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Comments on trip to Cairo end October?

london
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Comments on trip to Cairo end October?

We are a family of four including two children aged 13 and 16. We have visited Cairo briefly once and Luxor and Aswan several times. I have done some courses in Egyptology. I am now thinking of a week in Cairo at the end of October so that I can see some of the archaeological material in more detail. My husband would like to see Alexandria because he loves faded fin de siecle seaside charm. We all want to relax as well.

I'm thinking of staying in the Marriott on the island so we can relax in between times and leave the children on their own if they don't want yet another museum trip.

I've read the tripadvisor reviews and the more recent threads of this forum.

I welcome comments/answers on the following:

-The weather at that time looks reasonably pleasant by UK standards mainly sunny, about 70 F) during the day, possibly cool at night, is that correct?

-Is the Marriott is reasonably accessible for both the Egyptian Museum and Saqqara? I know Cairo traffic is terrible.

-I might like a guide to the pyramid fields, but it would have to be someone genuinely knowledgeable, what is the best way to find one? There are a couple of names in the forums but I really want more than you can read in the average guidebook or I will just take a guidebook. I'm thinking of Dashur, Abusir, Saqqara as we have seen Giza. It's not clear to me yet whether this needs more than one trip - I do take time to look at things as as I try to understand inscriptions and paintings.

Is there any reason why my husband should not just get the express train to Alex and wander round with a guidebook? Would it be worth an overnight stay - he really wants to soak in the atmosphere rather than tick off every single item on the tourist agenda?

- Any good Egyptian restaurants to recommend accessible from Marriott? Not hotel food or Westernised. Something authentic where locals might go. We like real Egyptian food, grilled fish or meat, vegetables, etc and can live with or without alcohol.

-Is the Fayyum too far for a comfortable day trip?

-Are there any recommended boat trips in Cairo, either day trips or with dinner?

-When is Ramadan this year?

Thanks to you all.

Cairo, Egypt
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1. Re: Comments on trip to Cairo end October?

Well it's great that we can get people like and you and many others who liked Egypt and want to visit more and see more.....thank you first of all..

I'll do my best as a tour guide to answer your questions the way that you had in mind....

1 )the weather is nice as we hope in Oct and it's about 77 to 80 F during the day and it drops to 70 sometimes it goes to 65 even at night..

2) for the hotel it's near the down town area yeah but the easy way from it is by a taxi for like 15 to 20 mins ride and it's not close to sakkara it's like 30 up to 45 mins from sakkara..depending on the trraffic...

3) Well i am tour guide as i told you with masters degree in Archeology 2005 from Cairo university and for the sites you mentioned it can be done as full day tour but again as you said that you want to spend Ur time looking at the painting and the colors so sakkara would take more time from you as 2 tombs there and a pyramid are perfectly colored from the 5th and the 6th dynasty era...

4) no reason for your husband not to take the train to Alex it's safe ,fast and it's comfortable it's 2 hours and 15 to 30 mins ...as long as what he needs is to mingle with the people there and to get to feel the city and goes around by himself away from where tourists would go normaly....

5) restaurants,,,well i can list many of which but what if you just take a look at thishttp://www.cairodining.com/default.asp?i=1 and by the way the area where the Marriott is it's Zamalek.

6) it's 1 and half drive and you can even stop before El Fayoum and visit one of the pyramids which is Maidum pyramid... and then you can continue to the city it self so it's in a way a break from the ride and for you to see more pyramids...;-)

6) you can take what we call here a Feluka ride for an hour or 2 in the river Nile or you can do a dinner cruise by the Nile and from what my guests told me i can tell you that one of the expensive and good one is the Marriott cruise and the second one is the Nile pharoah.....

7) Ramadan is by the end of Aug or the first week of Sep...not sure yet...

Well i hope that i did gave you a good answer to Ur post and wishing you all the best ,,,,

thank you..

Cairo
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2. Re: Comments on trip to Cairo end October?

Hey verity1,

- As far as I know Abu Sir is still closed for restoration !

- I think it is much better that your husband hire a coach with driver for the whole day from Cairo to Alexandria. The trip by coach takes about 3 hrs o/w but being with a driver that will facilitate much and leads him to the right place without haggling with taxi driver in Alex. just an idea.

- Fayoum is about 90 km from Cairo down town so it is about one hour and half , you can visit the Pyramids of Hawara and Lahun, Karanis (Roman cemetry) and beautiful places in the city like waterwheels and watch the bird life by Qarun lake. So it would be nice.

- Dinner cruise sail for about 2 hrs and more with buffet style or set menu dinner enjoying folkloric shows and belly dancing also felucca is available just haggle with captain first to get a good bargain.

