Whenever I thought about Egypt, pyramids came to mind instantly. I had never been there so, fully equipped with a 4×4 car hire in Cairo and a GPS, I set out for the adventure. You can imagine how bubbly my Indiana Jonesy spirit was – the one which had been bottled up inside ever since I saw this bloke (who just turned 69, by the way!) doing his archaelogy with such panache, that I even considered doing some myself.
Turns out archaelogy wasn’t as glamorous as a regular child in the 80s thought, but the travelling bug, exploring different culture and tradition while exploring the most thrilling monuments in the whole wide world, never really left me since.
Egypt was absolutely overwhelming. The sheer dimension of everything is enough to leave the most usually undeterred minds in awe. Taking into account I marvel at these things, the level of jaw-dropping was insanely high. Yes, one’s heard about the Pyramids and the Sphinx and it’s all fine and dandy until you finally stand before them and realise what incredible feats of mankind they are. And how small you are in comparison. An overall humbling experience.
I would recommend anyone travelling to Egypt to experience it all – visit the cities and venture into the “unknown”, especially if you can find a good guide. I only had 48 hours to spend there this time around, so I started by exploring Cairo and, as is usual, found myself drawn to the banks of the grand river that bathes the city – the Nile.
The Great Pyramids were an obvious choice, afterwards. Sayed Nagieb, my fantastic guide, replaced my GPS in the trip there. The hours we spent together driving around were completely off the tourist path and I even got the chance to ride a camel for a couple of hours, on an incredible discount.
Now, Sayed wouldn’t stop talking about another city – the “most beautiful place on Earth” in his eyes – so I definitely had to check that. I drove my car hire to Sharm El Sheikh and invited him to join me, but he was scheduled for the next day. Good guides are in high demand in Egypt.
I had heard about Mount Sinai, it was in the back of my head for some time. I hadn’t expected to have such a fantastic time there, though, and to find those beautiful mountains surrounded by fertile green valleys or even the delight that was to dive as deep as my lungs allowed into the tepid waters of the Ras Muhammad Natural Park… Enough to leave one wordless.
Those were 48 intense hours where I basically wanted no part in sleeping. I was too engaged in exploration and dreaming of yielding whips and using cool archaelogist hats – though I had none. The dip I had in the Natural Park? That alone was worthy of the entire quick trip. The reaction I had when I first saw the noseless Sphinx which (supposedly) the Napoleonic forces once shot at? Priceless.
Ever been to Egypt? What places do you recommend I drive my car hire in Egypt to next time I travel there, with a little more time to spend?