I was lucky enough to take my mum with me on a recent work trip to Egypt. She had never been to Egypt before and here is what she had to say:
“I must admit that, after all I had heard and read in the media about Egypt, I was quite apprehensive leading up to our trip. However, all concerns quickly disappeared, and I couldn’t have felt safer. We were always accompanied by a guide or rep, transported everywhere and, at whichever temple or monument we visited, security was uppermost.
The Oberoi Philae is a luxurious cruiser, with about 27 cabins, so not too big that you feel anonymous and, from the moment we stepped on board, we were so well looked after and made to feel welcome by the staff and crew. The cabins were all you could wish for, the food was delicious and in abundance, facilities on board were great and nothing was too much trouble. We often dined on the top deck for lunch – I never imagined sitting having a 3-course lunch or lazing by or in the pool, whilst watching the banks of the Nile pass by on either side!
We were taken on excursions each day, always by boat, bus or carriage to all the significant temples and sights along the route. We had our own guide for the week, who had a wealth of knowledge about everything Egyptian past and present. It was a history lesson every day! The guide also knew exactly the best times for visiting the various sites to avoid crowds of tourists and high temperatures. We visited the Valley of the Kings very early in the morning and, as a result, we were often on our own, with just a guide, in the tombs. A vivid memory is of us driving towards the Valley of the Kings, as the sun was rising, and watching the hot air balloons, in the distance, flying over the valley. During our cruise, we visited the temples of Luxor, Karnak, Edfu, Komombo and Philae and then the Aswan Dam and each site had their own story to tell. Our last port of call was Aswan. We were sad to leave the Oberoi and the crew, who had looked after us so well and made us feel part of a family.
We then flew to visit the temples of Abu Simbel and words cannot describe how incredible they are. It is a visit not to be missed. Our final part of the trip took us to Cairo, where, again, we had our own very knowledgeable guide, who accompanied us throughout. We stayed at the incredible Mena House Hotel and from our balcony we could see the Pyramids of Giza. Whilst in Cairo, we went to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx and even climbed down into the depths of the Pyramid of Dashur (an experience I will never forget!!). We also experienced the hustle and bustle of the market in Cairo.
The whole holiday to Egypt was a trip of a lifetime and one which I will never forget, and, thanks to Steppes, there were no worries at all”