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Live trip report for Amawaterways Egypt with Jordan pre tour


F19810
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Today we went to Mt Nebo and then to a mosaic workshop.  Mt Nebo is where Moses saw the promised land but couldn’t go to it.  Today we were like Moses and could see Jericho but could not enter! The mosaics in the church there are incredible.  
We stopped in a mosaic workshop and this is the only place that I felt pressured to buy something.  The mosaics were beautiful but expensive and heavy and i didn’t give in!

We stopped for lunch, more arabic mezze which were good and a chicken dish with thyme which I was less thrilled about, i eat to much chicken at home so try to stay away from it on vacation.

We had a flight that left around 5 on Royal Jordanian and the flight was one hour.  It was very easy to get an Egypt visa at the airport, just needed 25 US dollars, no credit cards.

I didn’t get to my room at the Four Seasons until close to nine and decided To order room service, something that I rarely do but I was to tired to do anything else.  My room is huge, I think larger than my mothers apartment.

Temp was the usual mid 70's 
Step count was 9580.  
Pictures tomorrow when I’m more awake.

Judy

My update didn’t post yesterday, so here it is, a day late.

Edited by F19810
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Today we are in Egypt.   I enjoyed Jordan and am very glad that I added this pre tour, but Egypt is what I have been dreaming about seeing for a very long time and now I’m here!

We started the day at the Egyptian museum.  Many things have been moved to the the museum that should open on Nov 4 2022 but there still is a lot to see, including some from King Tut.  It got hot and stuffy in there and can’t imagine how hot it would be when it is more crowded or in the summer.  It costs extra, around 300 Egyptian pounds to take photos with a camera but it is free to use your phone.  Even though I have seen Egyptian artifacts before, it is different seeing them in Egypt.  We had a tour and then some free time to wonder.  It is not a big museum but we still basically just saw the highlights.  Even just seeing the highlights, it was great.

After the museum, we had another lunch with humus, tahini, baba ganoosh as appetizers and beef and chicken shish kabobs.  It was all good but a lot.

After lunch, we went to the Citadel and alabaster mosque. No head covet Needed for the mosque but women couldn’t have bare shoulders.  We were back at the hotel by 4:00.

 

Ama no longer goes to the bazaar because several people got lost and AMA wasn’t comfortable going there anymore.

 

Temps were around 85 but most of the day was inside.

Steps-10,700and 8 flights. 
 

tomorrow-pyramids!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Yesterday we did the pyramids, what I came to Egypt to see.  We started the day at the step pyramid and had about 11/2 hours there.  It’s amazing to actually see it but the best was yet to come.  We had lunch at the Mena House.  It is a beautiful hotel (Marriot?) and comes with a view of the pyramids.  Lunch was so so, mainly because it was Indian food and I’m not the biggest fan of Indian food, others really enjoyed it.  Eating with a view of the pyramids made up for the food.

After lunch it was time for the highlight of the day, the pyramids of Giza and the sphinx.  I finally got to see the pyramids, touch the pyramids and yes, have a camel ride and picture on a camel in front of the pyramids.  The camel ride was $15 plus a $2 tip and was about 5 minutes.  You get on, walk for a couple of minutes and they take  pictures (your camera/phone) between 2 pyramids and walk you back.  The 5 minutes was long enough!  The guides asked us if we were interested in going into the pyramids but really emphasized that you are bent over for a long walk into the pyramid to see an empty chamber and then bent over walking out.  Nobody went into the pyramids.

After that, it was onto the sphinx.  It is amazing that it was carved from one piece of stone.

I really loved everything about yesterday, didn’t think it could get better.

steps-11,570

flights-6

temp-hot!

 

somebody tell me how to flip the photos

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14 hours ago, F19810 said:

somebody tell me how to flip the photos

 

I am really enjoying your pix - even the upside-down ones!

 

I've noticed this too on rare occasions when I'm posting photos from my phone (which is pretty much all that I do these days).

 

I have a theory and I just tested it. This might be a fix for you an others. I had wondered if it matters what direction you rotate the phone to take a horizontal picture.

 

When you take a horizontal picture on your phone, you rotate the phone 90 degrees from vertical. The direction that you rotate apparently does matter!

 

I just took two horizontal pix on my phone. One I rotated left, the other I rotated right. Both photos appear upright on my phone, but when I posted both, the one where I rotated to the right appears upside down on Cruise Critic.

 

Moral of the story - rotate to the left (I have a Samsung Galaxy 10+). YMMV.


Enjoy the rest of the trip! We loved Egypt.

Edited by jpalbny
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19 hours ago, F19810 said:

We had lunch at the Mena House.  It is a beautiful hotel (Marriot?) and comes with a view of the pyramids.

Love your trip reports!  Yes, the Mena  House is affiliated with Marriott now.  Very famous hotel.  During our first trip to Egypt in 1977, we stayed there and had a great view of the pyramids from our balcony.  We could walk up the hill onto the plateau; no paved roads, no entrance gates, no entry ticket.  Sure is different now!  We’ll be staying there again next fall after a month safari in south and east Africa.

