.
While not trying to put to fine a point on it, you could spend four days in Cairo, and three each in Luxor and Aswan (with one of those devoted to Abu Simbel). The trip by bus from Cairo to Jerusalem takes less than a day so if you spent ten days in Egypt you'd still have almost two weeks left; plenty of time to get to and experience Jerusalem.
I'm not sure exactly what your interests in Israel are, but based on your OP I'm not sure you'll find much of interest in TA. Jerusalem is much more fascinating.
Oct 12, 2012 11:19 AM
Oct 12, 2012 11:30 AM
6Also. Some websites that may help.....
Seat 61 for bus timetables
A good guidebook
Also always make sure you know and have agreed on a price before you buy anything ... Taxis, when visiting markets etc,
The most dangerous thing you Will have to do is cross the roads!!!
Don't think that because the little green man is their it's safe, cos it's not!
Egypt was the first country that I ever backpacked in, we stayed for 7 wks in 2010 ....and I caught the tavel bug ... We can't stop!
This year we went to Ethiopia! Backpacking is truly the best way to see a country. You just need a little patience
All the best
Oct 16, 2012 10:53 PM
Oct 23, 2012 12:04 PM
8Use ATM.s to keep you flush. Hoard your one pound Egyptian notes as nobody will have change.
The one thing you really need is a new edition travel guide book of some kind because there are no information offices all over the place like in some countries.....and local info is often different depending on who you talk to.
Oct 25, 2012 1:59 PM
9Some excellent advice there in post no. 2. And you don't have to drink or get high to find sailing down the Nile and sleeping by the banks of the river a memorable experience!
If you're interested in spiritual experiences, Cairo is full of mosques where Islam has been practised for centuries, and there are desert monasteries where Coptic monks have devoted their lives to prayer since even earlier. Egypt is full of sites traditionally linked to the Holy Family. Obviously there is a lot more of this in Palestine, but plenty in Egypt too.
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