Cruise on the Nile + Cairo + Alexandria + Hurghada

01 November 2009 Travel time: with 13 September 2008 on 27 September 2008
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Cruise on the Nile + Cairo + Alexandria + rest in Hurghada.

I'll start the story with the fact that I really liked everything connected with Egypt, but not very much with Russia.

We bought tickets at home, in Krasnoyarsk, at a local agency. I found the tour myself, the agency only filled out an application and fooled around with our air flight to Moscow. As a tour operator, we chose the company "Roman Holiday", the standard tour is "Cruise on the Nile + Cairo + Alexandria + rest in Hurghada". For a holiday in Hurghada was chosen by my favorite hotel Arabia Azur. "Roman holidays" send tourists by the airline "Atlant Soyuz". Immediately upon purchase of the tour, an additional payment of $ 50 was provided for a bed on the train. In total, a tour from Moscow for two people cost 77.0 thousand rubles.

Nervous due to problems with KrasAir, we changed tickets for S7 and flew to Moscow on the morning of September 12th. The capital met with heavy rain, which did not end until the night.

I had to go straight from the airport to the hotel and sit there all day. We spent the night at the Vostok Hotel in Vladykino, which our agency booked for us. Information for non-Muscovites - a very nice hotel, and most importantly not expensive, 2800 rubles. Double Room. True, far from the metro, although in the pouring rain everything seems far away.

On the 13th, having skated the compulsory program (Manege, Alexander Park, Red Square), we moved to Vnukovo. After the transfer of all flights of airlines belonging to the Air Union alliance to Vnukovo, it became crowded. A lot of people, without getting chairs in the waiting room, sat right on the floor. Another small minus, "Roman Holiday" does not have its own counter, so I made 4 circles around the airport until I noticed their sign by the post under the stairs. In the documents, we received 2 vouchers: the first with the host Abanoub Travel for a cruise, the second with the host Egypt Mir Tour for settling in Hurghada.

Departure from Moscow was scheduled for 19:30 and at 17:00 we went to check-in. Regarding all other procedures, registration was quite fast. At passport control, we were stuck for 40 minutes, although almost all the counters were working. A quick inspection of duty free with the purchase of perfume and alcohol and the next queue for 40 minutes for a personal inspection. Only 2 corridors were working and passengers who were late for their flight to Antalya ran endlessly. It was clear from their staggering gait that Dutik had exceeded his sales targets for the day. Literally breaking through the personal search, we went straight to the landing.

An old, rattling IL-86, gloomy seat covers, dirty windows and seats in the last cabin - this is the result of two-hour queues at the airport. The crew of flight attendants, apparently, without days off worked the second week. I have never seen such gray and unfriendly faces.

Moreover, it looked contrasting in comparison with the S7, where there was a small clean A319 with smiling young girls.

We took off at about 20:10. The flight went well and at half past eleven we arrived in Hurghada. Then everything happened in Egyptian chaotically and uncontrollably. However, an hour after landing, we were already being taken to the hotel. Only three tourists flew to our host Abanoub Travel on this airliner: the two of us with a girlfriend and a young man.

The first night in Hurghada we had at the hotel according to the Fortune system. The Royal Resort was lucky that night. At one o'clock in the morning we arrived at the hotel and were immediately settled in building 27 in a room on the second floor. It was almost impossible to see the hotel in the middle of the night, but there is nothing good to say about the room. Peeling walls, ants, narrow beds, a stupid corridor and a broken lock on the balcony door. We were only 4.5 hours at the hotel, so, after a quick shower, we fell asleep.

September 14th.

We were picked up from the hotel at 5:30 am. A green minibus Abanoub Travel and guide Amir drove by. No one came out of the hotel “to see us off”, so we had to carry the suitcases ourselves (another minus for the hotel). Three tourists in warm clothes were already sitting on the bus. Their flight was delayed for 4 hours and they immediately went from the airport to collect the rest of the group. They did not manage to change their clothes until the evening.

