So, here we are. An occasional series in which I will give you five reasons to visit some of my favourite countries.
Starting with Egypt.
1. Egypt needs you.
Seriously. Egypt relies heavily on tourism. At one point as much as $12.5 billion went into Egypt’s economy through tourism and 12% of her workforce were employed in tourism facing jobs. That’s a lot of money and a lot of people.
From a peak of almost 15 million visitors the number has steadily declined due to safety concerns and now stands at around 8 million. Revenue has dropped below $6 billion.
This is huge for Egypt and whilst the Nile has been unaffected by the terrorist attacks that have plagued the Sinai peninsula, the rapid abandonment of the country by several prominent airlines and travel company’s has only made the problem worse.
2. Nile cruises are amazing
The perfect blend of sightseeing and relaxation!.
What is there not to enjoy ?. Floating hotel, all meals included, incredible sights and sites and perfect weather (for those who like it hot). The perfect combination. I’ve done two cruises and had a sensational time on both the shorter cruise between Luxor and Aswan and the 600 mile cruise from Aswan all the way into Cairo.
3. The largest open air museum in the world
Everywhere in Egypt you are surrounded by history. In fact, if you say you are a history buff and haven’t been to Egypt I question your use of the word “buff”.
There are just so many places to see. Cairo with the Pyramids, the temples of Luxor and Karnak, the awesome Abu Simbel and the less visited sites like Kalabsha and Wadi el-Seboua.
Of course it easy to get “templed out” but the air conditioned boat offers a welcome respite if the going gets tough.
Egypt’s amazing. The variety of temples is incredible and on my three visits so far I’ve always found something new to see in old favourites .
4. It’s exotic and almost on your doorstep
Egypt is described, when you fly from the UK, as a long haul destination. It’s a 5 1/2 hour flight to Luxor and about 5 hours to Cairo. To me that’s a short hop to guaranteed weather and guaranteed immersion in a place I love, seeing things I love. I’m tall so any flying experience brings with it a degree of discomfort but I’d gladly experience it for longer to visit one of the most exciting places on Earth.
5. New discoveries
You may have read very recently of the discovery of a large void in the Great Pyramid. This has stirred up a great deal of academic debate about its significance and whether, in fact, it’s been discovered but discounted before.
Egypt is a constant hive of activity. New tombs, new mummies, discoveries that question previously held beliefs. There are also a wealth of objects being returned to Egypt from other countries due to past illegal activity or, if not illegal, a growing acceptance that Egypt is the proper home for them.
All this means that Egypt continues to fascinate and offer opportunities to be in the country when something exciting happens. There are still several tombs from the late Ramesside period waiting to be discovered so that chance of another Tutankhamen moment is very real.
So that’s it; five reasons to visit Egypt.
I hope you enjoyed it and who knows, perhaps I’ve persuaded you to visit ?.
Ps. I wanted to add more pictures but WordPress kept crashing when I tried. Sorry.