Jordan & Egypt Nov 2023

In spite of the ‘troubles’ and taking Tauck’s assurances to heart we decided to go. Arrival at Amman at midnight, met by a Tauck agent who got us through immigration including getting visa’s issued then customs, and out to our taxi, very well organized. Arrived at the Kapinski hotel on the shore of the Dead Sea about 1:30 am very tired. Discovered that our tour was now just 9 people. We’d gone out a day early, that was a very good idea, got to float in the Dead Sea, very peculiar. The Kapinski hotel was fabulous, fabulous location, fabulous views, fabulous breakfasts.

Having just 9 people made this whole trip very special, just like a personal private tour.

Our trip to Jerash, went smoothly, fascinating place, next day Petra, what a sight! Measures up to everything you ever heard, then more, truly spectacular. Loved the Wadi Rum trip having read Lawrence’s Seven Pillars, put that place into perspective. Flight out of Aqaba to Luxor, no security issues at all, then temple visits in Luxor and Karnak.

These two temple complexes are simply overwhelming, so beautiful, so old, even European’s stood in awe. The after hours visit to the Valley of the Kings wasn’t, it was a before hours. Up pre dawn, coach ride to the Valley, then in the predawn darkness we walked into a deserted Vally, the guards stopped us at a tomb, opened it, turned on the lights, and the 9 of us walked into King Tuts tomb. He’s still there by the way, in a glass sarcophagus. Again no security issues, no hint of any danger whatsoever.
The trip up river was delightful, the boat had 27 cabins, there were just the 9 of us and 4 other people on board. The service was magnificent.

Stopped to see the temples at Edfu and Kom Ombo, then the fabulous Old Cataract Hotel at Aswan. Next day we flew from Aswan to Abu Simbel. The two temples at Abu Simbel are truly astonishing, huge, almost beyond huge, elaborate, beautiful and very impressive. We also got to visit the very beautiful temple at Philae, extraordinary location on an island in Lake Nasser.

Flight from Abu Simbel to Cairo uneventful, again no security issues at any site or airport.
The hotel in Cairo was literally in the shadow of the Great Pyramid of Cheops. Visit to the Cairo Museum very memorable but very crowded, we also had a visit to the new Cairo Museum, it was not fully open but it is a fabulously impressive structure, very beautiful in its own way.

The visits to the Pyramids of Giza plateau and then on southward to Saqqara, seriously impressed. These buildings were as old to the Romans as the Romans are to us. Even those great builders must have stared in wonder at these magnificent structures. The Great Pyramid remained the tallest building in the world until the 1880’s when Eifel built his tower in Paris
Departure out of Cairo was uneventful.

So if you are contemplating this trip, I absolutely encourage you to go. We had no difficulties with security, felt no physical threat at all, none. We felt completely safe at all times. I just hope you are as lucky as we were to have such nice small friendly group with which to travel, they were wonderful companions. As I said in the beginning with such a small group, the whole trip felt very much like a private tour.

If you have any knowledge of the history of this part of the world, or just a smattering and want to know more, this trip will be unforgettable. I personally must have knocked off 6 separate items from my lifelong must see list, in just 2 weeks. There were times when I just stood in total wonder at what I seeing, the Pyramids, Petra, Luxor, Karnak, Philae, Edfu and Abu Simbel come immediately to mind, never mind walking in same sands as Lawrence in Wadi Rum, every single day there was something wonderful to see. A truly remarkable trip.
Thank you Ziggy


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