Travel to Egypt (Podcast) – Amateur traveler

by MMC
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Places to visit in Egypt (Podcast)

Hear about traveling to Egypt as the Amateur Traveler talks to Sally Elbassir of about this unique and wonderful country.

Sally says: “I think anyone who has ever studied world history is fascinated by the ancient Egyptians. It is a must-visit place for many people. But I must add that Egypt truly is a country that has something to offer everyone. I think a lot of people don’t know that. Yes, it is very rich in history, but at the same time it also has beautiful seaside resorts. If you are a diver, there are tons of famous dive sites, truly excellent food, and simply amazing culture, music and art. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s something cool and fun to see there.

Sally starts us off in Cairo with the obligatory trip to see the Pyramids of Giza. Egypt is moving the Egyptian Museum to Giza in the coming years, closer to the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid.

Sally also recommends that we visit Coptic Cairo with its churches like the Hanging Church as well as some of the must-see sites of Islamic Cairo like the Mohammad Ali Mosque, Cairo Citadel and Khan el-Khalili Bazaar. But she also recommends lesser-known sites like the Museum of Islamic Art, Al-Azhar Park and Mohamed Ali Palace. Also take the time to go out on the Nile on a felucca for a sunset cruise.

We are debating whether to see Egypt for yourself or take a small group tour. Sally has been around since Intrepid journey on one of his recent visits and recommends having a guide to enhance your experience.

We then go up the Nile (bottom of the map) to Upper Egypt. You can take a Nile cruise, plane or night train to reach Upper Egypt sites like Luxor and Aswan.

Some of the most interesting sites in Egypt are in and near Luxor, including amazing temples like the Luxor Temple or the Karnak Temple. Sally is less enchanted by Hatshepsut’s temple, although she is interested in the story of ancient Egypt’s only female pharaoh. A stop at the Valley of the Kings is a must, but unless you have more time, you can probably avoid the less visited Valley of the Queens.

In Aswan, there is the dam itself to see but the most interesting is the visit to a Nubian village.

Near Aswan there are at least 3 important temples that were moved during the construction of the dam. The best known of these are the two temples of Abu Simbel dedicated to the pharaoh Ramses II and his queen Nefertari. These temples are more than 3.5 hours from Aswan, almost at the other end of Lake Nassar and not far from the border with Sudan. They are worth the trip.

Another relocated temple worth seeing closer to Aswan is the Philae temple dedicated to the goddess Isis. Getting there is half the fun as you have to take a colorful boat ride to get to the temple.

We also talk about excursions to the Black and White Desert, the diving spots and the beaches of the Sanai Peninsula.

Egypt is a unique destination. If it’s not already on your bucket list… why not?

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Show notes

Ancient Kingdom of Egypt
Sea Peoples
Coptic Cairo
Cairo Citadel
Mohammed Ali Mosque
Khan el-Khalili
Wekalet El Ghouri Art Center
Egyptian Museum
Museum of Islamic Art
Al-Azhar Park
Intrepid journey to Egypt
Palace of Mohamed Ali
Valley of the Kings
Tutankhamun’s tomb
Karnak Temple
Luxor Temple
Colossi of Memnon
Aswan Dam
Unfinished obelisk
Abu Simbel Temples
Temple of Philae
Black Desert (Egypt)
Blue Hole (Red Sea)
30+ Best Things to Do in Cairo, Egypt: The Ultimate Cairo Travel Guide
Places to Visit in Egypt – There is no place like Egypt


Hi Chris,

I’m going to give you some feedback on two recent episodes. As always, enjoy your show and keep up the good work.

Episode 727: Kanchanaburi

I just finished listening to the Kanchanaburi episode. I spent half a day there in January 2019. I wish I had more time but due to a number of constraints I had to join a guided day trip from Bangkok which Made a stop at the Damnoen floating market along the way. I’m interested in WWII history and am glad I made the trip. By the way, January is the ideal time to stay in Thailand because the winter is dry, warm and comfortable.

I visited the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery mentioned by your guest Michael. Similar to other cemeteries maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, a Cross of Sacrifice is surrounded by rows and rows of graves.

I went to the JEATH museum (Japan, England, Australia, America, Thailand, Holland), the one that Michael didn’t recommend to me. He is right that the museum is not well organized or preserved. However, if you are interested in this part of the history, there were many artifacts to discover. For example, there was a room filled with piles and piles of Japanese war money. There are also numerous newspaper clippings from this period.

Crossing the bridge over the River Kwai was surreal. In fact, this was my second visit to River Kwai. The first time was almost 30 years ago and I remember having to move out of the way to a small platform in the middle of the bridge so a train could pass!

Episode 726 Wales

I have some ideas for my next visit to Wales.

Your guest failed to mention two destinations in Wales that I think should be on every bibliophile’s bucket list: Hay-on-Wye and Gladstone Library.

First of all, Hay on Wye

This small town is known for its bookstores. Since the advent of online bookstores, the number of bookstores has fallen to just over 20. The main one is housed in an old castle. Every June, Hay-on-Wye hosts a book festival. The town is a popular place for day trippers. Experiencing the quiet morning before the day-trippers arrive is worth spending the night.

The second is Gladstone’s Library.

Gladstone Library is located in Hawarden, North Wales. I took a train from London to the town of Chester and hopped on a local bus to get there.

As a former librarian, it was a dream come true to be able to spend a few nights in a library. One of the privileges of staying at Gladstone’s is visiting the reading room in the evening. Gladstone’s also has a lovely fine dining restaurant and there is a local pub just down the road.



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