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Seven Nights in Egypt

Red Sea Pleasures

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At the hotel beach

At the hotel beach

We were fortunate to spend seven days in Egypt in October 2021. Our grandson Daniel joined us in our holiday stay because he had school holidays at that time. We managed to get “old prices” for the hotel. Starting with November 1, 2021, the room prices for a five-star hotel have risen, which is fair enough. JoinUp was our tour operator. We stayed at Tia Heights Hotel in Makadi Bay. It is about half an hour drive from the city of Hurghada.

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Princess Tia sculpture at the entrance to the hotel

Princess Tia sculpture at the entrance to the hotel

Princess Tia was an ancient Eyptian princess during the 19th dynasty. She was the daughter of Pharaoh Seti and the elder sister of Ramses II. Our hotel is called after Princess Tia.

A quiet day at the hotel beach

The city of Hurghada is located on the 27th parallel of northern latitude, and the inclination of the axis of the planet Earth is 23.5 degrees. Accordingly, in Egypt in the summer months you are in one of the closest points to the Sun on our planet. By the way, the Egyptian city of Aswan is the driest city on our planet. It is located on the 24th parallel. If you find yourself in Aswan on the day of the summer solstice on June 21, you will be the closest person to the Sun on Earth.

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In Egypt, you should be seriously afraid of sunburn. This problem is very relevant in the summer months, in autumn and spring the threat can be called "average", and in winter it is not worth thinking about it at all. The peak of solar activity is observed from noon until 3 p.m. Our tour guide Meena from JoinUp reminded us about simple personal safety rules:

  • Apply sun cream when at the beach.
  • Wear a hat, sunscreen and light clothing and comfortable shoes for the tour.
  • Do not forget to take a large supply of water with you on the tour. They recommend taking ordinary bottled water, not carbonated drinks or juices. Even if lunch is provided during the tour, the passengers pay for their drinks themselves.
  • Be careful about the local tap water.

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In Egypt, tap water is unfit for drinking. In the central regions of the country, water of bad purification is used, and in coastal areas water is desalinated. The use of Egyptian tap water threatens gastric disorders, poisoning and serious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. The tap water in our resort was a little salty to taste. Our tour guide did not recommend us to rinse our eyes or wounds with this water. He said we should avoid using it for intimate hygiene, or brushing our teeth with it and rinsing our mouth. For tea and coffee, the tour guide recommended us to boil bottled water. We never used the bottled water for making tea or coffee in the hotel room, though. We were satisfied with the meals at the hotel restaurant.

  • There are about 1,200 species of fish in the Red Sea, including 44 species of sharks, about 1,000 species of invertebrates and about 200 species of corals. There are many poisonous specimens in this variety. The number of species here is so large that only biologists can hardly distinguish them. The tour guide strongly recommended us not to touch any fish with our hands.

At the hotel entrance

At the hotel entrance

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We are grateful to our tour operator and local guides and taxi drivers for showing us the country of the pyramids, sphinxes and temples of the pharaohs that left an unforgettable impression. Wonderful climate, warm sea, quality service and a variety of tour made our holiday unforgettable and felt like returning to this blessed land again and again. We were very impressed by the Red Sea, its colorful coral treasures, the unique beauty of its underwater world, flocks of tropical fish and a great variety of underwater plants and little sea urchins.

No evening at the hotel was dull or unemotional.

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We had read many negative comments of Russian-speaking holidaymakers about their stay in Egypt:

  • They said they had felt unsafe in Egypt.
  • They said that the service was so-so, the hotels were also not very good, the food was poor.
  • They observed that streets were very dirty.
  • The disappointed holidaymakers said they were tired of sellers’ obsession with their “excellent goods” and their arrogance. The merchants allegedly imposed their goods running after poor holidaymakers through the streets.
  • Some holidaymakers were upset with constant lies and inadequacy on the part of people everywhere.
  • Instead of relaxation, those holidaymakers allegedly received so much negativity and felt as if they were prey and walking tight wallets with money.

