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is it safe?

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california
posts: 2
reviews: 3
is it safe?

can anyone tell me what the situation is like in Giza and cario. My husband and i are planning to leave next week and my fears of going are stopping us. we have been waiting for so long and i dont want to run away from this but everything you see and hear is frightening. If anyone is over there at the moment can you let me now what the situation is like there. maybe this will give me peace of mind.

Austin, TX, USA
posts: 15
reviews: 4
11. Re: is it safe?

The Laredo sounds interesting. It's a great place in Texas to buy Mexican imports and Tequila. How far is it from the Movenpick? Is there a decent bar there? Kathy & Debbie from US will be there Aug. 24-27. Anyone else want to meet up during that time? cats7418@yahoo.com

Getting very excited. Bombs schmombs!

Kathy

Giza, Egypt
posts: 902
12. Re: is it safe?

>> "bombs schmombs" - ROFL!

Since we're discussing my favorite drinking establishment I could make a crude reference to getting "bombed", however in light of recent events I'd better err on the side of restraint... You ladies will be happy to know that at the Movenpick you'll be considerably closer to our Laredo than yours... a mere 5-minute stroll in fact! Laredo is a fun Tex-Mex bar and restaurant inside Le Meridien Pyramids hotel which is in sight of the Movenpick; it opens at 6pm for happy hour and closes when the last patron crawls out. And yes, they have tequila! They usually have music videos going and they also have a DJ who'll play requests. The staff themselves are a very fun bunch - they're all sweethearts, and like brothers to me. Oh yes, the food is pretty good too - they have the best sizzling fajitas in town!

I love your idea of a Trip Advisor get together at Laredo next month... anyone else interested? :o)

Dublin, Ireland
posts: 24
reviews: 9
13. Re: is it safe?

Karen, the information you are giving is very very helpful, thanks a lot!

i have a question you might can help me with, i heard the dress code around the Redsea resorts is pretty relax but how is it around Cairo? is it ok to wear shorts and strapy tops to visit the pyramids?? i read some other posts and some people's advices to women is to cover your shoulders....even with 40 degress??!

thankx in advance

New York City, New...
posts: 246
reviews: 11
14. Re: is it safe?

"i read some other posts and some people's advices to women is to cover your shoulders....even with 40 degress??!"

Honestly, you will be more comfortable in clothing that covers you up.

Before I visited Egypt, I found that hard to believe, but it is true. It is so dry that you will not sweat at all (or the sweat will just evaporate instantly) - and it is so sunny that having a layer of clothing between you and the sun is very nice!

I definitely gained an understanding of traditional Bedouin dress!

For my trip, I bought a lot of clothes that were imports from India - they tend to have lightweight rayon or cotton fabrics that "breathe" well, are comfortable, and are also fairly modest.

That said, contrary to what I read in the guidebooks, I did see a lot of tourists in "immodest" clothing, and no one seemed to be making a huge deal of it.

Giza, Egypt
posts: 902
15. Re: is it safe?

Hello Lovesol! Thanks for your question.

"Shorts and strappy tops"? Hmm... yes, those are absolutely fine and highly recommended as long as it's your intention to (a) fry yourself to a crisp and spend several days in discomfort, and (b) attract a significant amount of unwanted attention.

As far as the heat issue, loose, cool, comfortable clothing is best. A long shirt over a skirt (below the knee) or trousers is ideal, and cool. Like member e.vill, I'm also fond of those light Indian cotton skirts, which are cool and flowy in the heat, easy to roll up and stuff in a suitcase and wash and dry in a tick; teamed with a tank top and a loose shirt over the top it's a cool combination and covers you modestly. It works well because not only is it nicely conservative but it allows you to stay much cooler since the shirt allows for circulation of air and cuts down on evaporation, whereas without such a protective layer you only succeed in frying yourself to a crisp in the unforgiving sun - you'll overheat quickly and feel really uncomfortable.