After the end of the collection, we turned out to be 8 tourists, the guide Amir and his fiancee Yulia. Total 10 people. The suitcases were loaded and tied on the roof of the minibus, the travelers were seated and the adventure began. Amir introduced us to the bus drivers, replacing the word "driver" with the word "Schumacher". Standard convoy in Safaga, two bus drivers changing after stopping for breakfast, racing on the road, desert, mountains and desert again.

At 11 am we arrived at the Karnak Temple in Luxor.

At least half of the bus column turned with us to Karnak, so there were a lot of people. Here I appreciated all the advantages of a small group - we fit in a limited space, the guide is always there and you can hear him, and it takes very little time to take pictures.

Now a few diferambs to the guide Amir. Great guide. He took us through all the temples from beginning to end. He speaks Russian very well, although he has not yet learned to speak the letter “p”. Attentive, caring, knowledgeable.

We left Karnak at one in the afternoon and went to a restaurant for lunch. Lunch cost £.40 and the food was quite acceptable. From the restaurant we went to the Nile and on a boat crossed to the other side. There we were picked up by our bus and taken to the Colossi of Memnon. Then there was the "stone factory". While we were getting off the bus, the people who were lying on the ground in the shade jumped up and began to imitate the vigorous activity of stone processing.

Directly a concert at the request of viewers! Then there was the temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the Valley of the Kings. It was +55 outside and only 2 people went to the Valley of the Kings with a guide. The rest waited in the air-conditioned pavilion.

At 5 pm the excursion program of the first day was over, and we went to check in on the ship. First we approached a ship with a long and difficult to pronounce name. We were invited on board and asked to go up to the upper deck. Passing through the ship, it turned out that the air conditioners were not working. On the upper deck, everyone was treated to some kind of yuppies. After about half an hour of waiting, Amir came, informed about the air conditioners and offered to go to a neighboring ship. Our group gladly agreed and the procedure was repeated on the other ship. First, everyone went up to the upper deck and treated themselves to cold hibiscus, and then Amir brought the keys to the rooms. Our group was allocated 3 singles and 3 doubles.

We “pulled out” the keys to the rooms at random. My girlfriend and I got a room on the second deck in the middle of the ship, the first from the reception. At first we were a little upset, since there was only one in the room, but the king size bed, and from 3-4 decks the view from the window is better. But having visited the rooms of other members of our group, who without exception (even in singles) got rooms with two beds, they calmed down. The rest of the rooms were at the beginning or at the end of the ship, respectively, day and night, the engines of our ship and all neighboring ships rattled, making it difficult to sleep.

Now a little about cruise ships. There are two types of cruise ships on the Nile. The former have the opportunity to moor to each other and stand at the pier for 5-6 ships "sandwich". The second ones have telescopic ladders and can stand at the pier only alone. Our ship "Aton" belonged to the second category of ships.

The entrance to the ship was carried out immediately on the second deck, in the middle of which the reception is located, and on both sides of the reception there are cabins. Cabins are also located on the first deck. On the third deck there are a couple of shops, a restaurant and cabins, on the fourth deck there is a bar and cabins. On the uppermost fifth open deck there is a bar, tables with chairs, a pool and sun loungers. On our ship, the pool was about 8 x 4.5 m. At the shallowest point, the depth was about 1.2 m, in the deep 1.5 m. Around the pool and sunbeds, the deck was covered with artificial grass. And the first ship we visited had a larger pool, but ; this pool was ankle deep.

In the cabin at the entrance there is a large wardrobe, there is a compartment with shelves. A floor-to-ceiling mirror near the entrance, the same mirror near the toilet room and the entire wall at the head of the bed.

The room has a large bed with two bedside tables and 2 sconces, a coffee table, a sofa, an armchair and a bedside table with a floor lamp, 1 spotlight in the bar and 1 above the mirror near the toilet room. There is no overhead light in the room, but there are 2 large windows with thick curtains. A TV, a refrigerator and a digital safe are hidden in the closet. The bathroom is very crowded, but there is everything you need - a sink, toilet, shower, hair dryer. With a strong desire, you can even wash it in the sink. Toiletries and towels are also provided.

At 20.00 we went to dinner. In the restaurant, tables are set for 4 and 8 people. Our group occupied one 8-seat table and until the end of the cruise we ate only at it. Meals on the ship were based on the "full board" system. Drinks were only for breakfast and at 16.00 on the upper deck tea and coffee.

