This is the first time that I have visited Egypt and I can tell you I was very suspicious about it at the beginning.
However, it was always one of my biggest dreams. And trip like this just make it real and so special.
I haven`t got slightest concern about my safety throughout whole trip and whole experience was simple, relaxing, historical and very educational.
Beauty and weight of history just added more magic and admiration to this incredible culture.
Booking process was simple and fast - with assisting with quick respond to inquires about trip straight away through e-mails. My whole program was clearly described with marking main spots of interest - so you will get rough idea or the picture of where you actually going in which day.
I was picked up from my Hurghada resort (what was already decided before trip through e-mails) very early in morning by private air conditioned car. Driver was very pleasant and smiling plus he offered my a bottle of cold water - a nice gesture, I think.
From the first I felt worried and kind of blind - not knowing where am I going but friendliness and easy-going of a driver makes my very relax and safe.
He was very down to earth hard working type of person and I had a good laugh with him. On the other hand he introduced me with reality of nowadays Egypt without picaresque fairy tales and legends. He explained simple stuffs like check ups on the roads, town and villages we past through, local food, customs and habits or environment generally. I like his honesty and truthfulness.
Maybe he found it funny but he always respectfully answered all of my silly questions for what i am giving him a credit.
When we get to fantastic Karnak Temple I met my guide Mr Omar Khalifa.
I couldn't wish to have better guide than this one. Friendly, easy-going, funny, wise, educated, speaks very good English with perfect attention to detail and astonishing knowledge of Ancient Egypt history.
I was well looked after throughout whole trip and straight upon arrival I was offered water and some treats.
We find a shadowy place under the palms where Omar explained my 2-day trip.
He advised me to add to my trips couple of extra sites worth to be seen and a special hot-air balloon experience for what I could not be more grateful.
I was perfectly satisfied and less nervous - plus I was overwhelmed of his very good knowledge of Egyptology what unroll throughout all sites that we visited.
He physically pointed out and show me all what I ask for and battle with my good knowledge of Egypt quite well.
Omar explains basic and main facts what help me understand whole point of view.
He strongly enriched my knowledge of Egypt and awake forgotten stuff.
But what I was most surprised of, was his astonishing attention to detail!!
He even knew about secret travellers graffiti hidden on one of the many columns in Karnak temple.
He was so nice to show me that small little detail, for what I was so keen to see, and because I could n`t find it he returned back with me with no problem. Such a nice thing to do. He took pictures of me, too.
Trip was set up to met all my needs and it did. On each site Omar guide me through pointing out the best of the best and historical and cultural changes reflected in architecture and after going through whole complex he always give me plenty of time to went through each site by myself what I find completely brilliant and great !
After Karnak I had nice ride through Nile, meeting locals in Banana Island with their pet crocodile.
We visited papyrus and alabaster workshops with such a nice and hard working people working there using only ancient techniques to make their products supported by government which I can buy straight away there - so my souvenir task was done there with an ease of my mind it wasn't fake.
What followed was just fulfilment of my dreams and I enjoy it completely!
After relax and time for myself in nearby hotel I was picked up for my evening Luxor Temple experience.
I strongly recommend to visit Luxor during the night. You are sort of taken in time.
Site looks completely different and magical with evening lights makings statues and paintings alive. All is mystical and you feel heaviness of the time and history.
Singing from the mosque added to atmosphere and Omar gave me extra time for exploring hidden corners of this gem.
Next day was supreme.
I was blown away by my hot-air balloon experience. I was speechless.
Although waking up very early to be taken with a group of people through the Nile to west bank it was worth everything!
We been offered a nice cup of black tea what awaken all your senses. Next thing what you see is this red hot tongues of flames pumping up this massive balloon rising up and piercing darkness around you - unbelievable
This was the most spectacular experience in my life - highlight of whole trip!
It was so beautiful!
Scenery of whole Valley of the Kings with my favourite extraordinary Temple of
Hatshepsut in Deir el-Bahari, than complexes of Deir el-Medina, Ramesseum and Colossi of Memnon as you see it from above was just AMAZING!!
All this was happening with sun rising behind your back and blood line of Egypt - River Nile - coiling below you with this long strip of greenery dividing land of life from line of death with this yellow sandy rocky colour of desert in front of you.
Sky quickly turn light blue without a single cloud with golden disk rising in the east while dozens of colorful balloons dotting sky around you - fantastic scenery!!!
For person like me to see these architectural wonders, temples and historical complex up from above was priceless. From above you get the whole picture and understanding. The scale of it all will certainly hit you.
We safely landed in the fields in front of Colossi and everyone was given a commemorative certificate by Captain personally.
Omar was already waiting there ready for my next chapter - planning - spot on.
We stopped briefly at Colossi and continued to Valley of the Kings - site famous by its own right. You are taken to valley by little shuttle and than I entered to 3 extraordinary and beautiful tombs.
I can`t describe my feelings at that moment - historical value of the place was overwhelming and unbelievable silence just lift your spirit and soul. I certainly had a feeling that I just visited sacred place.
You cannot take photographs (:( ) and I went down the tombs by my own what left you a bit vulnerable to locals in the tombs begging for tips plus I could n`t wonder around rest of the Valley - what left me a bit disappointed but we had busy schedule ahead.
Next thing, I was driven to Deir el-Bahari - to the beautifully reconstructed Temple complex of Queen pharaoh Hatshepsut.
This was one of my many peaks of the day, too. Temple is my favourite and surprisingly modern. Always wanted to see this wonder. Overprotective mountain around it, like a theatre, will left you feel very little against it. Place was very nice and full of hidden messages and paintings - spectacular.
After that I visited Deir el Medina - fantastically preserved ancient workers village where I descent to two incredible tombs of nobles - I never seen such colorful paintings in my life. Just beautiful and so realistic - left you speechless.
Mr Omar was great throughout whole time - patient, very friendly, acceptable and honest. He must seen my over excitement so he decided that we will quickly visit a Ramesseum, yet another spectacular site. Can`t be more please with such trip and guide person as Mr Omar. - Thank You!!
Again, Omar is really welcoming, speaking perfect English, a qualified Egyptologist, looking after your best interest at every turn! Please request this guy as your guide and you won't be disappointed.
I honestly can't recommend Egypt Tours highly enough. I am very pleased and satisfied I arrange with them and if I decide to go again I will definitely go through them again.
Valley of the Kings, Karnak & Luxor certainly didn't disappoint me - they surprise me!! These are wonderful places to visit and I still cannot believe that my dreams come true and I seen those places in real!!
Egypt certainly is magical country with its gems from ancient times with abnormal historical value and preserved beauty.
Those monuments do deserve our respect and protection because they are even more beautiful when you see them by you own eyes.
It's SO SO worth a visit! If you're coming, choose Egypt Tours as your holiday of a lifetime!
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