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We could not testify to those negative experiences. In other words, we were in the mood for a good stay and we got it. Egypt, for all its diversity of life, has its own charm.
Local sellers could be imposing indeed. However, you should not position yourself as their victim. It's your holiday after all! You only have to use the word "shoukran", when you are offered something you do not need, and “bookra” meaning “tomorrow”. If you learn more survival phrases, you will be able to enjoy your stay more. I used Egyptian Arabic-English phrasebooks from the Internet, as well as some useful Youtube courses to get the feeling of Egyptian Arabic since I realized that the dialects were quite different.
Overall, we had no negative experience, except for a shouting border guard officer at Hurghada Airport whom I met upon our departure. I only nodded and fulfilled his orders without asking any questions or showing any impatience.

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At Aqua Park,Tia Heights Hotel

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Our stay coincided with Halloween. Since there were many kids among the holidaymakers, they wore different funny and scary clothes and attended the Halloween Night. The hotel staff was kind enough to decorate the restaurant with Halloween symbols.

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Halloween décor at the hotel restaurant

And, of course, no evening at the hotel was boring. The animators' team did their best and invited the Russian-speaking holidaymakers (they were in the majority) to play beach volleyball, darts, to dance some water aerobics and what not. In the evenings, they organized and held dance parties for us. The animators showed the dance movements on the stage, and we had a choice: either to sit comfortably at the tables sipping our cocktails or to join the happy dancers near the stage.

The Brazilian Dance Party was especially nice. The holidaymakers watched the show with great interest.

Attending the evening dance: Brazilian Dance Night at the hotel.

The Brazilian Dance Night was great!

We have good memories of the Brazilian Dance Night at the hotel.

It was fun to attend the Brazilian Dance Night at the hotel.

Thank you, Egypt!

Thank you, Egypt!

There are many countries, where you often want to return, and which never cease to be interesting. Egypt is a bright representative of such special countries. It is difficult to determine what is more beautiful there: the endless sandy deserts, the ancient majestic pyramids or the unusual Red Sea.

Posted by Vic_IV 12:52 Archived in Egypt Tagged sea red hurghada Comments (10)

Mini Egypt Park

The Nearby Sights

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The map of Egypt in the park

The map of Egypt in the park

On our second day of stay at Tia Heights Hotel, I looked at the map and discovered that Mini Egypt Park that we were passing on our way to the hotel from the airport is a well-known sight in the area, and it was located a couple of miles away from the hotel. Therefore, we decided to pay a visit there before starting the exploration of the country.

The park entrance sign

The park entrance sign

I used Uber application on my phone to order a taxi, and we reached the park quickly at a reasonable taxi fare. You can see 25 times reduced replicas of 60 most famous Egyptian sights: the Great Pyramids, Sphinx, historical buildings, and famous landmarks.

Karnak Temple, Luxor

Karnak Temple, Luxor

At the replica of Luxor Temple

At the replica of Luxor Temple

Luxor Temple is a large ancient Egyptian temple located on the east bank of the Nile. Luxor was founded in 1400 B.C. It was known as “the southern sanctuary”. There are six great temples: four on the left bank (known as Goomah, Deit-el-Bahn, the Rasesseum and Madinet Habu) and two on the right bank (known as Karnak and Luxor).

Karnak Temple_6

Karnak Temple_6

Karnak Temple is the world’s largest ancient religious site. It represents the combined achievement of many generations of Egyptian builders. Most of the work in Karnak was done by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom (1570-110 B.C.).

Obelisk at the entrance to Luxor Temple

Obelisk at the entrance to Luxor Temple

The Temple of Karnak consists of three main temples, smaller enclosed temples and several outer temples located about 2.5 kilometers north of Luxor. The Hyposite Hall with its area of 5,999 square meters is one of the most famous structures of Karnak. The Hall contains 134 massive columns arranged in 16 rows.

Hatshepsut Temple

Hatshepsut Temple

Hatsepsut Temple: Hatsepsut means Foremost of Noble Ladies. She wad the fifth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt in 1508-1458 B.C. Hatsepsut is the first great woman in history of whom we are informed.

Abu Simbel Temple

Abu Simbel Temple

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Visiting Mini Egypt Park

Visiting Mini Egypt Park

Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples in Abu Simbel, a small village in Nubia, southern Egypt, near the border with Sudan. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan. The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century .C.