- Ramadan starts on Sept. 24th

Hope that helps. If you have any other questions, you can reach me at isis_lover35@yahoo.com

regards,

london
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3. Re: Comments on trip to Cairo end October?

Thanks for these helpful responses. Any additional contributions welcomed.

4. Re: Comments on trip to Cairo end October?

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Manchester, United...
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5. Re: Comments on trip to Cairo end October?

Many questions. I don't know how come I missed your post earlier. Anyway:

- You have the right idea about weather.

- Marriot is 5-minute taxi ride or 15 minute walk to the museum. Pay 5 LE for the taxi. Saqara is about 45 minutes away, a bit more if traffic was bad. Better hire a taxi to take you there and return and wait for you while you do the trip. I would pay 100-120 LE for such a service.

- Fir the guide, I think Karen could help you with that. I understand she knows a few good ones. For me, I always go to a guy called Sa'id Abdel Ghany, he is one of Dr. Zahi Hawas's staff members. You will find his office behind the Sun Boat Museum. I usually find him there and he is very helpful. He once gave me his phone number but I lost it. If I run into it I will post it for you.

- There is no reason why you shouldn't go alone to Alex and it is worth staying overnight if you have time. The only problem as Nadine mentioned is that you will need to haggle with taxi drivers while getting around, but that is also part of the atmosphere.

- Across the street from your hotel is Abul Sid, best known Egyptian home cooking style restaurant. There is also Abu Shaqra, best fir grills and other staples, it is in the beginning of Kasr El Ainy St. in front of Kasr El Ainy Hospital, about 10-15 minutes in a taxi from your hotel (5-8 LE). You can also try the Egyptian restaurant on Le Pacha Boat, 5-minute walk from Marriot. A short walk from your hotel also is Studio Misr, another good place for grills with a Nile view. Ask for the Nile City Boat, it is there. In the downtown area don't miss a meal of Koshari in Abu Tarek, Shampeleon St., a 5-minute walk from the Museum and marked in all guidebooks. For Foul and Falafel, Never miss Mohamed Ahmed in Alexandria. If you don't go there, it is Felfela in Cairo (both marked in guidebooks also) and at the Islamic Cairo, have the pies in Fatatri El Hussein (its sign says "Egyptian Pancakes" and have some local hot and cold drinks after your meal at El Feshawy café in the market and at El Hussein Square there is a place for sweets and deserts called El Malky, not to be missed as well. For more exotic options, go to El Ahd El Gedeed in the bazaar as well, ask for it, known by all and stuffed pidgins are served the best at El Gomhoreya restaurant in Bab El Louq Square down town. Finally for the best sea food, go to Fish Market in Alexandria, at the eastern harbor, a few minutes walk from, the citadel and it has a branch in Cairo with a Nile view in Giza, opposite Alfamarket supermarket, close to the zoo on the Americana Boat.

- Fayoum is not far.

- If you want a sailing Felouca ride, go to the place close to the grand Hyat A 1-hour ride costs 30 LE and tip the boatman with 5-10 LE. There are many dinner cruises including belly dancing shows as well. The Grand Hyyat boat in particular is excellent.

6. Re: Comments on trip to Cairo end October?

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Removed on: 2:48 pm, June 15, 2006
Malmo, Sweden
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7. Re: Comments on trip to Cairo end October?

How do you book the Hyatt Nile river cruise? Thanks for any input!

Hackney
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8. Re: Comments on trip to Cairo end October?

A good thing to do (& cheap0 is to get a river bus from modern Cairo (the dock is near the Rameses Hilton) down to 'old' Cairo. You can get the subway back oor take in the (huge & old Al Amr mosqe on the way back uptown.

Manchester, United...
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9. Re: Comments on trip to Cairo end October?

When you arrive, just call the Grand Hyatt hotel and book it on the phone. Your hotel reception can do it too.

Sydney
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10. Re: Comments on trip to Cairo end October?

Verity

I returned December (I live in Sydney) from my trip to Egypt/Jordan/Dubai. Saw all the usual sights but one about which I did not know before visiting was the Gayer-Anderson Museum in Cairo. This is a must-see!

It is housed in two fine old villas (16th and 17th century) that overlook Ibn Tulun Mosque.

Once owned by an English army officer, the two houses contain a fascinating collection of Arabic artefacts, furniture and memorabilia, giving a great insight into Cairene life during the Ottoman period. It is a place in which you could spend a lot of time as it is truly fabulous.

Do try and see this - I am sure you will not regret it. You can combine it with a visit to Ibn Tulun Mosque. There is a guide attached to the Gayer-Anderson Museum, so you can go there by yourself.

If you do go there, please let me know on this thread what you thought. I could almost guarantee that you will enjoy it.

If I can be of further help, add a post asking for Vikki.