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Thanks for all of your comments.  We are currently sail to Edna and the internet is sloooow.  I’m not going to try and post a report tonight.  This trip has been great, highly recommended.

judy

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Judy,

 

We are looking forward to following your journey, albeit from afar.  My wife and I enjoyed meeting you during the first sip and sail. Unfortunately due to the death of my wife’s father our journey came to an unexpected early end.  Hopefully we can return one day.
 

Enjoy the rest of your trip and safe travels!  

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On 11/12/2021 at 5:21 AM, The Postman said:

Judy,

 

We are looking forward to following your journey, albeit from afar.  My wife and I enjoyed meeting you during the first sip and sail. Unfortunately due to the death of my wife’s father our journey came to an unexpected early end.  Hopefully we can return one day.
 

Enjoy the rest of your trip and safe travels!  

I enjoyed talking to you that night and am so sorry to hear about your father in laws death.  My condolences to you and your wife I.  I was shocked when Dina told us that you had to leave.  Twice, I also had to leave trips earlier than planned due to deaths in the family.  This trip has been amazing and I hope that you will eventually be able to come back to Egypt.

judy

 

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So much for my first attempt at a live trip report.  The internet has been so slow that I was not able to open cruise critic for a few days.  I promise that I will catch up and post more pictures, right now I don’t trust the internet for any pictures or long posts. Interestingly, we are also having difficulties texting to android phones.  Most people on the boat seem to have iPhones and iPhone to iPhone is no problem but iPhone to android texts don’t get delivered.  I found one person who said that they can’t text android to android either.

 

 

judy

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7 hours ago, F19810 said:

So much for my first attempt at a live trip report.  The internet has been so slow that I was not able to open cruise critic for a few days.  I promise that I will catch up and post more pictures, right now I don’t trust the internet for any pictures or long posts. Interestingly, we are also having difficulties texting to android phones.  Most people on the boat seem to have iPhones and iPhone to iPhone is no problem but iPhone to android texts don’t get delivered.  I found one person who said that they can’t text android to android either.

 

 

judy

iPhone to iPhone (iMessage) can use the wi-fi network. iPhone to Android and Android to Android use the cellular network and require a plan that includes text.

Edited by gnome12
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the lunch at Mena House always seems to be so-so.  Before Marriott, it was part of Starwood - then they merged.   
Did you notice that the Spinx is looking at the KFC and Pizza Hut???  Says something about the long reach of American Fast Food.

 

When I finally got to the Pyramids of Giza, it was a "holy crap, I'm at the Pyramids" moment.  I'm usually pretty mellow when I get to visit places, but this one just hit me.  Maybe because I remember all this plus the building of the Aswan Dam and the move of the temples at Abu Simbel from when I was a kid.  

 

If you have time when you dock at Aswan, take a walk through the souk there.  Not as intimidating as Cairo.  I picked up some nice spices in there. 

Edited by slidergirl
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To say that the internet was slow while on the cruise would be an understatement.  Several days, I could not open Cruisecritic.  I'm now home and I will do an update soon.  I have to say that I have had the pleasure to travel the world both independently and on tours/cruises and  this has been the best trip yet.

Judy

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15 minutes ago, F19810 said:

To say that the internet was slow while on the cruise would be an understatement.  Several days, I could not open Cruisecritic.  I'm now home and I will do an update soon.  I have to say that I have had the pleasure to travel the world both independently and on tours/cruises and  this has been the best trip yet.

Judy

Welcome home! Can't wait to read more!

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On final day of Jordan pre trip. It was amazing- Petra, Wadi Rum , and Dead Sea- wow ! So organized and efficient- tour managers are great. I went solo to Petra at Night- $25 cash and right across from hotel- night walk with luminaries to the Treasury. Felt very safe. Thank you for all your posts - kept us excited and informed.

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Since I was not able to do the live report, I will start a summary:

 

Jordan- I'm am so glad that I added this to my trip.  Seeing Petra and wondering who the Nabateans were and how they lived made me want to google them when I got home.  I am also glad that I got to Jordan early and spent some time relaxing at the Dead Sea.  After the hassle of work, filing out all of the forms for the trip (some of which were never looked at) and worrying that my Covid test would come back positive, it was nice to get there and just sit by the pool, get a facial and relax.  I also had 1 1/2 days on my own in Amman.  I found the Jordan museum worthwhile for a couple of hours.  On the other hand, everything that I read said to go to Rainbow Street which I had a hard time finding and when I did, I wonder why I bothered.  To me, it was nothing special. When I booked the trip, I didn't know what the city tour of Amman consisted of.  Was it just a drive by?  Did you get off the bus and tour the sights?  Since I didn't know what it included, I went to the Citadel and Roman Theater.  We did go to the citadel on the tour so I didn't have to do it on my own, but we did not go to the theater.

 

I am used to seeing satellite dishes or antennas on rooftops, I am not used to seeing cisterns on them.  Every house has white cisterns for the weekly water delivery.  They get water delivered once a week and it has to last the week.  Extra water is expensive.  When I take my long hot showers in the morning, I have to remind myself how luck I am that I don't have to worry about running out of it.

