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at lunchtime and there our tour started... /div>

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EGYPT

Trip report: millennial monuments, deserts, rabbit-shaped rocks and falafels
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EGYPT: PHOTOS AND TRIP REPORT

Here below some of the most fascinating photos from Egypt. Together with the photogallery, you will find a funny and interesting trip report full of info and anecdotes describing the whole travel itinerary. If you haven't read them yet, check out all travel info and precise itinerary here: www.wildtrips.net/egypt.htm.

Luxor
Luxor. View form Beit Sabee hotel.

EGYPT TRIP REPORT AND PHOTOS

For that Christmas I decided to spend my holidays in Egypt, not only for the pyramids or the Red Sea, but mostly for the strange White Desert. From Italy we flew to Cairo and then to Luxor. We had also booked in advance a B&B in the city of temples and a three-day trip in the desert (the latter through the agency Select Egypt, that we found on the Internet: it didn't seem reliable at all, but the low price convinced us).
Luxor
Village near Luxor
We had dinner at the Beit Sabee hotel (a double room for 40 euros per night) and we went to sleep. The breakfast on the terrace of the guesthouse was great: not for the food, but for the spectacular views over the red mountains around Luxor.
Luxor
Luxor
Luxor
Temple of Hatshepsut
Our taxi driver / guide that we had booked for the day (50 euros per person including all tickets and lunch) took us to Medinat Habu temple, to the famous temples of Karnak and Luxor, and to the Valley of the Kings.
Luxor
Luxor
Luxor
Medinat Habu Temple
A travel itinerary in which the grandeur of buildings and columns and ruins meshed with the harsh beauty of the bare landscape, creating breathtaking views.
Luxor
Temple of Hatshepsut. One of the many temples and tombs in Luxor.

In the evening my girlfriend and I decided to have a walk in the center of Luxor. It was amazing to cross the Nile at sunset, on a small taxi boat.
Nile
Sunset at Luxor: Nile and feluccas
We loved Luxor town center and also the food at the restaurant. Taxis and boats were incredibly cheap.
Luxor
Luxor by night
The day after, at dawn, our taxi driver took us to the airport, from which we flew to Cairo. At the arrivals a man loaded us on his car and he drove into the flat, boring desert. It was the start of out tour in the White Desert; a three-day tour for 140 euros each, including sleeping, eating, drinking, driver, guide, jeep, entrance fees to parks, etc... We arrived at the oasis of Baharya at lunch. It was amazing to see the palm groves and houses suddenly rise from the middle of that flat sandy desert.
Egypt Baharya Oasis
Baharya Oasis. This town in the desert is very peculiar: a big oasis made it possible.
Egypt Desert
Dune in the middle of the Egyptian desert
The town was dusty and not in too conditions. The driver left us in a nice hotel where other tourists were waiting to go to the White Desert.
Our guide arrived shortly after. He was a typically Bedouin guy, with his tunic and his turban, grown up in Baharyia. We started out 4x4 tour, through a much more beautiful desert full of colors, dunes, rocks and mountains.
Egypt Black Desert
Black Desert. From Cairo a long road takes into the desert.
We stopped in an area of dark ground (the Black Desert), then on a long sand dune, and then we continued our organised travel itinerary through the extraordinary Akabat Mountains, where we drank mint tea in a scenic location.
Egypt Aqabat Mountains
Aqabat Mountains. These mountains near the White Desert really deserve some 4x4 exploration.
Egypt Aqabat Mountains
Aqabat Mountains
Egypt Aqabat Mountains
Aqabat Mountains
Egypt Aqabat Mountains
Aqabat Mountains
It was dark when we arrived in the middle of the White Desert, so initially we could only imagine its beauty. The Bedouins prepared the camping gear, mounted it on the sand and began cooking.
Egypt White Desert
White Desert
Egypt White Desert
White Desert
Egypt White Desert
White Desert. These limestone formations take absurd shapes that make this desert unique in the world.
After a quiet night in the sleeping bags (the temperature at night dropped to 7-8 degrees Celsius) we woke up at dawn to finally admire the spectacular White Desert under the light of the sun. We walked through those senseless rock formations while the Bedouins prepared breakfast and packed the tents and everything else.
Egypt White Desert
White Desert
Egypt White Desert
White Desert
Back on the jeep, we continued our travel itinerary along sandy treks that crossed that spectacular scenery. We some more desert and one small oasis.
Egypt White Desert
White Desert
Egypt White Desert
Camping in the White Desert is a once in a lifetime experience.
The next day, the adventurous travel itinerary by jeep continued through other wild, deserted spaces.
Oasis
No vegetation at all but few palms in this oasis.
Camels
Camels
Finally we arrived back to Baharyia. It was a great trip! Another driver picked us up on his van and took us to Cairo , in the city center, where we had booked a private room in a hostel.
We went out for dinner, finding a good restaurant near the gigantic Tahrir Square.
Cairo
Cairo. The Egypt capital is chaotic and full of monuments.
The next morning we hired a taxi for the day (20 euros), contacted by the hostel. The driver spoke perfect Italian, so he was also our guide. By taxi we reached the outskirts of Cairo, where there was the entrance to the Pyramids of Giza. Here we hired a dromedary, on top of which we visited the area.
Pyramids of Giza
Pyramids of Giza. A must-see, of course.
Camel
Nice man with a camel just in front of the Pyramids of Giza.
As famous as it is, the view of the Pyramids in the desert is amazing, even if it's disappointing to see that they are just a few hundred meters from the ugliest apartments of Cairo. But the Pyramids are the Pyramids!
Then we saw the Sphinx, which was smaller and much less impressive than we had imagined.
Sphynx
Sphynx. Not as impressive as the Pyramids.
In addition to the Pyramids of Giza, there were other similar sites around Cairo. These less famous Pyramids are almost as impressive as the ones of Giza, but much less crowded. So, our driver took us to Saqqara and then Dahshur. In the latter site, we were able to climb the steps of the Red Pyramid of Snefru and then to enter into the heart of the pyramid through a narrow and steep staircase. In the afternoon we concluded the trip.
Then we wandered alone through the center of Cairo, which we visited in more depth the day after. We walked to the lively souk, where we had falafels and bakhlava.
Cairo
Cairo
Aside from the crazy traffic, visiting Cairo was simple and safe. The monumental center, with the alleys and the mosques, was really fascinating.
Cairo
Cairo
At dinner we enjoyed the last Arab dishes of our holiday as our travel itinerary ended. The following morning we returned to the airport and then to Italy and the journey was over... a real pity! Because Egypt is beautiful and its temperate climate in the Christmas holidays is perfect, compared to the cold European winter.
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