Honeymooning in Egypt with Abercrombie & Kent

Honeymooning in Egypt with Abercrombie & Kent

We’re baaaaaack!!!

In case you didn’t know, my husband and I spent the last week honeymooning in Egypt! It was an amazing trip and I can’t wait to share all the pics and deets with you guys!

We booked the trip through a tour group called Abercrombie & Kent. A&K arranged the entire itinerary, took care of all our transportation, and provided most of our meals. Basically we just followed them around and they did all the hard bits. 😉

Click on any image to enlarge it.

Day 0: Arriving in Cairo

I’m calling this day 0 because it hardly counts as a day. This was our arrival and relaxation day.

We landed in Cairo at about 4:20am local time… Yikes!

Landed in Cairo

As soon as we exited the plane, we were met by the Abercrombie & Kent representatives. They immediately helped us through the visa process (by taking $25 per person and doing everything else for us from there!), guided us through security (skipping to the front of every single line, thanks to their airport connections!), and then collected our bags for us. We were immediately impressed by how kind, attentive, and efficient they were. And this whole “skipping the line” thing was definitely a sign of what was to come. Abercrombie & Kent have connections EVERYWHERE, it’s impressive.

Abercrombie & Kent drove us to our first hotel in Cairo, the Mena House Hotel.

The Mena House Hotel in Cairo, Egypt

Hotel room at the Mena House in Cairo

It was still insanely early (getting on for 6am at this point) and we had barely slept. So, hubby and I immediately cuddled up in bed and slept until 1pm.

Once we woke up, we finally had a chance to look around a little, including outside our very own hotel room window. And hot damn! Check out that view!

View of the pyramids from the Mena House Hotel

Pool and lunch time

Time to scope out the pool and find some food!

Ready to go sightseeing in Cairo
Click image to enlarge

Mena House pool in Cairo
Click image to enlarge

We finally found a restaurant by the pool, which looked great and had a beautiful view. After settling down, we realized that it was an Italian restaurant. That’s not so good for our low carb diet! So we immediately started “cheating” and ordered lasagne… which was AMAAAAZING!

Lasagne

A romantic dinner

That night we were on our own for dinner. We ate at the grill, which was situated next to a bunch of pools. It was sooo romantic with the water and all the pretty lights!

Romantic dinner at the Mena House hotel

Day 1: Egyptian Museum, Memphis & Sakkara

At 8am this morning we met up with our Abercrombie & Kent tour group. A&K had four groups together, each consisting of 18 people. We always stuck with our individual groups, and each group was assigned its own Egyptologist tour guide. Plus, each group had its very own bus. This allowed us to feel like we were in a small, private group, which was great! Much better than being with 70 other people.

While on the bus to the Egyptian Museum, we drove past the infamous Tahrir Square. They actually had several tanks parked near the square! They weren’t really needed, they were mostly just there for show and to discourage any activity, I guess. At no point did we feel unsafe (but I’ll touch more on that later).

Egyptian Museum

The outside of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

Sadly photos weren’t allowed inside the Egyptian Museum. 🙁 But we were in there for about an hour and half and saw artefacts from King Tutankhamun’s tomb, mummies, and more!

Lunch at Andrea El Mariouteya

Women making bread at Andrea El Mariouteya restaurant

We stopped for lunch at Andrea El Mariouteya, a place famous for its grilled chicken. Before sitting down to eat, we stopped by this area where local women were making the bread we would be eating for lunch! They were preparing the bread and putting it in the ‘oven’ (which was more like a fire pit type thing).

Then we entered this gorgeous area covered with overhanging trees and flowers, where we sat down to have lunch (and eat the home made bread!).

Lunch at Andrea El Mariouteya in Cairo

Memphis

In Memphis we saw the statue of Ramses II. This is a MASSIVE statue about 10 metres long. It was hard to get a picture of it just because it’s so damn big!

Statue of Ramses II in Memphis

Ramses II statue in Memphis

Sphinx statue in Memphis

Peter in front of the sphinx statue in Memphis

Sakkara

Funeral complex in Sakkara

Sakkara is a burial ground, which is home to the famous Step Pyramid. The Step Pyramid was kind of the first attempt at building a pyramid. It wasn’t originally intended to be a pyramid, but they kept adding more and more layers until it ended up looking like a crude pyramid.

Step Pyramid of Sakkara

Shame about all that scaffolding!

