Matsimitsu

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Egypt 2009

Land of Pharaohs and Sphinxes. My first trip outside of continental Europe.


Egypt

This was my first trip outside of the European continent, it also was my second (and last) "package holiday".

While this was an easy experience since everyting is arranged for you, we quickly became aware that this wasn't how we wanted to travel, it felt quite limited and the all-you-can-eat-restort life just wasn't for us.

After arriving in Hurghada we sat down with the travel operator and picked the excursions we'd like to do during our week long stay in Egypt. We picked a day-trip to Luxor, a day of diving along the Hurghada coast and a quad ride in the dunes nearby.

Hurghada Luxor
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The Karnak temple

The first excursion was a day trip to Luxor. We woke up early and took a van for the multiple-hour long trip to Luxor. There were tons of (military) checkpoints along the way.

Luxor is a city in the south of Egypt and was once the capital of the Pharaohs in the 16th-11th centuries B.C.

Our trip started at the Karnak temple, a huge temple site with preserved ancient ruins & over 200 structures. Where we were free to roam the complex.

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It's amazing to see the Egyptian hieroglyphs in real-life along the walls of the temple complex.

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There were quite a number of people visiting the complex, but most people were busy trying to stay in the shade as the 30+ degrees sun tried its best to burn through the sunscreen.

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The Nile river

After wandering around for a few hours through the complex, we were brought to the river banks where we boarded a boat to get across. On the other side lunch was served.

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Valley of the kings

Near Luxor lies a valley called Valley of the Kings. This is the place where a lot of pharaohs and powerful nobles were buried in rock-cut tombs.

It's also one of the hottest places on earth and it was a nice 45 degrees celcius when we arrived.

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For some inexplicable reason I don't seem to have taken any photo's from inside the tombs and I can't remember of that was because it wasn't allowed or I just forgot...

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Quad ride near Hurghada

Near Luxor lies a valley called Valley of the Kings. This is the place where a lot of pharaohs and powerful nobles were buried in rock-cut tombs.

It's also one of the hottest places on earth and it was a nice 45 degrees celcius when we arrived.

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The downside of tourism

The quad tour stopped at multiple stops along the way, a couple of those stops were questionable at best.

One was a camel ride where you could hop on a camel and be walked around a hill for a few minutes, wich wasn't that bad in the grand scheme of things.

The other was a "zoo" where you could see the native wild-life. Wich consisted of a dark, hot and dirty tent which housed several extremely small and dirty shallow pools that contained turtles, snakes and other animals. One of the attractions was to "ride" a turtle or poke a snake etc.

We were quite shocked by the treatment of these animals and from then on we tried our best to never visit an attraction that adds to the misery of animals, such as these "road side zoos" or riding elephants in Thailand, for example.

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