After dinner we gathered at the bar to meet our guide.

Amir told about the plans for the next day, the schedule of breakfast, lunch and dinner, and suggested additional excursions. The ship was leaving Luxor the next day at 7 pm, so the day had to be occupied with something. Our group turned out to be extremely friendly and everyone booked a sightseeing tour on carriages around Luxor ($15) and a trip to banana island ($40). Here, Amir announced a general tip collection for the crew of the ship in the amount of $15 per person. Having resolved the organizational issues, everyone dispersed to sleep.

September 15th. Breakfast at 7.00. Tour of Luxor starts at 8.00. When you leave the ship on land, you are given a card that you need to turn in when you return. Thus, apparently, they separate “us” from “them”. Getting off the ship and going up from the embankment to the road, we were seated in carriages. 3 carriages were chartered for 10 people. I perched on the box next to the driver of the mare. Subsequently, I greatly regretted my choice, because.

this nag was recently fed and she digested all the food.

At first, the horses took us along the various streets of the city. What struck me the most was the traffic lights. First, they are! Secondly, there are a great many of them all over the south of Egypt. Only in Luxor I saw about a dozen traffic lights. All traffic lights are just a feast for the eyes. Both drivers and pedestrians count down the time of the color that the traffic light is on. On the streets of the city, it is very funny to watch how donkeys loaded with carrots or sugar cane stand at a traffic light and wait for the green light. Donkeys, horses, motor scooters, cars, tourist buses move mixedly along the streets of Luxor and somehow manage not to interfere with each other, but this is one of the many mysteries of Egypt.

The crowning sightseeing tour was a drive through the market. That's where exotic! The width of the market street is very small, the goods are laid out on stools, boxes, plywood, just on the pavement.

Nearby are fish, mangoes, rubber boots and spare parts from cattle, live chickens sit in cages and seasonings are sold in bulk. And here we are on carriages! Local residents - buyers had to jump on the "counters" to make room for the carriages. Various clothes hang above the head, and sitting on the irradiation, you have to tilt your head so as not to demolish the displayed goods. The "flavors of the East" on the market are especially exotic, in some places you even had to plug your nose. Local residents are dressed untidy, all women are in black clothes, a lot of women with "curtains" on their faces. Still, in the south of Egypt, poverty is visible much more than in the north.

The sightseeing tour took a little over an hour. The next excursion to the banana island began at 10.00. Having descended from the ship at the appointed hour, we boarded a boat with a motor.

The journey to the banana island took about 40 minutes, the boat crawled very slowly against the current. There was enough time to look at the ibis standing in the water off the coast. On the island, we walked through the thickets of bananas, sugar cane, watched how mangoes, oranges, and some vegetables grow. After the walk, we were treated to small bananas and sugar cane to chew on. The way back along the river took about 15 minutes.

There was lunch at 13:00. At 16.00 tea and coffee with cupcakes on the upper deck. At 19.00 dinner, during which the ship set sail and moved up the river. At 8 pm in the bar again there was an organizational meeting with the guide. Plans for tomorrow were announced. The next evening, a galabey show was planned on the ship, and Amir asked all members of our group to take part in this show. To do this, it was necessary to buy galabeys, and the chance to make a successful purchase presented itself a little later.

There was a performance at the bar at 9 pm.

To live music, a lady danced a belly dance. The lady was dressed poorly, the movements were uninteresting, and in general her face was a toad. The audience left right during the performance, but in vain. After the lady, a man with skirts performed. I did not notice the face, as I was fascinated by the skirts.

After the performance, we went up to the upper deck to sit under the stars and just got into the very epicenter of trade. The ship approached the lock in Esna and the local merchants "thrown" us with galabeys. Before going on a cruise, I read, it seems, all the reviews on the Internet and really wanted to look at the trade near the Esna locks. It's actually amazing how the sellers throw their rags on the upper deck of the ship and catch them back, and even in the dark. But the funny thing is that oars have not yet been invented in Egypt, boatmen row with boards with small handles carved. My girlfriend and I got hold of galabeys and went to sleep with peace of mind, and the ship went to Edfu.