At the Pyramid of Giza

At the Pyramid of Giza


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Visiting the miniature Sphynx
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The Pyramids at the park_2

The Pyramids at the park_2

Fun at the Pyramids

Fun at the Pyramids

The replicas of the Great Pyramids caught my eye. I did what other visitors did: some fun photoes.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone was found in 1799. It was inscribed with three versions of a decree issued in Mamphis in 196 B.C. during the Ptolemaic dynasty in the name of Ptolemy V. The top and the middle texts are in Ancient Egyptian. These texts use hieroglyphic script and Demotic script respectively. The bottom script is in Ancient Greek. Rosetta Stone proved to be the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs. If fact, it opened a window into the ancient Egyptian history.

The Egyptian Museum, Cairo

The Egyptian Museum, Cairo

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo contains the world’s most extensive collection of pharaonic antiquities. The museum began functioning in this building in Tahrir Square in 1902. It had been built for the purpose of the museum and is the world’s first purpose-built museum edifice.

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Queen Hefert and Rae Hetep statues were discovered by Marit Pasha at the tomb of Rae Hetep in Mido in 1871.

Rae Hetep and Queen Nefert, Mido

Rae Hetep and Queen Nefert, Mido

Rae Hetep was the son of King Senefro. The word Nefert means beautiful.

Ramesseum Temple

Ramesseum Temple


The Ramesseum Temple was built by Ramses the Great as a funerary temple in 1304-1207 B.C. It was dedicated to God Ra. It is located across the River Nile in the Thebean necropolis. Most of the temple is in a very bad condition or in ruins.

The statue of the Egyptian writer

The statue of the Egyptian writer

The statue of an Egyptian write is one of the most famous and most accurate statues that reflect the cultural life and its importance in Ancient Egypt. The statue is in Louvre Museum in Paris.

Trajan's Kiosk

Trajan's Kiosk

Trajan’s Temple, a hypaethral temple, is one of the largest Ancient Egyptian monuments standing today at the island of Agilkia. It was constructed by the Roman Emperor Trajan. Originally, it was built on the island of Philae, near the Aswan Dam, but was transported to Agilkia in the 1960ies by the UNESCO to save it from being enveloped by the rising waters of the Nile due to the construction o the Aswan High Dam. The 15x20-meter temple is 15.85 meters high. Its four by five columns each carry different lavishly structured composite capitals that are topped by 2.10-meter-high piers.

Pompay's Pillar

Pompay's Pillar

Pompay’s Pillar stands in Alexandria. The locals call it Amoud el-Sawan – the Column of the Horsemen. The column has two Sphynx. The Pillar is the tallest ancient monument in Alexandria. Its height is approximately 25 meters, and its diameter is nine meters. It was made of the red Aswan granite. Pompay’s Column was built in honor of the Emperor Diocletian.

Roman Amphitheater

Roman Amphitheater

The Roman Amphitheater is one of the symbols of Alexandria. It was built in the 4th century A.D. and wa in use until the 7th century A.D.

Kom Ombo Temple

Kom Ombo Temple

Kom Ombo Temple is an unusual double temple built during the Ptolemaic dynasty in the Ancient Egyptian town of Kom Ombo. Some additions to it were later made during the Roman period. The site of Kom Ombo hosts the Ptolemaic Temple of Herwer (Haroeris) and Sobek, as well as a smaller, Roman period temple to Hather, and a Nilometer. The temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor (180-145 B.C.) at the beginning of his reign and added to by other Ptolemys.

Temple of Edfu

Temple of Edfu

Temple of Edfu is an ancient Egyptian temple located on the west bank of the Nile in the city of Edfu. It is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. The temple was dedicated to Horus the Falcon God. It was built on Ptolemaic period between 237 an 57 B.C. The temple of Edfu became a center for tourism in Egypt thanks to its high state of preservation and archaeological significance. Today it is a frequent stopover for numerous riverboats that cruiser the Nile.

St.Catherine's Monastery in southern Sinai

St.Catherine's Monastery in southern Sinai

St.Catherine’s Monastery in southern Sinai, Egypt is located below Mount Catherine, the highest mountain in Sinai. It is considered one of the oldest monasteries in the world.

Cairo University

Cairo University

The university was founded on December 21, 1908. It is the second oldest institution of higher education in Egypt. It became a state institution in 1925.