Group photo with the locals in Sakkara

An Egyptian with his donkey

Ashley in front of the Step Pyramid

Freaking out in the sun

Ruins in Sakkara

Carpet School

Oriental Carpet School in Cairo

Next we visited a carpet school in Cairo. This school takes in young children (something like ages 12-17) and teaches them how to make carpets. This is their job until they turn 18, then it’s off into the world! These kids were crazy fast at making those carpets. You could barely see their fingers as they worked!

Kid sewing a carpet

Carpets being made at the carpet school

Finished carpets hung up for sale

Yep, low carb is on hold…

Fancy dessert

That evening we had a welcome dinner with the whole tour group. At this point, we knew we’d be putting our low carb diet on hold for the rest of the trip… haha!

Day 2: Giza Pyramids

During the day

Photo of us in front of the great pyramid of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza

We started the day off being harassed by a seller in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza. First he had me take a photo of him and my husband, which was fine. Then he insisted on taking a photo of us in front of his camel. Then he insisted on a tip. Then he insisted that we didn’t tip him enough. Then he followed us all around the pyramids for about 30 minutes, demanding more money. Argh!

Lesson learned: don’t talk to any sellers, even if they start out asking you seemingly harmless and friendly questions (like “where are you from”). More about this later…

A camel near the pyramids of Giza

We even got to go inside the pyramid of Cheops! This was AMAAAAZING! It was super dark and you had to bend down and walk most of the time (sometimes up super steep “stairs”). There wasn’t much to see once you got in there (just an empty sarcophagus), but it was really the brutal climb/crawl that was the highlight. It was actually an incredible workout, haha!! My legs were burning for days. I think it’s just because you have to squat down and walk for a long period of time (often slowly), so you could really feel the burn!

After going inside the pyramid, Abercrombie & Kent took us to a photograph point where we got an awesome view of all three pyramids.

In front of the three pyramids of Giza

Then came one of my favourite parts of the whole trip… I GOT TO RIDE A CAMEL!!! It was a very short ride, but OMG it was so much fun!

Me riding a camel

The Great Pyramid of Giza

Camels in the desert

Shopping!

After the pyramids, we had a shopping opportunity. I finally got to do the thing I always regretted not doing the last time I went to Egypt… buy a cartouche necklace with my name in hieroglyphics!

Gold cartouche necklace with silver hieroglyphics

I got a gold cartouche with my name in silver hieroglyphics. I LOOOVE IT!!!

At night: the light show

At 7:00pm we went to a light show in front of the sphinx and the three pyramids. The narration was pretty cheesy, but the lights themselves were pretty awesome!

Egyptian art projected on the wall

The sphinx face with paint decoration

The sphinx and pyramids of Giza lit up at night

The sphinx and pyramids of Giza during the sound and light show

Day 3: Karnak Temple, Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, and Valley of the Kings

This day was amazing, but BRUTAL! It started with a 4:15am wakeup call… Holy crap. We were taken to the airport, where we caught an 8:30am flight to Luxor. We landed at 9:35am and immediately went to the Temple of Luxor. This is where I realized that I massively underestimated the temperature.

Prior to the trip I had been checking Cairo weather. It was averaging about 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit. But I didn’t think to check the weather in the other places we’d be visiting (mainly Luxor), because I assumed they’d be about the same. WRONG!! In Luxor we were greeted with 110 degree weather! X_X Actually it started out at 95 when we first arrived, but then quickly rose to about 110 in the mid afternoon (around 2-3pm). Man, it was BRUTAL!

Temple of Karnak

The entrance to the Temple of Karnak

Rows of statues

Columns inside the Temple of Karnak

Interior of Karnak

A statue inside the Temple of Karnak

Many of the columns in Karnak (and other temples as well) had graffiti carvings from the 1800s.

Graffiti on the columns in Karnak

Columns in Karnak Temple

Standing obelisk in Karnak

Pool of water in Karnak

Standing in front of the fallen obelisk

The ruins in Karnak Temple

Lunch on the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV

After Karnak, we checked into our new home: the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV. We took a lovely little motorboat called Titanic to the cruise ship. (We didn’t sink, luckily.)

Motorboat called Titanic

The Sanctuary Sun Boat was INCREDIBLE!! Not only was the boat itself amazing, but the service and crew members were phenomenal. Sure they were friendly and polite, but they really stood out because of how genuine they were. They weren’t just being polite because it’s their job, they were clearly so genuinely happy to have us on board. I love how they always went above and beyond even with simple things, like memorizing our drink orders.

The Sanctuary Sun Boat IV by Abercrombie & Kent

Temple of Queen Hatshepsut

Temple of Queen Hatshepsut

After a delicious and satisfying lunch, we headed to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. At this point it was like 1 or 2pm and the full 110 degree heat was beating down on us. I remembered this temple quite vividly from when I was last in Egypt, and it’s one of my favourites. But man, it was soooo hot, so I was pretty out of it. We only looked around briefly before heading back to the nice air conditioned bus.

