Egypt. Where to start? This mystical country is simply full of treasures, old and new. It has a unique atmosphere and energy that is constantly shifting, yet somehow stays the same.
Cairo is the capital city and has been one of the biggest in Africa for many a year. It is steeped in history and culture and is founded where the Fortress City of Babylon used to stand and also near Memphis which was the leading city in a bygone era!
This city is an absolutely fascinating city to visit with so many variations in architecture, tempo and noise. It has large modern hotels and small winding street that take you back through time to a seemingly undisturbed lifestyle. The main language is Arabic and it is Islamic in nature. Walk through bustling soukhs and here the Call to Prayer ringing from the mosques. See trinkets and gold and earthenware creations festooning shop fronts and corners. Take in the smell of mint tea in the air and the aroma of exotic spices cooking.
But Cairo also has so much more. It is home to the pyramids, one of the great wonders of the world and of all civilization. Visit the Sphinx and Salah al-dins citadel as well as mosques of enormous intricacy and splendour. But more, the Nile delta is here and great stories of civilizations long lost are brought to mind with every step.
Then there is Alexandria, Egypt’s gateway to the Mediterranean. This huge port city of three and a half million people also offers many attractions and glimpses and Egypt’s far ranging past.
There is the Sinai. This forbidding and rugged land absolutely bakes in the summer months and is entirely inhospitable in places. The main tourist attraction for this area is diving. At this eastern point of Egypt, South of the Mediterranean are the Gulf of Aqaba, the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea. The coming together of many different currents leads to great upwellings of nutrients that feed and contain all sorts of aquatic life forms. There is some of the best diving in the world here and towns such as Hurghada and Dahab thrive from the diving industry.
Perhaps the biggest diving resort is at Sharm el-Sheikh, or more precisely Na’ama Bay. It probably found fame through the scuba diving opportunities it presents. Within easy distance by diving boats are some of the worlds best diving at places such as the Straits of Tran and Ras Mohammed.
There is so much sea life to sea from huge groups of hammerhead sharks, through dolphins and turtles all the way down to clown fish, of Nemo fame, and tiny little pyjama slugs.
But this region is rapidly developing as a place for other types of vacation too. There are splendid resort hotels and great excursion to the desert on camel. There is the opportunity to try quad biking or simply go snorkelling. A back drop of beautiful sandstone mountains in the desert with the Red Sea in front, it is a fantastic place to visit.
Then there is the Western Desert with its fantastic oases and obviously upper Egypt, home to Luxor and Aswan and a number of temple towns. Take a trip along the Nile and feel like you are taking a luxurious trip back in time!
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