Cairo Opera House

Cairo Opera House

The opera house is a part of Cairo’s National Cultural Center. It located on the southern portion of Gezira Island on the Nile in Zamalek District near downtown Cairo.

Cairo Tower

Cairo Tower

Cairo Tower in Zamalek District is a 614-feet-high free-standing concrete tower. Its partially open lattice-work design is intended to evoke a pharaonic lotus plant, an iconic symbol of Ancient Egypt. The tower used to be the tallest structure in Northern Africa for 50 years. Cairo Tower, one of the city’s well-known modern monuments, is sometimes considered Egypt’s second mot famous landmark after the Pyramids of Giza.

The White Sails statue

The White Sails statue

The White Sails statue is located in front of the Library of Alexandria in Al-Silsila Square in Azarita District of Alexandria. It was built by the Egyptian sculptor Fathi Mahmoud in 1962. The statue is a monster with a bull’s head and a body undulating as the sea embracing a beautiful woman resembling a mermaid. The statue implies the legend of the creation of Alexandria: an ancient story about the God and the sea, where the sea is in the form of a bull. The bull on the statue tightened his grip on a beautiful lady symbolling Alexandria.

The Naval Unknown Soldier's Monument, Alexandria

The Naval Unknown Soldier's Monument, Alexandria

The Naval Unknown Soldier’s Memorial in Alexandria is located in Mamshaya District. It is dedicated to those soldiers who died in the sea battles.

The German Cemetry, Al-Alamein

The German Cemetry, Al-Alamein


Italian Cemetry, Al-Alamein

Italian Cemetry, Al-Alamein

The German Cemetery in El-Alamein, Matruh, was built in the shape of a fortress. It contains 4,213 German burials from WWII and 30 burials from WWI. There are also 31 casualties of unknown nationalities buried there.

El Montazah Palace

El Montazah Palace

El Montazah Palace was built by Khedive Abbas Helmy (1892-1914) along the Alexandrian coastline as his summer palace. It was his refuge when it became too hot in Cairo. The palace was designed in a pseudo-Moorish style and was given a Florentine twist with the addition of a tower modelled on one at Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio.

Visiting Mini Egypt Park

Visiting Mini Egypt Park

The Citadel of Qaitbay was built at the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria. It was established in 1477 A.D. by the Mameluke Sultan Al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Qait Bay as the defensive edifice against the Turks who threatened Egypt at that time. The Citadel of Qaitbay in Aleandria is considered one of the most important defensive strongholds not only in Egypt, but also along the Mediterranean Sea coast.

Bab Zwella Gate, Cairo

Bab Zwella Gate, Cairo

Bab Zwella is a medieval gate in Cairo, which is still standing in modern times. It was also known as Bawabbat al-Mitwali during the Ottoman period. It is sometimes spelled as Bab Zuwayla. It is considered one of the major landmarks of the city and is the last remaining southern gate from the walls of Fatimid Ciro in the 11th and 12th century. Its name comes from Bb meaning “door” and Zuwayla, the name of a tribe of Berber warriors from the western desert, members of which were charged with guarding the gate.

St.George Church, Cairo

St.George Church, Cairo

St.George’s Church in Coptic Cairo if the main Greek Orthodox church of Egypt. It was built atop an old Roman tower and ajoins St.George’s Monastery. The church dates back to the 10th century (or earlier). The current structure was rebuilt after the Fire of 1904.

Sultan Hassan Mosque

Sultan Hassan Mosque

Sultan Hassan Mosque is a massive Mamluk era mosque and madrassa located near the Citadel in Cairo. In was built in 1356-1363. This mosque is considered remarkable for its fantastic dimensions and innovative architectural components.

Muhammad Ali Pasha Mosque, Cairo

Muhammad Ali Pasha Mosque, Cairo

Muhammad Ali Pasha Mosque is also known as Alabaster Mosque. This Ottoman mosque is located at the summit of the Citadel of Cairo. The mosque was commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha in memory of Tusun Pasha, the eldest son of Mohammad Ali. The mosque was built between 1830 and 1848. It was the largest mosque to be built in the first half of the 19th century. The mosque looks very special with its animated silhouette and twin minarets.