16 of September. Breakfast at 8.00. Excursion to the Temple of Horus at 9.00. We rode carriages to the temple and back. Upon returning from the tour, everyone went to sunbathe on the upper deck. The number of sun loungers on the ship is sufficient to satisfy the needs of those thirsty for the sun, but beach towels are limited. Before lunch (at 13.30) we lay on the ship's towels, and when we returned after dinner, we did not find our sunbeds with towels. Everything was moved and people were lying everywhere, perhaps even on our towels. Our personal belongings, left on the sunbeds, were transferred to the table. I had to take other sunbeds and carry my own towels.

At 15.50 disciplined Germans got up from their resting places and lined up in a neat queue to the bar, where tables were set for tea. We, lazy Russians, only managed to make it to the hat-check, and all we got was coffee. After coffee, the upper deck was empty, because.

the ship moored in Kom Ombo and everyone ran away to change clothes for the excursion. At 17.00 we left the ship, which stopped 300 meters from the temple. The temple in the red rays of the setting sun looked just great, I liked it more than anyone I had seen before.

At 7:30 pm we were served dinner. During dinner, Amir came up and once again reminded me about the galabey show. At 20.30 our group gathered at the bar. There were 4 people in the galabeys: me and my girlfriend and Amir and Yulia. Amir told the program for the next day and the three oldest members of our group retired to their rooms, and we began to drink the whiskey and tequila we had brought with us. The other tourists on the ship, passing by the bar, peered through the open doors, giggled, and left. The clock struck 9 pm, but no further action took place. We asked the guide: “Where is the show? ". Amir replied: “So this is it! ". That is, the Galabea show - that's what we were, and for ourselves.

We returned to the ship at two o'clock in the morning, and there were a great many people on the streets of the city, children were running and playing. It was even uncomfortable to go to bed at such a childish time.

September 17th. Breakfast at 8.00. At 9.00 check-out from the rooms. Amir said that our luggage would be in the storage room on the ship until we left for Cairo. In fact, our suitcases stood all day at the reception. At 9.30 we went on a motorboat excursion to the botanical garden and the Nubian village. We spent about an hour in the botanical garden. There are very beautiful and unusual trees, palm trees, shrubs, flowers. Then they went to swim in the Nile. For me personally, it is not clear why you can’t swim in the Nile because of dirty water, but in one place you can, because there is a sandy bottom. Where is the connection? Don't know. That's why I didn't go into the water. After swimming, we went to the Nubian village. Only crocodiles were interesting there.

We were back on the ship in just 15 minutes.

The bus pulled up and we went to the Aswan Dam. But first, Amir suggested visiting the new Coptic temple. The temple was built recently. Very beautiful. Two floors to accommodate parishioners, benches, as in Catholic churches, icons, as in our churches.

On the way to the dam, of course, we visited the monument of Soviet-Egyptian friendship. And on the way back we stopped at the “oil factory” and the “papyrus factory”.

By 14.00 we returned to the ship and went to lunch. After lunch there was free time until the evening, until the moment of departure to the station. For tourists who purchased train tickets in a seated car, the transfer guide arrived at 16:00. There were two such tourists. And the other six, including us, waited on the ship for 18 hours to leave for the train with sleeping cars. We no longer had rooms, but we could use the "beach" on the upper deck and the bar. Personally, in search of batteries for the camera, I went for a walk around Aswan.

Not far from the waterfront is a shopping street with a bunch of shops. And sellers are already accustomed to tourists.

At 6 pm the bus came to take us to the station. Porters took care of the luggage, only we brought the suitcases into the train car ourselves. For this, they collected another 5 pounds from us. Amir put us on the train and said goodbye. Then other guides worked with us.

From the Egyptian train remained the most pleasant memories. Coupe double. When you enter the compartment, on one side there is a sofa along the wall, on the other side there is a washbasin with towels and soap, a “locker” with hangers behind the curtain and!! ! a door!! ! to the next compartment. The neighboring compartment is the same, only everything is mirrored. Each compartment has 2 buttons to call the waiter and conductor. Air conditioners, unfortunately, without individual control and it was quite cool. They smoke in the car in the corridor. Lockable ashtrays hang on the wall near each compartment.

