Our travel agency did a fabulous job with our trip to Egypt and Jordan. When we stepped off the plane in Cairo, our agent was at the gate with our visas. We whisked through customs in no time. It was a great start to a memorable trip.
Our first hotel was disappointing. Its website suggests a hotel from a by-gone era. In reality, it is a new Marriott. It was clean, safe, well kept, and literally across the street from the pyramids. The staff was wonderful, but it was not what we hoped it would be. Food was mediocre.
We had a great guide who accompanied us throughout our stay in Egypt. He was knowledgeable, personable, and just plain nice. He was a great ambassador for Egypt who was a pleasure to spend a week with. He was punctual, and patient. He provided great knowledge about ancient Egypt with a passion for his country’s heritage. He did an excellent job.
The hotel in Aswan was splendid. It exceeded our expectations. The location was beautiful. The food was very good. The restaurant was a bit stuffy especially when nearly denying admission because I wore hiking shoes. The food was very good, not great, but the room was great.
Next stop was the hotel in Luxor. It was well located, and had a great staff, but it was not quite as good as Aswan. Nonetheless, there is no question that we would stay there again. Luxor is an unbelievable place. The Valley of the Kings was awesome, but there is no better site than the tomb of Queen Nefertari. The murals defy description.
Alexandria was next up on the journey. The accommodation was a great hotel. The citadel and library were worth a day trip. The city itself had an edge, an impression that no doubt resulted from the 2 fist fights we saw during our afternoon there. We, however, never felt threatened there or anywhere in Egypt. Americans need to ignore that suggestion that the wonderful country is unsafe. It is safe, welcoming, and hospitable. Go to Egypt. You won’t be disappointed.
We next traveled to Jordan for 4 four days. What a place. We stopped at Mt. Nebo on the way to Petra, which defies description. You need to be in shape to enjoy all that Petra offers unless you decide to ride a donkey to the monastery. We hiked it-13.9 miles and 138 flights of stairs. There is a lot to see, and the view from the cliffs overlooking the Treasury is stunning, and quite steep. Petra by night was a dud. We spent 2 nights at the Movenpick on the recommendation of friends. it is a great choice at it is immediately adjacent to the entrance to the Petra.
Wadi Rhum was next on the agenda. We spent a few hours with our guide whose Bedouin family was wonderful. The area is beautiful. It is no easy to understand by T.E. Lawrence loved the country after touring here. Next time we will stay at least at night here.
We then traveled back to Amman where we stayed at the resort which was great. I realized that I forgot my coat at Petra, but our driver and city guide, made a call to a fellow guide who brought it back to Amman with him; just one of those little things that distinguish a really good tour company. He took us on a great trip through downtown Amman at night. Once again, not a worry about security. We sat outside waiting in line at Habibahto sample kanafehwhen a couple of middle aged guys struck up a conversation with us, another example of how people throughout our trip were genuinely friendly. Our last day in Jordan was highlighted by a day trip to Jerash. Do not miss it. Our guide was great, and took extra time to be sure that we saw everything.
The owner of the Maryland based tour company, put together a comprehensive, insightful, and undeniably memorable trip. His attention to detail was exceptionable. His integrity was evident when he deferred involvement in our last stop, Istanbul. He candidly acknowledged that he did not have a network established there. That he encouraged us to book this part of our trip with someone else speaks volumes for him.
Our agent's involvement did not end when we left Amman. Shortly after we arrived home we received shipment of a table that we purchased while in Jordan. It was not what we purchased, and not what we wanted. When he was informed of this problem, he immediately had his people in Jordan intervene. He was responsible for a full refund of the purchase price. He did not have to do that, but he felt it was his duty to do so. Trust us, as travelers who arrived in Kathmandu around 9:00 am. on April 25, 2015, we know the importance of a tour operator, and this agent is a really good one.
Go to the Egypt and Jordan, and book with this travel company; you will not be disappointed. Go to Egypt and Jordan because they are safe, welcoming, and incredibly interesting. Don’t listen to naysayers who exaggerate dangers that are ubiquitous. It is a journey that will not disappoint.
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