• Egypt

    Hatshepsut Temple and The Valley of the Kings

    After finishing the hot air balloon ride (which finished right around 6:30am), Muhamed and I decided that we’d rather have Hassan continue with the tour so we could beat the heat rather than go back to the boat for breakfast. It was an early start and an early day, but I’m so glad we made that choice. It really gets absurdly hot here! We started the day of sightseeing at the Colossus of Memnon – these are two statues that had fallen but are put back together. They’re also doing some work at the site because they found more remnants of what they think are more Colossi. Everyone in Luxor…

  • 30 Before 30,  Egypt

    Luxor Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

    One thing I’ve wanted to do for a long time is ride in a hot air balloon – it seems so cool and so peaceful! When Hassan mentioned that you could do an excursion the next morning to take a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings, I signed up immediately! It was only $100US per person, so I thought it was quite the deal! (That’s the standard price, too!) The wake up call was crazy early. We had to be down, ready to go, at 4:15. About 12 people from the boat went, and considering that the boat was sailing with minimal guests, it turned…

  • Egypt

    Luxor Isn’t Just in Vegas

    After a bumpy night on the train, I finally arrived in Luxor! In keeping with things not being well-marked, or well-announced, I’m glad I’d seen a timetable online that aid we should arrive in Luxor around 6:30am. Because I was up, packed, and ready to go at that point, watching the stations go by. I kept my eye out for Luxor, and it’s lucky I did – there was no announcement we were at Luxor, and there was certainly no one on the train who would have come to get me. I saw the name “Luxor” as we passed into the station, grabbed my bags, and hopped off the train.…

  • Egypt

    My Cairo Home Run

    I never expected leaving Cairo to feel quite so much like hitting a home run. And I mean that quite literally. Get your mind out of the gutter. After a full day of seeing the Pyramids and hanging out in Zamalek, it was time to head out for Luxor. I got my backpack and my small backpack, and walked from my hostel to the train station. It’s a bit over 100 degrees in Cairo (or at least it was Wednesday when I was walking), and I was carrying my 15 kg main backpack with my 7kg front backpack (the whole “only 15kg total” thing didn’t work out so perfectly). The…

  • 30 Before 30,  Egypt

    Wonder #7: The Pyramids

    I cannot believe I have officially seen seven wonders of the world! (Though I’m in search of 8. 🙂 ) For a long time, I always kind of thought if I was going to miss seeing a wonder, it would have been the Pyramids (due to political situation, not lack of my desire to go). But alas, I made it! The Pyramids, even after all the other wonders, are an adventure unlike any other. The touts at the Pyramids are legend (in fact, alternate title for this post was “too many touts to count”), and legend in a bad way. They’ve been known to make seasoned travelers get scammed and…

  • Egypt,  General Travel

    Cairo Chaos and Egyptian Museum

    Another reason I stopped in Sharm el Sheikh was to rest up and have a (hopefully) better impression of Egypt before I got to Cairo. The stories you hear about Cairo are quite endless, and few of them are good. I decided to take the bus from Sharm to Cairo – to be honest, it felt easier than flying. So I bought my ticket online; in Egypt, there’s a service called Go Bus that has pretty nice busses and a pretty good website to find timetables, prices, and bus classes. I always worry in Egypt that things aren’t going to run on time or I’m going to get delayed on…

  • Egypt

    A Vacation from My Vacation

    In the world of first world problems, I decided I needed a vacation from my vacation. Between Cambodia, Myanmar, India, and Jordan, I’ve been sightseeing nonstop for a few weeks. With getting a crappy cold in India that seemed to be going nowhere good fast, I decided to have a bit of a change of plans. I decided that after Jordan, I’d book myself into an all-inclusive in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt for a few days to recoup before going to the madness that everyone says Cairo is. It also worked out that if I took the ferry from Jordan, I could hit Sharm on the way to Cairo, avoid taking…

  • 30 Before 30,  Egypt,  Jordan

    Egypt: Getting There is Half the Fun

    Getting around Jordan and into Egypt is no small feat. Most places suggest to go around Jordan and end up back in Amman, then fly to Egypt if you want to see it as well. But there is another way – there is a ferry from Aqaba to Nuweiba, which are both ports on the Red Sea. It can be an easier and cheaper way to get from Jordan to Egypt, especially if you want to do anything in the Sinai. For me, I knew I wanted to be in the Sinai for at least a bit, so I decided to go ahead and take the ferry. Alas… as I’m…