Are you ready for Jordan & Egypt? Note about clothing.

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  • edited March 3

    We went to the Valley of the Kings a few years on an overnight port call at Safaga. Cameras (and I thought photos) were not allowed in the tombs. However, since we were there and had the in-person experience, I had no reluctance to pull photos of the interiors off the internet and integrate them into my collection. (Honesty required that I use an X in the photo number and caption to indicate they were not my pictures...but they illustrate the story.)

    I will be bringing my DSLR and pay any fees necessary to take pictures...a very small cost compared to the tour cost to get me there!

    BTW, we'll be doing Egypt in greater depth on this Tauck tour in April 2021, so greatly appreciate reading of the experiences of early adopters.

  • I was on the 26-Feb tour to Jordan & Egypt (with poster Karen). First of all, you may want to reconsider taking binoculars. When my luggage did not arrive on the baggage belt, our Tauck arranged driver asked if it contained binoculars. After confirming, he took me to a "back room" in the airport where security had detained my bag. After lengthy delay, I was asked to open the bag and show the binoculars. After going through multiple levels of security people, one of them took them AND my passport! We were eventually escorted to the airport exit, where I had to undergo another series of questions from more security people. Fearing they would take my binoculars, the guy finally handed them (plus passport) back, said "welcome to Jordan", and also said binoculars are not allowed in the airport. Curiously, cameras with telephoto lens are OK. Go figure. Our driver was immensely helpful during the ordeal.
    You MUST get into the Dead Sea and TRY to swim. All your limbs want to stay on the surface! There is a considerable amount of walking on uneven surfaces on the entire trip; and maybe the pace should be elevated to a 4. Safety was never a concern for me on the entire trip. Once in Egypt, whenever we were outside the hotels, our group was accompanied by an armed guard, and the bus had a trailing police escort. Our tour director (if I said her name the tauck moderator would delete it) was fantastic. A lot of the historical sites were quite crowed, but there is a Tauck exclusive after-hours visit to the Kings Canyon tombs, no crowds. Going into King Tut's tomb was magical.
    Try to get one of those guidebooks with the transparent overlays that show before/after of the sites. It is very hard to visualize what these ruins looked like in their "prime". There is still a lot of stuff (including King Tut artifacts) to see in the "old" Cairo museum. The new museum is being constructed quite close to our last hotel (Marriott Mena). Lots of infrastructre work going in in Cario in preparation for new museum opening.

  • edited March 3

    BlountvilleTN
    9:04AM

    I was on the 26-Feb tour to Jordan & Egypt (with poster Karen). First of all, you may want to reconsider taking binoculars.

    I read a similar report (on TripAdvisor?). If I can't see something with my naked eye or through my camera lens, it is not worth seeing. I think we've only taken binoculars on K&T and Peru & Galapagos, and frankly they weren't worth the hassle and extra weight.

    You MUST get into the Dead Sea and TRY to swim.

    It looks like our air temps will only be in the mid-high 60's to low 70's in Jordan. What was the Dead Sea water temp? :#

    Try to get one of those guidebooks with the transparent overlays that show before/after of the sites.

    Can you give any specific guidebook recommendations? Thanks.

  • Portolan
    March 2 edited March 2

    I will be bringing my DSLR and pay any fees necessary to take pictures...a very small cost compared to the tour cost to get me there!

    My sentiments exactly!! :)

  • AlanS - In September the Dead Sea water temperature was not an issue for swimming, but of course the air temperature was in the 80s. The water seemed to leave a film on your body. Also the walk from the rooms down to the water is a bit of a walk. Regardless, if even for a short dip, I think you'd be disappointed if you didn't experience a swim in the Dead Sea. Like paying the camera fee after you've paid the tour cost. Going all that way and then not trying a swim in the Dead Sea, even if for a short time, seems to be out of character for you.

  • edited March 4

    Smiling Sam
    9:37AM

    AlanS - . . . . .Going all that way and then not trying a swim in the Dead Sea, even if for a short time, seems to be out of character for you.

    Well, now you've done it! :) That, and the old double dog dare ya! Actually, I was looking at air and water temps yesterday after reading your post. We still have a little over two weeks to go and the air temps are rising- 77° in the slightly cooler Amman, and water temps should be in the mid to high 70's as well. I can do that, at least for a short "float" :D (On the down-side it is showing 88° F in Aswan and 90° F in Luxor at 6:00 pm! This picking the right time to go stuff is tricky :) )

    How about this for NOT being out of character- as some of you know, I had knee replacement surgery in mid-November so have been working on healing, improving flex and improving strength in the months since, trying to get back to as close to normal as possible and in some sort of shape for extra exploration in Petra. On Monday I did a 4-mile walk (non-stop with a moderately fast pace) and today I did a 5-miler. So, I know I can do the distance. There are no hills to climb here so I have been throwing in a few stair sessions.

  • AlanS - Just to give you some Dead Sea inspiration.

    Look Mom, no hands.

  • As a tip, I'm glad that I wore water socks.

  • Did you do the mud bath? :D

  • I did not do the mud bath. Just the water made me feel a little slimy, without any mud. There were people doing the mud.

  • AlanS you'll be fine.... now, something to be Aware! … and I just read this.. ... it is NOT! recommended for those with high blood P. to stay in the water for too long, it has to do with the salt concentration. I have been at the dead sea before , it is really cool , water is oily and very thick.

  • Smiling Sam--Thanks for the tip about the water socks. Also be careful not to splash water in your eyes...that can be painful.

  • Alan - I was at the Dead Sea in November 2019. As a point of reference, the temps for most of the Israel/Jordan trip were 70-80F during the day. At the Dead Sea, due to elevation (or lack thereof) it was 90-95F. Felt like Vegas in May or October - hot and dry. I don't know the water temp, but it was comfortably warm. Nobody stuck their toe in and chickened out from it being cold.

  • edited March 4

    PureLuxury
    12:35PM

    Smiling Sam--Thanks for the tip about the water socks. Also be careful not to splash water in your eyes...that can be painful.

    How about picking your nose? :o:p

    It looks like things are starting to happen wrt COVID 19 and Tauck tour cancellations. Italy tours appear to be the first to take a hit. I'm not going to call, I'll just wait.

  • Covid 19 Coronavirus: Egypt's pyramids get deep clean during tourist lock out....

    At least the tourist sites in Egypt will be sparkling clean when we get the opportunity to visit....hoping they're using this time to continue working on the GEM to ensure its readiness

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=12321431

  • edited April 2

    Deep cleaning would be good for appearances as long as they don't damage frescoes, etc. but none of that is needed if no tourists go there. The air, sun, and heat will take take of disinfecting everything (in just a few weeks) long before we go. The biggest danger will be social transmission of the virus if it is not completely gone when (if) we go, especially if Egypt is not forthcoming reporting the true number of those infected, which is widely suspected.

    Just the other day I went searching for GEM updates but found little. The only thing I learned is that the large, heavy sculptures which will line the main/grand staircase from the atrium are mostly in place. Also, the Cairo Gun Club facility located between the end of the GEM and Giza plateau where it partially blocked the view of the pyramids from the GEM, has been emptied and demolition is about to begin. Other than that, we must remember there is or was a significant amount of foreign labor, construction management, technical and restoration work being done by foreigners who may or may not have gone back to their own countries.

    I'm thinking if we go at the end of January, the GEM may still not be open.

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