El Rafaie mosque

El Rafaie mosque

El Refaie Moque is located opposite Sultan Hassan Mosque. It was built in 1869-1912.

Omar Makram mosque

Omar Makram mosque

Omar Makram Mosque in central Cairo is considered the most famous mosque in Cairo. It was established by Omar Makram Bin Husein Al Suyuti, who is considered a popular Egypt’s leader against colonialism and despotism.

Basilica Church of Heliopolis, Cairo

Basilica Church of Heliopolis, Cairo

Our Lady of Heliopolis Cathedral is located in Cairo’s Heliopolis. It is also known as Holy Virgin Basilica. It was established by a Belgian entrepreneur Baron Édouard Empain in 1910. Its construction was completed in 1913. The Basilica contains a Belgian organ installed in 1914.

Sheraton Hotel, Hurghada

Sheraton Hotel, Hurghada

Sheraton Hotel Hurghada is one of the remarkable landmarks in Hurghada. It was dedicated in 1963 by International Sheraton Hotels. The hotel is considered a starting point for tourism in Hurghada area.

Suez Canal Authority building

Suez Canal Authority building

Suez Canal Authority building, or the British Navy House, houses the administration of the Canal. It was built by Khedive Ismail on the bank of the Suez Canal in 1869. Its purpose was to serve in hosting and receiving the guests of Khedive coming from the whole world to visit Egypt under his reign.

At the Cairo Nile Bridge

At the Cairo Nile Bridge


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The Egyptian Cross

The Egyptian Cross


We received this gift from the museum guide

We received this gift from the museum guide

The museum poster, a gift for us

The museum poster, a gift for us


Posted by Vic_IV 13:45 Archived in Egypt Tagged park hotel egypt by mini heights hurghada tia makadi Comments (6)

The Pharaohs’ Legendary Capital

Ancient Shrines

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At the Karnak Temple

At the Karnak Temple

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We chose two bus tours during our stay: Luxor and Cairo. They turned out to be tiresome night trips, but we enjoyed them a lot.
We had heard before that if you had not visited Luxor, the center of many ancient monuments, you could consider that you had not been to Egypt at all.
Karnak Temple, Tutankhamun's tomb, Queen Hatshepsut's memorial temple and many other cultural monuments do not leave anyone indifferent. Luxor contains the lion's share of monuments from the period of the New Egyptian Kingdom.
Luxor received its Arabic name Al-Uqsor (“palaces”) from conquerors, who had no idea about the origin of the unique monuments. The city of Thebes, as the Greek called it, or Wasset, as the Egyptians themselves called it, became the cradle of the Egyptian civilization. This is where a third of the country's oldest monuments are located. Therefore, it is a top place for a visitor indeed.

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At the Karnak Temple

At the Karnak Temple

Luxor, the legendary capital of the pharaohs, is one of the world’s oldest cities. It the past, it was the capital of the Egyptian kingdom. In ancient times it was called Thebes. Now the city can be visited by everyone. We thought it was especially convenient to pay a visit to Luxor while on holiday in Hurghada area, even though Luxor is located 200 miles from our resort place, and a visit of Luxor meant a night trip for us.

To the restaurant across the Nile

To the restaurant across the Nile

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The Nile River divides the city into two parts. In ancient times, the eastern bank was the place where the majestic palaces of the pharaohs were built - it was here that they lived and prayed to their gods. The western bank of the Nile is the city of the dead, where burial temples and tombs were erected for the Egyptian kings. Moreover, the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings, and their wives and children in the Valley of the Queens. Numerous tombs of the valleys have been found by archaeologists, and some can even be viewed.

At the Karnak Temple

At the Karnak Temple

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The Temple of Karnak is divided into three parts:

  1. the first part is dedicated to the Sun god Amun-Ra;
  2. the second part is dedicated to his wife, Queen Mut;
  3. the third part is dedicated to their son Honus, who was a lunar deity.
The construction of this famous ancient monument began in the 20th century B.C. Practically every pharaoh considered it his duty to make his own contribution to the construction of the temple of Karnak. As a result, its construction took a total of about thirteen centuries.
Today, this huge complex consists of thirty-three halls and temples and is a unique open-air museum. This open-air museum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the entrance, visitors can see a very unique Alley of Rams, which connects the temple of Karnak with the famous Luxor Temple.

