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I liked many aspects of Egypt, but not everything.
I was fortunate to travel around Egypt last year. The weather was still pleasant yet cooling down and I travelled by plane, train, mini-bus, coach, felucca and camel; I travelled alone but met and made many friends there.
I began my journey by flying to Sharm el Sheikh on the Red Sea, a beautiful, quiet bay called Nabq. September there was amazing. I spent two weeks in Cairo and a long time in Luxor, I journeyed to Abydos with a group of ex-pats I was fortunate to meet and visited Qena and Dendra briefly. I enjoyed the festival of Eid in Aswan and felt abandoned in Hurghada when I didn't speak to an English person once. I flew over to Sharm el Shiekh from there to spend a few more weeks on the Red Coast before flying back to cold, wet, miserable Manchester in December.
I experienced the richness of the culture, the spirit and the determination of the people. I experienced the generosity of families who invited me to dinner and the good humour of the men who played backgammon long into the night at a little coffee shop. I attended many weddings (it was the time of Eid - the feast/festival) and the brides were magnanimous towards me.
I experienced the desperation of those in tourist areas trying to part me from my money and I learned to speak Arabic (not all of it, just enough to get by).
I was introduced to the poverty alongside the wealth. I witnessed what I thought was the worst driving in the world in Cairo, but changed my mind to say it was probably the best driving in the world because of the skill of avoiding other cars when there didn't appear to be any rules of the road.
I visited the pyramids, the tombs, the museums and other delights that Egypt has to offer.
The time of my journey was one of great political unrest. I experienced fear when a spontaneous crowd gathered and I experienced peace and tranquillity when I was fortunate to visit mosques and churches.
Before I returned from my 3 month tour of Egypt I was lucky enough to stay in a beautiful hotel and be well looked after by the staff. My skin was golden, my spirit was lifted and I learned to appreciate my self.
Yes I did like Egypt - except the mosquitoes!
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