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Posted on April 13th, 2022 in Europe, Africa & Asia, Tour Tales
As 2022 tours get rolling, we are thrilled to hear stories of each trip and the wonderful memories created. One of the most memorable trips happened this February, when guests began the adventure of a lifetime on our brand new tour: Gems of Egypt & the Nile River. Since this is a new destination, we couldn’t wait to talk to the expert Tour Director leading it, Julia Scammell. While nothing we can relay will be nearly as captivating as seeing this mystical place in person, we are pleased to share exclusive insight from Julia on what it was like to experience this tour for the first time.
Julia describes the entire experience as “exotic,” introducing guests to a “whole new world” of food and other parts of culture that capture Egypt’s essence with the five senses. She values the immersive activities that allow a better understanding and appreciation for Egypt’s rich culture. For instance, in Cairo guests get to engage at the local level by trying their hand at bargaining in the iconic Khan el-Khalili bazaar. Meanwhile, intriguing street vendors eagerly compete with one another to earn your business. This is not only a unique, immersive experience but also a superior method of obtaining a souvenir you can take home to fondly remember this adventure for years to come!
Another fond memory of Julia’s was driving to Cairo and marveling at the fresh produce and baked goods sold along the roadside. Brightly colored produce reminds us of the richness of the Nile River soil and how much prosperity the river provides. The Nile has been a part of life for animals and humans alike for centuries, the river itself being 30 million years old!
Remembering her peaceful cruise on the Nile River, Julia talks about the quaint agricultural villages that would pass them by, supported by the rich soil of the riverbanks. Aboard the cruise ship, there was no shortage of fun and educational activities. In fact, Julia recalls an evening where many guests purchased a galabeya, a traditional loose fitting robe, for the Egyptian themed dinner and party onboard. It was an unforgettable event for all as guests danced the night away while enjoying traditional dances, including belly dancing and whirling dervishes. The whirling dervish is an iconic Sufi meditation practice as well as dance, a form of physically active meditation. Sufism is the mystical tradition of Islam, and this tradition is the most popular manifestation of Islam in Egypt.
Julia goes on to cite “gems” as the perfect word to describe this trip, because you get to witness some of the world’s most cherished monuments, such as the last of the remaining original Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. She notes that the Great Pyramids of Giza stood as the world’s tallest man-made structure for nearly 4,000 years! For exceptional photo opportunities, guests are able to get up-close to the famous Great Sphinx, and some guests even took an optional camel ride to experience an authentic ride in the desert.
The final takeaway from this tour, Julia emphasizes, is how valuable our private Egyptologist is. She describes how the Egyptologist was helpful while visiting historic attractions like temples, museums, mosques, pyramids, and even inside the Pharaohs’ tombs. The expert guide interpreted hieroglyphics along the way, and explained stories and Egyptian culture, from ancient history to today.
When it comes to exotic destinations, it’s normal to feel uneasy about immersing yourself in such an unfamiliar area. However, Julia was delighted to share that everyone they encountered throughout the trip, including at accommodations, aboard the ship, in restaurants, and elsewhere, were above-and-beyond welcoming and professional. She adds that their fantastic hospitality ensured everyone had a positive experience and relaxing vacation. It’s also important to note that our incredible tour directors, such as Julia, are with you every step of the way to calm your worries and resolve any issues that arise when traveling with us.
Thank you to Julia for sharing her fond memories and invaluable insight from this remarkable destination. We’re thrilled that this new tour allows our guests to experience such an intriguing, rich culture and history. If Egypt is on your bucket list, this itinerary is sure to impress.
Join us as we embark on this journey once again!
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Tour days tend to be shorter in length, at a relaxed pace, and include lots of unscheduled time for leisure. Expect standing and walking for extended periods of time on flat surfaces, mostly low altitudes, and consistent temperatures.
Tour days usually move at a leisurely pace. Some days’ scheduled activities last longer than others. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on occasionally uneven terrain. You may experience changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a consistent pace, and may include long travel days. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on uneven surfaces. Some destinations may have changes in altitude and/or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a brisk pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on uneven surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a vigorous pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on rough surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.