We were met by our guide Valentin. Again, for 5 pounds, the porters took our suitcases to the bus and we were immediately taken to the MIDDLE EAST HOTEL. The two tourists on the sit-down train were already checked into the hotel. The hotel gave us 5 minutes to find our rooms and wait for our luggage. Everyone was immediately gathered downstairs, and we went to the Cairo National Museum. The tour was led by an elderly Muslim woman Natalia. She also led a tour of the pyramids and the Sphinx. Great guide with excellent command of Russian. After the sphinx at 3 pm we went to have lunch at some restaurant for 50 pounds. We returned to the hotel at 4 o'clock. Valentin offered us a sightseeing tour of Cairo for $15 and, as usual, the whole group agreed. The meeting was scheduled for 7 pm.

Since the food in the Cairo hotel was BB, it was necessary to stock up on water. At 5 o'clock the four of us went for a walk in search of a store. Due to the fact that it was Ramadan, our walk was a little delayed.

Impressed. We went to some pantheon. We did not go inside, but looked from the street behind the fence. Around the beautifully illuminated pantheon are various military aircraft. Then they were at the monument at the site of the death of one of the presidents. This monument is made in the form of a pyramid. At the end of the tour, we went to the park. The park is located on a hill, all paths are lined with granite tiles, along the paths there are large cylindrical lanterns with soft matte light. Palm trees in the park from below are illuminated with green light, very beautiful. A huge number of benches, there is an observation deck from which you can see the whole of Cairo. The night city stretches with lights to the horizon.

Around 10 pm we were returned to the hotel. During a previous walk around the hotel, we did not see a decent place to eat, so we decided to have dinner at the hotel restaurant.

The only oddity of the soup was that the diced chicken was fried. Maybe someone didn't eat.

The men wanted meat and ordered chops. The chops were served with rice, and only rice was edible. The meat was from a running cow, and even with blood. At the very least, this kind of food is unusual for us.

Our company also ordered a salad with the word Fich in its name. We decided that it was fish, but the salad was boiled rice with raw vegetables and watered with vinegar. It's not tasty. But fresh juices pleased. They took strawberries and guava.

The order was carried to us for about 40 minutes, but at the moments of waiting we were entertained by the musicians. When we arrived at the restaurant, two musicians were playing, one was tormenting the keys, and the other was sawing the violin. Half an hour later, a man with a pipe joined them. Music did not add appetite. The check was carried for 15 minutes.

After dinner, it was necessary to restore mental health, and in our room we started freeing bottles from duty free.

September 19th. Four people from our glorious team were leaving for Hurghada. As it turned out later, they were put on a big bus to the Poles. Accompanied them to Hurghada Tony. The remaining four people, including my friend and I, went to Alexandria. At 7 am, Valentin came to pick us up in a minibus, then in the city we picked up another girl who introduced herself as Irina. She also practiced in Russian and did not let her get bored all the way. It took 2 hours to get to Alex with one technical stop. In Alexandria, another guide, Michel, sat down with us and led the tour. Surprisingly, it was raining in Alexandria in the morning. In my opinion, even the locals could not believe their own eyes.

First, we walked for about an hour in the Montaza park, took pictures against the backdrop of the stormy Mediterranean Sea, and admired the palace of King Farukh. Then we visited the Roman theater and the catacombs. These two sightseeing sites are located in the poor areas of Alexandria. There was an opportunity to compare Alex and Cairo, and the comparison was not in favor of the latter. In Alexandria, even poor areas are swept clean and people walk around in clean clothes.

Then we drove for a long time around the city along the line of the sea. It is wonderful that construction between the road and the sea is prohibited, beautiful views open up. All the buildings behind the road look somewhat flaky, because the humid sea air does not help to preserve the paint on the facades of the buildings. But from afar, all the houses look like old buildings. On the shore there was one stop near the modern Library of Alexandria. Impressive building made of glass and aluminum.

The last point of the excursion program is Kai Bey Fort.