I normally wear shirts and T-shirts that come to just above the elbow. The reasons for this are two-fold: (1) I don't wish to offend anyone's sensibilities or attract unnecessary attention to myself by parading around scantily clad, and (b) I'm so fair-skinned I could burst into flames in the all-powerful Egyptian sun if not protected by a layer of clothing and a generous coating of SPF 45 sun screen. :-D

While I was in Luxor recently I was surprised by the number of women I saw at the tourist sites in the midday sun (mad dogs and tourists??) sporting tiny tank tops and assorted fashionable strapless numbers, even some in bikini tops... I didn't see the same outfit twice, however something they ALL had in common was a very painful looking lobster-esque sunburn... OUCH! At many of the tourist sites there really is very little shade, which is why it's so important to cover your head and skin as much as possible. A straw hat is a good idea, and you may find it cooler and handier than a scarf as when you go into a tomb for example you can take it off and fan yourself with it! :-)

As for the second issue I mentioned, as I've written on this site many times before, the key to dressing comfortably and appropriately here in Egypt is CONSERVATIVE. This is an Islamic country, and people here respect those who respect their culture. Showing too much skin is a no-no - it's ALWAYS advisable to cover shoulders and upper arms. Avoid anything too clingy or skin-tight, and going bra-less is definitely out of the question unless you want a LOT of unwanted attention.

If you are going to be part of a tour group in Cairo and will be sticking to the main tourist sites, then of course in the warmer weather it is acceptable to wear T-shirts and shorts (the longer the better), and the locals are used to seeing that. But if you are planning to wander around alone, off the beaten track, in rural areas or in Islamic or Coptic Cairo, then of course you should dress more modestly and conservatively, particularly if you intend to visit churches or mosques. You will undoubtedly see other tourists wearing far less, but you'll be treated with far greater respect by the locals if you cover up. I've seen countless tourists here in Cairo (Luxor too) sporting super-short shorts or hipsters and crop tops proudly showing off their midriffs, multiple tattoos and piercings, and the look of distaste on the faces of the locals is quite discernable. This kind of attire is perfectly acceptable at the beach resorts and around the pool, but not in the middle of the city! I saw a girl in the Egyptian museum just yesterday wearing tiny shorts and a bikini top... even some of the other tourists were looking at her in shock! Obviously people like this didn't bother reading up about the culture before boarding their charter flight, figuring they can dress here just as they dress at home, and then they have the nerve to complain that the Egyptians are staring or "leering" at them... They may be staring, but it's certainly not in admiration of their midriffs or body art, I can tell you that much! In this culture a woman who walks around half naked can mean only one thing... and I don't think I need to spell it out to you here.

Dublin, Ireland
posts: 24
reviews: 9
16. Re: is it safe?

Thanks E.vill and Karen, I kind of thought that the clothes you recommended was the right thing to bring to Egypt, but i live in Ireland and found quite difficult to find "conservative" light summer clothing! specially now that our extremely short summer is gone for good :( anyway, i'll keep an eye on the shops

thanks again for the info!

Giza, Egypt
posts: 902
17. Re: is it safe?

You're welcome - any time! :-)

Missouri
posts: 16
18. Re: is it safe?

bc10 - We just returned from a trip to Egypt. Cairo/Nile Cruise/Hurgada/Alexandria. We always felt safe. Never had any worries about being mugged or having our pockets picked! We arrived before the bombings and were there for about 10 days after, terrorist attacks can happen anyplace anytime! As verified by 9-11 and we did not change our plans because of the bombings. We did scrap plans to go to St Catherines because we were going by bus and our tour operator had negative feedback from other clients concerning the added security check points which made the trip a few hours longer. We cancelled because of the length of the trip. My son, who spent the whole summer in Egypt went to Sharm before the attacks - and is there right now on a second visit. There is a lot of security - Tourist police, metal dectors at hotels and sites, stops along the road when traveling that you may not be used to!! And we noticed increased security after the attacks, hotel security searching bags brought in that sort of thing. Airport security was tight during our trip over - we connected thru Amsterdam - and MUCH tighter on the return!! Long lines at the gates - it took us about 2 hours in Amsterdam as they checked all passports thru a machine, questioned all passengers regarding checked baggage, hand searched everything carried on even after it went thru the x-ray machine. This is not intended as a deterrent but more as a be prepared for long lines and some extra security that you may not be used to. Egypt is truely a fascinating place!