Egypt: An expat's perspective.
As of June 2017, I left Egypt after living and teaching in Cairo, Egypt for six years. It's been a fantastic journey to see how this country has changed over time. When I first arrived in Egypt, the people were on the verge of the famous January 25th Revolution in 2011. That was when I came to Cairo for a job interview to teach at a British school. I returned nine months later, having been offered the job, to a post-revolution society and my honest opinion is that, whilst there are things that I became frustrated with on a daily basis, I've loved seeing the changes that have occurred during the time I have spent in Cairo.
I have now spent more of my adult life in Egypt than in any other place on this planet. As a result, it will always be my 'home' and I'll be visiting plenty more times in the future. Here are some of my favourite places.
Cairo is one of the famous cities around the world that is affectionately known as 'the city that never sleeps.'
There are many different opinions surrounding Cairo but I have to say it's a city that I've come to love and am happy to call my 'temporary home'. The people are friendly, the roads are chaotic, the weather is amazing, the food is delicious and living costs are extremely reasonable.
There are plenty of things to do and places to visit. There are also lots of hotels to stay in, hotels which pride themselves on excellent customer service. Particular favourites are the Marriott and the Renaissance. Though pricey, they do offer a luxurious stay!
Dahab and the Red Sea
Dahab is the sort of place which seems to have been frozen in time. Located in the South Sinai region, it can be accessed via plane to Sharm El Sheikh airport. From there, it's a one hour drive which should cost around 200LE. If you arrive at Sharm Airport, you may be approached with offers of more than 1000LE to take you the short distance. You can contact me if you wish to receive more information about booking a ride from the airport.
More importantly, back to Dahab! What does it offer? Sun, sea, sand, relaxing, snorkelling, cocktails... the list is endless. A sleepy seaside town on the coast of the Red Sea, there is something for everyone. Whether you want to lie on the beach, learn to dive or hire a yacht for the day... it's all possible! If you're thinking of visiting Dahab, get in touch for some great tips and a very hippy atmosphere!
When it comes to Ancient Egyptian history and culture, Aswan and Luxor have it all. The two cities connected by road and rail can both be accessed from Cairo Airport. Alternatively, you can take the train from Cairo to either place. There are also famous Nile Cruises which you can take from Aswan to Luxor or Luxor to Aswan as necessary. Basically, with so many travel connections, it's highly recommended that you work these destinations into your itinerary.
There are many temples to visit as well as the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
If you would like to arrange a trip please contact me.
If you're looking for an escape from civilisation, Siwa is the perfect destination. Accessible only by car, it's about a ten hour drive west from Cairo. Though the journey is long, there is no doubting that it's worth taking for the sights and activities that await you once there.
Siwa is famed for its natural oases and sand dunes. Whilst there, you can drive jeeps over the dunes for an exhillerating adrenaline rush or swim in the natural waters which form in various locations.
Saqqara's Secret Pyramids
Saqqara's pyramids stand at one of the most impressive historic complexes in the world. The former capital of Egypt, Memphis as it was known, has a wealth of surviving temples, tombs and hieroglyphics in various states of preservation. Known affectionately as Egypt's 'secret pyramids' these are a must-see attraction when in Cairo. You will honestly not believe your eyes of what awaits you at this desert-y area of Egypt.
The White Desert
The White Desert is my favourite place in the whole of Egypt. Having visited several times, each trip has been unique and exciting in many ways. Once submerged under water, it is now a stretch of desert which is littered with various rock formations that have been shaped by the ancient waters and modern day winds.
The White Desert is located south west of Cairo near the oasis town of Bahraya. There are many different ways to do this trip, including spending a night in a hotel in the town and then venturing out to sleep under the stars. Alternatively, you can have a real adventure and spend three nights camping in various locations, sacrificing the luxury of toilets and showers in order to immerse yourself in nature.
Alexandria is located on Egypt's north coast where the land meets the Mediterranean Sea. It's a cosy little seaside village with the perks of being on the Med mixed with the traditional Egyptian culture.
There are plenty of places in which to stay, eat and drink. Not only that, there are many things to do which range from visiting historical sites, strolling along the corniche and marvelling at the modern day architecture.