At the Karnak Temple

At the Karnak Temple

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Our guide explained that these rams mean sphinxes with sheep's heads, which are considered incarnations of God Amon, in whose honor the beautiful temple of Karnak was built.
Ancient Egyptian writings and drawings are preserved on the powerful ancient walls. I hope it will be soon possible to decipher their exact meaning. Images of various animals, gods and symbols adorn almost every wall of the Karnak Temple!
Karnak Temple is the best-preserved temple of the City of the Living. Karnak means "Luxurious Palace" in Arabic. This temple is one of the greatest architectural creations of the ancient world. Each of the pharaohs who were in power improved this place. So, Ramses II built his own statue, which stands at the entrance. The temple was built over two thousand years. The most amazing is the "labyrinth" of 134 columns, each of them is more than 20 meters high - it is about the same as an 8-storey building. Some of the columns have hieroglyphs on which the paint is still preserved. Moreover, their age reaches three thousand years.

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At the Karnak Temple_the statue of Ramses II

Karnak Temple is a huge complex of ancient shrines that are interconnected. The central complex, dedicated to Amon the Sun god, has an area of about 30 hectares. In addition to it, there is also the sanctuary of Mut the Sky Goddess, Montu the God of war and several smaller chapels with hieroglyphs that depict various events.

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In ancient times, the temple complex in Karnak was connected by an alley with another shrine - the Luxor Temple. Its partially preserved building can be viewed today. But the front path of the pharaohs was less fortunate - it was swallowed up by the modern city. As a reference to the alley, archaeologists have found sculptures of sphinxes that adorned the path between the temples.

The Sacred Scarab Beetle statue at Karnak Temple

The Sacred Scarab Beetle statue at Karnak Temple

The scarab beetle statue in Karnak Temple is most famous statue of an insect. It stands in Luxor, once the capital of Egypt. On his back, you can see the sign symbolizing the unification of everything earthly and heavenly. This statue of the sacred scarab beetle is still very popular among tourists. According to our tour guide, the scarab beetle is such a revered insect in Egypt that all its images are considered to be endowed with a lot of good energy. A scarab moving with a ball of dung, from east to west, personified the movement of the Sun. Perhaps that is why the owner of an amulet with a scarab will always have good fortune.

We saw the visitors keeping the tradition of walking around the statue of the Sacred Scarab. The statue is known from the day of its appearance on Egyptian soil as a symbol of good luck. An ancient legend claims that it is possible to get what you want through the ritual at the monument. You only have to focus on your desires and walk around the statue seven times in a circle, but counterclockwise. Therefore, as our guide explained, upon their arrival in Luxor, travelers gladly walk around the monument hoping for the help of unknown higher powers. We were also taken to Hatshepsut Memorial located in the Valley of the Kings.

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Visiting the Valley of the Kings

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After visiting all those ancient shrines, we were taken to what they called Hatshepsut Museum, which, in fact, turned out to be another store, where they sold numerous souvenirs made of stone and clay.

Hatshepsut Museum

Hatshepsut Museum


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Posted by Vic_IV 14:46 Archived in Egypt Tagged temple luxor karnak Comments (6)

See you at the Pyramids!

Cheops, Khafre and Mycerinus

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During the Egyptian  Museum tour

During the Egyptian Museum tour

I can't help but mention our trip to the capital of Egypt - Cairo. We were lucky enough to visit the Egyptian Museum dedicated in 1902. The museum presents unique collections of ancient sarcophagi, papyri, mystical animals, statues and ornaments of pharaohs. We have very good memories of visiting the "hallmark" of Egypt, one of the seven wonders of the world - the pyramids, which even today can impress anyone.

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During the National Museum tour

During the National Museum tour


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At the entrance to the Great Pyramids area
At the pyramids of Giza

At the pyramids of Giza


At the pyramids of Giza

At the pyramids of Giza


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We were impressed by the great pyramids of Egypt, their history and mysteries of their construction. Of course, the pyramids are the first thing a visitor wants to see when he or she arrives in Egypt. According to our tour guide, there are as many as 118 pyramids in Egypt built over 3,000 years ago - from 2630 BC, when the first pyramid was built, until the 4th century AD. Those pyramids are different - they are large and small, stepped and with smooth sides, those which have come down to us in an almost unchanged form and those that look more like a shapeless pile of stones. The most famous pyramids are in Giza, a part of Greater Cairo, among them, the most massive one - the Pyramid of Cheops. This pyramid still remains the greatest architectural creation of human hands. The Pyramid of Cheops remains the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World that has survived and ranks first in the list of national treasures of Egypt.

