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A Tour of Egypt

Egypt is a Middle Eastern country in northeast Africa; it is in the center of the Arab world. Egypt controls the Suez Canal which is the shortest sea link between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The country is defined by desert and the Nile, the longest river on Earth. Ancient civilizations arose along the narrow floodplain of the Nile, protected by the deserts that were natural barriers to invaders. Egyptians take pride in their heritage and their descent from what is considered the first great civilization. One of the reasons people travel to Egypt is the interest in the pyramids which have survived the centuries as lasting symbols of Egyptian culture, the same might be said for the camels that haul visitors around to see the many wonders.

Egypt has several different tourist super-sites, each one has its own flavor and each serves a different purpose.

Cairo is considered the jewel of the Orient, the melting pot of ancient and modern Egyptian civilizations. On the east side stands the evidence of 2000 years of Islamic, Christian Coptic and Jewish cultures still flourishing, on the west side lays the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis , the capital of the old kingdom and the site of the pyramids, the only wonder left of the seven wonders of the world, a journey through Cairo is a journey through time. The area around Cairo is considered the heart of Egypt, with all aspects of Egypt represented including some of the famous Pharaonic, ancient Christian and Islamic monuments, great hotels and restaurants. Shopping in Cairo is very enjoyable and ranges from the famous Khan el-khalili souk (bazaar) unchanged since the 14th century. No visit to Cairo is complete without visiting the great Pyramids and the Sphinx. The Egyptian Museum and the sound and light show at the Pyramids area are spectacular.

Alex is the second largest city and is the main port of Egypt; it is one of the most notable summer resorts in the Middle East known for its temperate winters. Sites worth visiting are the Greco Roman Museum, the Roman Theater, Qaitbay Fort and the catacombs of Komel-Shokafa.

Aswan is larger but much quieter, it is a beautiful city which is positioned alongside some of the best stretches of the Nile, it is dotted with pretty islands and high desert hills topped with the Aga Khan’s Mausoleum. The Nile is beautiful as it makes its way down from High Dam and Nasser Lake, watching the sun set over the Nile is an experience not to be missed.

Luxor has been called the world’s greatest outdoor museum because of the number of ancient Egyptian monuments, this is why it is one of Egypt’s greatest tourist attractions. A trip to Luxor would not be complete without a visit to the Valley of the Kings, which incorporates the famous tomb of Tutankhamen, and the Valley of the Queens with Nefertiti’s decorated final resting place. If you want a thrill take an early morning balloon trip over the west bank of the Nile.

Enid Glasgow is a travel writer who enjoys traveling to remote destinations. She enjoys traveling with Big Five Tours, providers of Egypt tours and Galapagos cruises.

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