At home in Egypt

At home in Egypt

Luxor was like diving into another world. The city and the surroundings offer stunning sights. Our favorite sights were the very well preserved temples (e.g. Karnak, etc.) as well as the tombs with beautiful wall paintings (Tutankhamun) in the Valley of the Kings. The absolute highlight was a hot-air balloon flight at sunrise over the Valley of the Kings and Hatschepsud temple for reasonable 350 LE (approx. 40 Euro). However Luxor is a place full of contrasts. The locals try to surround their beautiful sights with as much noise as possible. Not only the muezzins warble the entire day from oversized loud speakers but also local oriental music entertains the entire city. You cannot escape. Since the tourism declined, an endless number of Nile cruisers are just waiting deserted on the river side. And the little numbers of tourists who are still in Luxor are chased by the locals. [satellite] Luckily we met the tour guide Tony from Dragoman Overlanders in our Rezeiky camp. The Overlanders are a group of 20 travelers and drive the route Cairo – Cape Town in their small lorry. Tony was kind enough to submit our passports and Sudan visa forms at the Sudan consulate in Assuan. This gave us extra time in Luxor and especially facilitated our visa application process enormously. It usually takes a minimum of seven days. After four days Luxor we drove to Aswan to get the ferry ticket and our Sudan visa. On the way we visited the temple “Horus” which is the best preserved temple in Egypt. In Aswan we stayed at the Isis hotel directly at the...
Visiting the Pharaoh

Visiting the Pharaoh

In summary we can say that driving in Egypt is like playing „Tetris“ in the street. There are no rules. Everyone drives the way he feels like and the winner is the biggest or the loudest car. A four line street is made to a six line street and vehicles drive only centimeters apart from each other. The traffic is packed with busses (always stopping somewhere), donkey wagons and millions of cars and motorbikes. But now one by one… [satellite] We booked a hotel room at the May Fair Hotel (GPS coordinates N30 03.565 E31 13.261) in Zamalek in located in the middle of the embassy quarter in Cairo. Very early next morning we went confidently and full of energy to the embassies in order to get the visas for Sudan and Ethiopia. When we arrived there the doors were closed and no one was working. Great! Not only Israel seems to have lots of public holidays but also Egypt. Or maybe it is us? Do we attract all the public holidays in the region? Because of the “Feast of Sacrifice” public holidays the Sudan embassy (GPS coordinates N30 02.371 E31 14.050) was closed for the entire week. The Ethiopia embassy (GPS coordinates N30 02.398 E31 12.279) for four days and the German embassy (for our Ethiopian recommendation letter) for two days (GPS coordinates N30 03.301 E31 13.134). What shall we do now? We decided spontaneously to stay in Cairo for four days for the Ethiopia visa and to get the Sudan visa later in Assuan at the consulate. We wanted to discover the city, museums and the surrounding...
From Asia to Africa

From Asia to Africa

After we managed to finally board in Aqaba at 01:30 h in the morning, we had to go immediately on the ferry through the Egyptian pass control. Luckily an employee offered us to stay at the VIP lounge for the night. Great! This was such a relieve because the economy class was overbooked, loud and very smelly. Therefore we spent the night peacefully sleeping on white comfortable leather sofas. When we woke up in the morning we were already in Nuweiba. We only realized few days ago when we were reading the newspapers that we were even luckier. The ferry we took from Aqaba to Nuweiba caught fire in the boot only one week later. Almost no one got heart however our beautiful Toyota Landcruiser would have surely been damaged badly. [satellite] The Egyptian border is very well known for making troubles. However our entry was relatively stress free.  A so called Tourist Police officer supported us with all administrative duties like entry form, insurance, customs paper and other forms. After one hour and paying 1200 LE (approx. 150 Euro) we were already out of the harbor. The first stop was again a petrol station. We could not believe that we only had to pay 0,19 Euro per liter diesel. From there we followed a travel guide recommendation and drove directly to the beach resort “Soft Beach” in Nuweiba (GPS coordinates N29.02283 E34.67382). And indeed it was good: clean, nice beaches and delicious food for little money. They even had internet, therefore the perfect place for us to get all important things done and organized for the next few...