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At the pyramids of Giza

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The Great Pyramids is the name of three giant tetrahedra located in Giza, on the left bank of the Nile.

  • The pyramid of Khufu is the oldest and largest of them. I got used to the name that ancient Greeks gave to this pyramid - Cheops. The length of each of its sides is 230 meters and the height is 146 meters. Now, however, it is nine meters lower due to destruction and weathering.
  • The second largest pyramid is the tomb of Khafre, the son of Cheops. Its height is 136 meters, although visually it looks higher than the pyramid of Khufu, because it is built on a hill. Not far from it you can see the famous sphinx, whose face, according to legend, is a sculptural portrait of Khafre. The pyramid of Pharaoh Khafre was built 40 years later than the first one. The side of the square foot of the pyramid of Khafre is 215 meters, the height is 136 meters.
  • The third pyramid is the pyramid of Pharaoh Mycerinus. It is only 66 meters high, and it was built much later. However, this pyramid looks very harmonious and is considered the most beautiful of the Great Pyramids. The Pyramid of Pharaoh Mycerinus emphasizes the greatness of the pyramids of Cheops and Khafre. The latter are easy to distinguish from each other: the pyramid of Khafre has partially preserved white basalt cladding near its top.

The Great Pyramids are part of the great necropolis of Giza. Next to them - a few small pyramids, where the wives of pharaohs are buried, the tombs of priests and high officials. The pyramids allegedly served as the ancient tombs of the powerful of this world.

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Visiting the Sphynx

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Funeral temples and the Great Sphinx are located at the foot of the Giza Plateau. The Sphinx, a resting lion with a human head, is the largest monolithic sculpture. Its length is 80 meters and height is 20 meters. It is believed that the sphinx was cut down during the construction of the Pyramid of Khafre, and the face of Sphynx represents that of Pharaoh Khafre.

As for the pyramids, I agree that there are too many annoying sellers of camel/phaeton services and small souvenirs. As a friend of mine said, "After shaking hands with a Cairo man, count the number of your fingers!"

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Leaving the hospitable Cairo

During the bus ride, our Russian-speaking tour guide told many interesting stories about the life in Egypt. Live and learn! He said that the most honorable specialty in Egypt is the military, followed by police, doctors and in fourth place teachers. Schools are free for 70 students in one class, and there are also paid ones.
We had a short Nile cruise after our guided tours to the Great Pyramids.

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During our River Nile boat tour_2

During our River Nile boat tour_2

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After the Nile cruise, we were taken to Egypt Papyrus Institute, which was, in fact, a big store, where they sold pictures painted on modern papyrus.

Visiting Egypt Papyrus Institute_1

Visiting Egypt Papyrus Institute_1

Even though the papyrus institute looks more like a store, it has a certain cognitive value. During the visit, we were told about papyrus, about the technology of turning the papyrus stem into the thinnest sheet, an about the history of the origin of papyrus paper.

Visiting Egypt Papyrus Institute

Visiting Egypt Papyrus Institute


By the way, the word “papyrus” itself is translated as “gift of the river”. Modern Egyptians completely lost their skills in making papyrus from reed. In the ancient manuscripts, however, the method of making papyrus was described. However, either the ancients wrote with spelling errors, or they deliberately wanted to mislead future generations. Egyptians had to reinvent the technology for making the forgotten writing material.

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Thank you for the tour, dear guides!

Posted by Vic_IV 15:28 Archived in Egypt Tagged cairo giza pyramids Comments (8)

Discovering Hurghada

Shopping and Exploration

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Passing the streets of Hurghada

Passing the streets of Hurghada

Shopping in Hurghada is a great pastime. However, because of some hyperactive street vendors, it can be a little upsetting. You only have to be open and enjoy bargaining with sellers. If you have good communication skills, shopping in Hurghada can be very cheap. It's part of the Egyptian culture, after all. Most stores in the Tourist Village do not have fixed prices, you need to agree on prices. However, we ordered a taxi vie Uber, and went shopping downtown.