I don’t know how the sights would look in the rays of the bright sun, but against the background of the black sky and the stormy sea, everything looked just amazing. Also madly liked the Alexandrian guide Michel. Pure Russian language in compliance with all cases and humor without vulgarity is rare in Yegi.

At about 14.00 the Alex program was over and we went to Cairo. In Cairo, we stopped at a restaurant to dine for $ 10, went to the "cotton factory" and returned to the hotel. My girlfriend and I planned to wander around Giza in the evening, but for now we lay down to rest. Woke up only in the morning.

September 20th. At 9 am, we vacated the hotel rooms and again Valentine came for us. First we went to Old Cairo. We visited the Church of George the Victorious and the Christian cemetery. The Church of St. Sergius, unfortunately, was closed and we went to look at the synagogue.

The synagogue is located on some minus the first floor. From the church of St. Sergius, we went down the stairs to the lower street and fell under the sight of sellers of souvenir shops, languidly fighting back, we reached the synagogue, but we couldn’t really see it. Firstly, the service began and there were a lot of parishioners, and secondly, servants attacked us from the threshold shouting “no photo”. And there is nothing to photograph. We got offended and left.

After Old Cairo, we went to the Khan El Khalili market. Friends, what did you admire there? Why do many tourists strive to be sure to get on these two dirty crooked streets? It took me 6 minutes to “enjoy” the oriental bazaar and I went to the guides to drink coffee.

By 11 am the entire Cairo program was over and we were taken to Hurghada. In Cairo, we picked up a second driver and guide Tony, said goodbye to Valentine and hit the road in a minibus, which in 3 days became our family.

On the way there was one stop in the desert at some restaurant to eat. We didn't stop, but the drivers ate. The road from Cairo to Hurghada seemed to me much safer than the Hurghada-Luxor highway. The lanes of oncoming traffic are separated by a 50-meter strip of desert. The roads are wide and well paved. There are no mountains and "blind" turns. Throughout the journey, I was never afraid.

In Hurghada, we picked up another person from the office, who settled us in hotels, and at 17.00 we were already at the reception of our Arabia Azur hotel. I am very pleased that they recognized me at the reception, although the last time I was there quite a long time ago, in December. They put us in room B206 overlooking the pool. I will not write much about the hotel. I will note only what has changed since the last visit.

Firstly, the hotel staff is very active in mastering the Russian language. Receptionists in Russian can tell you how to fill out a guest card and documents for receiving a safe.

Everywhere, both in the rooms and in the bars, all the inscriptions began to be duplicated in 5 languages, including Russian. In the bathroom, there is a poster on the wall calling for water conservation. Towels are only changed when you throw them on the floor. I think this is reasonable, especially since the quality of laundry has improved markedly. Beach cards have become plastic and the room number is no longer written on them, that is, when handing over towels, the beach boy does not look for exactly your card, but gives any.

At the Marina, they stopped walking and soliciting massages and excursions.

Every evening, a girl walks in the lobby bar at about 20.30 - 21.00 and offers to take the bus to the Marina embankment.

In the rooms, the light and all electrical equipment began to work from the card on the key fob.

Each room contains promotional materials for Azur hotels and a questionnaire in 5 languages.

In general, I enjoyed the trip very much.

The excursion program is very rich, but you always have your own corner where you can relax. And enough time to rest. The "pulling" of suitcases is excluded with the help of porters, transport issues are resolved by guides, food issues do not arise at all. The main task of the whole trip is to keep yourself in control and not buy any nonsense that you "really, really need" in Egypt, and it turns out you don't need it in Russia. The only surprise befell me at sea - I have few weeks on the beach. But this can be adjusted when planning further trips.

I recommend cruises to everyone, I definitely recommend visiting Alexandria, and Cairo is not for everybody. I would be glad if my review helps someone have a great time in Yegi. Have a good rest everyone!! !

Translated automatically from Russian. View original
To add or remove photos in a story, go to album of this story
Храм Хороса в Эдфу
Средиземное море
корабль Атон
бассейн на корабле
дворец короля Фаруха
Коптский храм в Асуане
Абу Серга в Каире
Ночная прогулка по Асуану
Луксорский рынок
отель Арабия
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