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Egypt

Curious what backpackers do in Egypt? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Luxor was our next stop on our Egyptian adventure. Although it took 10 hours by bus to reach the old capital from Cairo there were many things to see once we arrived since Luxor is claimed to hold 1/4 of the world's monuments.

    The Valley of the Kings was the main attraction which is the burial site of many of Egypt's kings. This site was chosen for its mountainous terrain which made it difficult for tomb raiders to access. The most famous pharaoh whose tomb was discovered in 1920 was King Tut. We ventured deep inside his underground tomb where he still lays mummified. It was a pretty amazing experience standing next to the body of King Tut and being in his tomb where they found him adorned with all his valuable possessions and lots of gold ornaments. Unfortunately pictures were not allowed!

    We also visited Hatchepsut Temple made for Egypt's first female pharaoh along with Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple. All of these places were equally impressive due to their massive size, carvings, and details that went into creating these temples that were made to honor the ruling King of Egypt at the time they were built since the Kings in Egypt were considered to be descendent of god.

    If it wasn't enough to see Luxor at eye level, we took a hot air balloon ride over this beautiful city to see it from up to!
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  • After an almost 24 hour journey, we made it to Egypt to take part in a 9 day tour of this ancient world! We knew we couldn't and probably shouldn't take on the task of navigating through this country like we had done in our past trip so a guided tour was the best option.

    We started in Cairo which is a very busy and dirty city but quickly found our way to the surrounding areas of Saqqara and Giza to see the great pyramids! At Saqqara we saw the first ever pyramid to be built as a burial site for one of Egypt's kings in 2,740 BC, almost 5,000 years ago!! Not only did we get to see this engineering marvel from outside but as well got a glimpse of the pyramids from the inside as well.

    If that wasn't enough our next stop was the most popular site of pyramids at Giza where the Egyptians perfected the pyramid shape taking 23 years to build using around 2.2 million bricks with weights ranging from 2 tons to 20 tons for the Great Pyramid alone! We got some magnificent views of one of the seven wonders in the world on our camel ride where we definitely popped out the selfie stick to capture the moment!

    Our last stop was to see the Spinx which was carved out of one rock and represented the depiction of the king in the eternal afterlife which impressed us as well.

    After the first day we knew we'd be in for a treat on this trip as we make stops across Egypt admiring and trying to wrap our minds around this ancient civilization that put thought, meaning and scale into everything they created!
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  • This was one of our more adventurous trips of the year - 2 nights on a traditional Egyptian sail boat. It was fairly primitive but a great experience!

    The boat had one flat and padded area for the 12 of us to sleep on "sardine style". The boat had 4 crew members, but no motor or bathroom. The cook had a small stove top, and somehow managed to make some of the best food of the entire Egypt trip on it.

    We really got to know the rest of our tour group much better after living together on the boat. There wasn't much to do other than relaxing and gaze into the sunny horizon, but the time passed quickly eating, drinking, swimming, playing games, and building a campfire on the shore where we docked for the night.

    Certainly a memorable experience on the Nile!
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  • We took an optional trip to Abu Simbel the site of King Ramesses II's temples. The bigger of the two temples was dedicated to himself and the second smaller temple was made for his wife Queen Nefertari, with 4 out of the 6 statues depicting himself instead of his wife. King Ramesses II ruled Egypt for 67 years and was probably the most influential, arrogant and self-centered ruler in Egyptian history.

    The site of Abu Simbel, close to the boarder of Sudan, was actually not the original site of the temples. The original temples which were carved into mountainous rock were threatened to be flooded due to a large dam being built and were physically moved to where they sit now in a valley which was excavated to relocate the temples in 1968. This was the most impressive part as its hard to imagine with the scale and massive size of the temples how they were originally built in the 13th century BC and then moved with most of its original architecture intact.
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  • At last we're back in Cairo after exploring the East and West Banks of the Nile River where we also rang in 2017! We saw a lot of amazing history dating back to one of the first civilizations on this planet and witnessed the magnificent temples, pyramids and tombs first hand. Unfortunately modern day Egypt didn't keep up with the progress made by the ancient people. Cairo now the capital of the country is actually pretty dirty and congested. There are many abandoned buildings, half built apartments that would have their ancient relatives rolling in their tombs, piles of trash on every street, and 9.1 million people struggling to make a decent living off of the hurting tourism industry.

    Looking past all that, while in Cairo we visited the Egyptian Museum which houses thousands and thousands of artifacts that gave us an even deeper looking into this civilization. We got to explore the mummy exhibit where we stood in front of many of Egypt's past Kings and Queens. Many still had their hair, teeth, and nails! It was a cool experience that left you feeling a bit chilly! In the museum we also visited the King Tut exhibit that holds many of the gold treasures found in his tomb. The most impressive was the solid gold face mask that covered the King which is the most iconic image of ancient Egypt. It is said that if tomb raiders hadn't robbed the tombs of many kings over the years, then Egypt would have been the wealthiest nation in the world today!

    Lastly, attached are a few pictures of various temples we visited along the way that we haven't posted about yet, at Edfu and Philae Temple. Overall, Egypt was a great experience and we're glad we could visit before there is even more uncertainty in this region of the world! We'd recommend it if you have an open mind about safety concerns and take a well known organized tour!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

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