Senzo Mall, Hurghada_1

Senzo Mall, Hurghada_1

Senzo Mall, Hurghada_2

Senzo Mall, Hurghada_2

Senzo Mall became the best place for shopping in Hurghada for us. This shopping mall is located in Safaga Road about ten miles away from the city center. It is open daily from 10.00 a.m. until midnight. Stores in Senzo Mall have fixed prices. Therefore, there is no need to bargain. Some stores are really expensive, but there are also affordable ones. Our favorite stores in Senzo Mall were Mango, Robber’s and DejaVu. In addition, Senzo Mall includes the largest grocery store in Hurghada called Spinneys.

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Some other holidaymakers managed to reach Hurghada City Center, the newest shopping center in Hurghada City. This shopping mall is located in Arabia area, next to the Hilton. This is where you will find clothing stores, shoes, jewelry, toys and so on. There is also a cinema. Unfortunately, we had no time to visit so many shopping malls and simply stuck to Senzo Mall shopping.

Bas-relief at Hurghada City Council building caught my eye

Bas-relief at Hurghada City Council building caught my eye

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There are good shopping places in Hurghada around Sheraton Road - the longest shopping street in Hurghada. There are also cafés and restaurants along the street. Shops in Sheraton Road are designed for holidaymakers, and therefore prices there can vary greatly. There are no fixed prices, so be prepared to bargain. Think about the price you are willing to pay. If you do not plan to buy anything, then there is no need to bargain. It's just a waste of time. Not everyone is ready to bargain for prices. If you really want to buy something, please use some (Egyptian) Arabic at least for greeting and gratitude. I observed that sellers get upset when the customers, mostly Russian-speaking ones, entered the shop without greeting, started speaking only Russian, simply demanding discounts and left irritated and without saying goodbye upon the owner’s refusal to grant as many discounts as those potential customers wished.
As for me, I had written down some Egyptian Arabic phrases that I heard over Youtube, and practised them at the hotel before shopping in Hurghada. As a result, I did not even mention any discounts, but listened to the fruit seller at the market in Al-Dakhar District (Old Town), who, upon calculation of the total sum, said he had granted me a 10-pound discount. It was not even a dollar, but the sum was not my aim. Therefore, you only have to listen to the seller, be patient and wait until the seller himself offers you a discount rather than demand a discount of him.

At the Fruit Market, Hurghada

At the Fruit Market, Hurghada


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At the entrance to the Fruit Market_3

At the entrance to the Fruit Market_3

By the way, there are places in Hurghada where you can shop without bargaining such as Cleopatra Store.
The beginning of El Mamsha Promenade El Mamsha is very beautiful. It is a place where both locals and tourists shop and spend their free time. This is an ideal place for a pleasant evening walk. While walking near Mamsha, you can go shopping and enjoy the atmosphere. At the beginning of Mamsha there are large souvenir shops with fixed prices as well as smaller ones. McDonald’s is a good place to start shopping in El Mamsha. There are also good shops at the end of Mamsha Boulevard. If you enjoy walking, start walking away from McDonald's and go to the end of Mamsha.

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St.Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church, Hurghada

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Visiting St.Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church, Hurghada_2

Visiting St.Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church, Hurghada_2


Visiting St.Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church, Hurghada_3

Visiting St.Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church, Hurghada_3

Orthodox Coptic Church located al-Lewaa Salman Mazhar drew our attention during our visit to the old city. Even though our primary aim was to do some shopping at Al Dakhar Fruit Market, we allowed some time to visit all the shrine located nearby including the central mosque in El Dahar district of the Hurghada city. We also approached to a small mosque named Aldahaar Mosque.

Central mosque in El Dahar District, Hurghada_3

Central mosque in El Dahar District, Hurghada_3


Central mosque in El Dahar District, Hurghada_2

Central mosque in El Dahar District, Hurghada_2

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Leaving Kyiv for Hurghada

Leaving Kyiv for Hurghada

Posted by Vic_IV 16:02 Archived in Egypt Tagged mosque hurghada Comments (6)

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