 

Petra had a free museum next to the entrance of the site.  I only had 10 minutes to spend in it but it is worth going to if you have time.  There is an oil lamp with the zodiac on it.  I never realized how old the zodiac is.

 

The only thing that I was disappointed in was the amount of time in Petra.  According to the original itinerary, we had all day in Petra.  We ended up having a few hours.  For most of the group, that was enough, especially in the heat.  For some of us, we could have used a couple of hours more.  One problem was finding out at the last minute that the Clear app that we all download to get a qr code for our Covid vaccine cards to enter Egypt expired.  We all had to get tested in Petra.

More later.

Judy

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To continue:

Cairo:

Its a shame that they already moved a lot of artifacts to the GEM which won't open until next year.  There was still a lot to see in the Egyptian museum but we did not see the solar boat which was moved to the GEM.

 

After dreaming of seeing the pyramids for decades, I finally saw them and the Sphinx.  Before the trip I was afraid that they wouldn't live up to my expectations, but I should not have worried.  Being with the pyramids and riding a camel in front of the pyramids was everything that I had hoped for.  It cost $15 for the ride and we were told to give a $2 tip to the camel handler.  they took pictures with our cameras and asked for a tip but we were told not to give anymore than the $2.  Nobody went into the pyramids but we did have the opportunity if we wanted to.  Our tour guy was good at discouraging us by saying that the opening is only 4 feet high and you are bent over for about 5 minutes to get in and 5 to get out and that there as nothing to see.  I have heard this before so I didn't want to go into the Giza pyramids.

Judy

 

 

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Cruise:

You would think that going to one or two temples/tombs a day would become boring and they would all be alike.  This was not the case, each one was different.  Some were still colorfully decorated, others the decorations were carved into the walls.  Some were more intact that others.  Each were interesting.  Karnak was beautifully decorated and our first temple so it was very exciting.

Nefertari's tomb was amazing, very beautiful and colorful with every inch of space covered with images.  There is a limited number of visitors to this tomb and we were the only group there.  Each bus went in for about 15 minutes and with our bus only having 19 people, it wasn't crowded.  Fifteen minutes was enough, even with only 19 people, it was hot.  

In the Valley of the Kings, we went into 2 tombs and King Tut's tomb.  We saw King Tut's mummy (I think that it is too fragile to move).

We also saw two temples that were moved and rebuilt ( Phillea and Abu Simbel) due to the flooding from the Aswan Dam.  You would never know that these were rebuilt and it was definitely worth the extra cost and early flight (left boat at 6am) to see Abu Simbel.

Some temples you see at night and I was afraid that it would be too dark to take photos.  This wasn't the case and the carvings actually showed up better at night.

While we were at Kom Ombo, we saw lightning.  We thought that it was heat lightning but it was heavy rain in Aswan.  Aswan normally gets 1 inch/year so it cannot handle heavy rain.  Buildings collapsed, electricity was lost and there was flooding.  In the Nubian village, 500 people were treated for scorpion stings since the flooding brought the scorpions and snakes from underground.  We left Aswan a few hours before all this happened.  All river traffic had to stop and we were delayed getting to Luxor the next day.

Photos with a phone is allowed in all temples but it costs extra to use a regular camera.  I normally use a dSLR but iPhone pictures (13 pro) have gotten quit good and didn't pay extra to use the camera.  This was also true for the Egyptian Museum.  Nobody on the boat paid the extra cost.

Judy

Edited by F19810
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Food-

I think my only complaint on the food was the fact that for lunch and dinner you only had a choice or two appetizers, two soups and for the main course you had a meat, a fish and a veg choice.  There was no everyday menu so if you didn't like the choices, there was nothing to fall back on.  I was always able to find something to eat but a picky eater may have problems.  Al Fresco, the specialty dining alternative was very good, too much food!

 

Fellow Cruisers-  We had 22 people on the Jordan tour and for the cruise, there were 57 people.  There was a large group from Ga and they were divided into two groups for the tours.  The rest of us (19) were on the third group.  There is no slow walkers group or active group like there is on other cruises.  Everybody does the same thing.  

everybody was very nice and I never had trouble finding people to talk to or eat with.  It really was a great group of people, wish all of my tours were like this.

 

Flight- All flights were on Royal Jordan (Amman to Cairo) and Egypt Air. There were some early mornings, bags out of the door at 4am. 6 am, etc.

Shopping- There was little time to shop.  In Jordan, we did stop at a mosaic store and at  a store that sold products from the Dead Sea.  we stopped at the Dead Sea store only because people asked too.  In Egypt, most of us only shopped on the boat.  In Egypt, there were constantly people trying to sell you something (we called it running the gauntlet) and I will never complain about being dumped into a shop after doing a ride at DisneyWorld again! 

 

Would I recommend this cruise- absolutely, but be prepared to walk on uneven surfaces and steps.  When they built the pyramids and tombs, there were no handicap laws or air-conditioning!  It was hotter than I expected and I was looking the weather report before I left and was still surprised how hot it was.  With the exception on the first day in Cairo when we went to a mosque, shorts were ok.

judy

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