What I should bring home

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#1
Lowell, MA
73 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
My husband and I will be going to Egypt and Israel this fall and I would like to start thinking about what souvenirs we should get when we are there. I already plan to get plenty of spices/herbs such as saffron, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla beans, paprika, etc. I've also read about olive tree products such as serving spoons, bowls, etc. What great souvenirs have other travelers brought home from these beautiful countries?
#2
Charleston, SC
1,074 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
We love our small Papyrus painting of an acient ship, our small egyptian woven rug in luscious colours, and our wooden box with all the inlay work in Mother of Pearl..they come in two grades..a regular type seen a lot of places and a more expensive kind that is more unique..this time we got
the more expensive one ($80US). Also, everywhere you go you will see
shawls of all colours..we got a couple and brought some home for gifts..they were so admired that we now wish we had gotten more! ($5US)
Take plenty of $1US and $5 us in new bills as you can easily pay for items
with those vs Egyptian money. ( we took fifty $1's and ten $5's and could
have used more of both!!)
Enjoy Egypt..we loved it!
Sherry
#3
Melbourne/AUS
736 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
In Egypt we bought a beautiful papyrus painting of a scene from the book of the dead. Just make sure any papyrus you buy is from a proper shop, all the cheap ones from vendors at the sites are not real papyrus. We also bought a couple of stone statues of gods, and I got a silver cartouche pendant made with my name as hieroglyphs, which I just love and wear almost every day.

In Israel I didn't buy much, as living in Australia we are very limited in what we can bring into the country, no spices or anything. We ended up buying some olive wood Christmas decorations in Bethlehem, a little souvenir pack with a vial of soil, olive oil and Jordan river water, and lots of Dead Sea mud products.

If you are religious though there are lots and lots of beautiful things you can buy, statues, wall hangings, pictures etc.
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#4
Exactly where I want to be
7,010 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
If you are into jewelry, there is plenty to get in Egypt. A cartouche, a scarab, evil eyes, you name it. I picked up several nice pairs of silver earrings, a gold and turquoise scarab pendant, my cartouche, and nice basic strand of turquoise nuggets that I used to make a necklace at home (I mixed it with some turquoise I bought in Israel - it's my Peace Necklace). Pick up a camel hair scarf. Get a basic white scarf that the locals use for a headdress. Get your spices. Some of us went into the night souk in Aswan and found a decent spice vendor. Our guide (there were 3 of us plus her) made sure we were treated well. I got some mixed spice, some mixed peppercorns, and some dried hibiscus to make into tea. If you have room, there are some nice jewelry boxes made from mother of pearl. For the papyrus, be sure it's genuine papyrus and not fake made with banana leaves...
#5
Exactly where I want to be
7,010 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
I forgot one thing: save your entrance tickets to the sites!!! They really are neat tickets. Each one is different, has nice artwork, and has the name of the site on it. You can make a vacation book with them, surrounded by pictures of the site you take, a collage, things like that...
#6
Bedminster, NJ USA
3,421 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Others have covered Egypt pretty well.

When we were in Israel we bought:
- Lotions and bath salts made with minerals from the Dead Sea
- Silver pendants (both traditional and comtemporary designs) in the Old City
- Interesting glass platters in Jerusalem.

Also, if you are Jewish, there are interesting mezuzas and the dreidels have a different symbol on one of the sides because you are in Jerusalem.
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Dale
#7
Exactly where I want to be
7,010 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by DEL67
Others have covered Egypt pretty well.

When we were in Israel we bought:
- Lotions and bath salts made with minerals from the Dead Sea
- Silver pendants (both traditional and comtemporary designs) in the Old City
- Interesting glass platters in Jerusalem.

Also, if you are Jewish, there are interesting mezuzas and the dreidels have a different symbol on one of the sides because you are in Jerusalem.
In Israel, you can also find jewelry made with small pieces of Roman glass.
#8
Northern Virginia
130 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by DEL67
Others have covered Egypt pretty well.

When we were in Israel we bought:
- Lotions and bath salts made with minerals from the Dead Sea
- Silver pendants (both traditional and comtemporary designs) in the Old City
- Interesting glass platters in Jerusalem.

Also, if you are Jewish, there are interesting mezuzas and the dreidels have a different symbol on one of the sides because you are in Jerusalem.

In Egypt, you get cartouches, scarabs. Be very careful with the spices. The saffron they sell is mostly not real saffron just the seeds. Your guide should be able to tell you what is real and what to pay for items. You will love Egypt.
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#9
North Florida
297 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
The Dead Sea stuff is nice and well priced but in Eilat, we went to a kiosk for Magnolia jewelry. They had beautiful gold, silver, and semi-precious stone things that were very well made and reasonably priced (my jewelry loving friend took me there). I only like earrings but there were nice necklaces, bracelets, and maybe rings too. There were two kiosk-type shops in Eilat but there are also Magnolia stores in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. We also got a very nice handmade scroll of a psalm in Hebrew and Bedoine textiles in Safed.

In Egypt, as said Papyrus pictures are nice if they take you to a good place and so are alabaster jars if they take you to a good place. One of our guides in Cairo had fabulous personal jewelry but the place she took us to had touristy stuff that was high priced and not very interesting unless you must have one of those cartouches. As also said above, take many $1 bills and buy some of the junky stuff just to help some of the poor but spend very little on that stuff. There were some nice wooden things around Aswan made by the Nubians if you get that far. Do not buy saffron, it is not the real thing.
#10
Lowell, MA
73 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Thanks for mentioning that some of the spices may not be the real thing, mainly the saffron, because I was planning to get many of them to bring home as souvenirs. Especially being able to get them at the Spice Bazaar. I'll make sure to ask our guide to help us get the real thing.