Egypt plus SQ Suites/First photo TR

boomy

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As the headline states it’s going to be mostly photo trip report. I’m not going to give history lesson about ancient Egypt 😂 instead will let my photos tell the story.

The idea to visit Egypt came about in the end of 2019. My parents always wanted to go there and my plan was to take them during my next visit to Israel in April 2020. I’ve already had everything booked but then a minor incident called Covid-19 happened and the trip had to be canceled.

Back in 2020 the only direct flight available from TLV was flying by an unmarked Air Sinai (owned by EgyptAir). Earlier this year EgyptAir opened an official route flying to TLV with full livery. They use B777 on this short CAI/TLV route which seems like an odd choice. Cash price was expensive, around $500 return during Easter so I’ve used UA miles to book 3 return tickets in Y for 52,800 points (8,800 pp each way) plus $225 AUD ($37.5 pp each way).
 
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boomy

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We booked daily private tours though our hotel. The travel agency Hilton works with is conveniently located inside the resort so it’s easy to communicate and make amendments if needed. Each tour includes a driver, tour guide which is certified Egyptologist and comfortable air conditioned car. The big advantage of private tour is maximum flexibility and full control over the daily schedule. The cost was about $80 USD pp for full day or $50 USD pp for half day tours. There is a list of recommended tours but we ended up mixing and matching according to my parents interests.

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Booking private tour meant the start and finish times were fully flexible so there was no need to wake up too early (like the ppl on bus tours did) and we could have a long lazy breakfast and even some pool time each morning before going out. We could also decide to cut short our time in a place we found less interesting and stay longer elsewhere, something we did a few times particularly when the tour guide offered to take us to all kinds of “free” presentations like how to make papyrus paper or natural perfumes where they always try to sell stuff to naive tourists. I quickly explained our guide we are not that type of tourists and he made sure to skip all the annoying tourist traps.
 

boomy

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Temple of Hatshepsut

Short summary (from Wikipedia):

The Temple of Hatshepsut is a mortuary temple built during the reign of Pharaoh Hatshepsut of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Located opposite the city of Luxor, it is considered to be a masterpiece of ancient architecture. Its three massive terraces rise above the desert floor and into the cliffs of Deir el-Bahari.

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boomy

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Valley of the kings

Short summary (from Wikipedia):

The Valley of the Kings, also known as the Valley of the Gates of the Kings, is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, rock-cut tombs were excavated for the pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom.

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TOMB OF RAMSES III (KV 11)

Ramses III (1184–1153 BC), the last of Egypt’s warrior pharaohs, built one of the longest tombs in the Valley of the Kings. The tomb started but abandoned by Sethnakht (1186–1184 BC), is 125m long, much of it still beautifully decorated with colourful painted sunken reliefs featuring the traditional ritual texts.

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boomy

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TOMB OF MERNEPTAH (KV 8)

Ramses II lived for so long that 12 of his sons died before he did, so it was finally his 13th son Merneptah (1213–1203 BC) who succeeded him in his 60s. The secondlargest tomb in the valley, Merneptah’s tomb has been open since antiquity and has its share of Greek and Coptic graffiti.

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(My parents at the entrance)

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TOMB OF RAMSES IX (KV 6)

Opposite Ramses II is the most visited tomb in the valley, the Tomb of Ramses IX (1126– 1108 BC), with a wide entrance, a long sloping corridor, a large antechamber decorated with the animals, serpents and demons from the Book of the Dead – then a pillared hall and short hallway before the burial chamber.

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RooFlyer

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That pricing is excellent, especially for a TA based in a premium hotel. Does it seem that tourism there is back in full swing, or struggling. Many cruise boats just tied up at the pier?

Great photos for what I guess would be strong lighting. What are you using?
 

Major

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Pharaoh Hatshepsut.
Our guide told us we would have trouble pronouncing her name so he just kept referring to her as "Hot chicken soup"
 

boomy

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That pricing is excellent, especially for a TA based in a premium hotel. Does it seem that tourism there is back in full swing, or struggling. Many cruise boats just tied up at the pier?

Great photos for what I guess would be strong lighting. What are you using?

I thought the price was good but that’s because I’m coming from Australia, we are used to pay premium for everything. Talking to other guests from Europe they said private tours are too expensive and most joined larger bus tours which are significantly cheaper.

Tourism not yet back to normal and it will not happen anytime soon. Egypt was relying heavily on Russian and Chinese tourists, there are no other markets that can replace them.

Photos taken with my iPhone13, it has an excellent camera.
 

boomy

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Luxor Tour Day 2

Karnak Temple (day visit)

Short summary (from Wikipedia):

The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, pylons, chapels, and other buildings. It is believed to be the second most visited historical site in Egypt; only the Giza pyramid complex near Cairo receives more visits.

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