Paintings inside the Temple of Hatshepsut

The ceiling and artwork in the Temple of Hatshepsut

Valley of the Kings

Entrance to the Valley of the Kings

Sadly this is the only photo I have of the Valley of the Kings, because photos aren’t allowed inside. But we went inside three tombs: Ramses (I forget which numbers, but we went into two different ones) and King Tutankhamun. It’s funny how King Tut is one of the most famous and well known, but his tomb is pretty small and plain. But Ramses, on the other hand, has an INCREDIBLE tomb with beautiful hieroglyphics and artwork. It’s absolutely stunning how much they can cram onto those walls.

Back to the boat!

Entrance to the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV

Oh my god this was a long day! I think we finally headed back around 4:30 or 5pm and that was after being up at 4:15am, taking a flight, and touring all day long in 100-110 degree weather. I was so beat!

Day 4: Denderah & Luxor

Temple of Goddess Hathor

The Temple of Goddess Hathor in Denderah

At 8am we set off for the Temple of Goddess Hathor. This temple had two highlights:

  1. It is the only temple that displays Cleopatra’s cartouche.
  2. It has one of the most gorgeous interiors (in terms of art and colours).

Cleopatra's cartouche

The columns inside the Temple of Hathor

Standing in front of a column

People gathered inside the temple, with light streaming through the window

Artwork on the ceiling of the temple

The lighting inside the Temple of Hathor

Sadly, the Christians (I think it was the Christians..) started using this temple at one period, but they used a bad method of lighting the temple (I think it was burning animal fat or something?) which resulted in the walls and and ceiling being COVERED with soot. A few years back they started a big restoration project to remove the soot from the temple, but they were never able to finish. But in this picture you can see the before and after comparison. It’s pretty crazy!

The temple ceiling is covered in soot

Then we got to go on top of the temple and there was a gorgeous panoramic view!

The view on top of the Temple of Hathor
Click to enlarge

Temple of Luxor

The front of the Temple of Luxor

We left for the Temple of Luxor at 5pm. It was pretty light when we arrived, but the sun set pretty quickly and then the temple was lit up. It was SO GORGEOUS!!! I took about five million photos but only a handful actually came out decently sharp. Most were just blurry since I didn’t have a tripod and didn’t want to kick up the ISO too high.

Inside the Temple of Luxor

The sun setting at the Temple of Luxor

Backlit columns at the Temple of Luxor

Backlit columns

As you can see, the temple was GORGEOUS at night! But you know what one of the best parts was? The teenagers who were there. I had about 10 different Egyptian teenagers approach me and ask to take selfies with me. Uhhh, how awesome is that?!?! Usually when someone asks to have their photo taken, take a photo with you, or offer to take a photo of you, they’re actually a vendor looking to sell you something or just looking for a tip (in exchange for taking/being in the photo). Ultimately it’s a sales pitch. They say, “Want me to take your photo? No charge!” But then when you’re done they demand a tip.

But these boys were different. They weren’t selling anything, they were just so happy to see Americans and were genuinely friendly. They wanted a selfie with an American girl! So the boys were literally lining up to take a photo with me and Peter, hahaha!! I’m so disappointed that I didn’t take any with my phone. 🙁 I didn’t think to do that until afterwards.

Obelisk at the Temple of Luxor

Row of sphinx lit up at night

Day 5: Temple of Horus (by carriage) and Kom Ombo Temple

Journey to the Temple of Horus by horse-drawn carriage

Riding in a horse-drawn carriage

At 9am this morning, Abercrombie & Kent arranged for horse-drawn carriages to take us to the Temple of Horus. The carriage ride was pretty fun, but I honestly felt SO BAD for all the horses. In general, all the horses in Egypt looked to be in very poor condition. They were all underfed, with many of them having very clear rib lines. I even saw one or two with open wounds from where people hit them with sticks (like riding crops). Since they were so skinny, the crops hit them on the bone, and after enough hitting they started to bleed.

None of the horses drawing our carriages were bleeding, but they still just looked underfed and not all that happy. I felt so bad for them!! 🙁

The front of the Temple of Horus at Edfu

The holy of holies inside the Temple of Horus

Cooking lesson

The chef hosting an Egyptian cooking lesson

In the afternoon we had a cooking lesson with the head chef on the boat. He showed us how to prepare a few Egyptian meals. They even provided us with recipe cards for the meals they taught us.

Chef applying whipped cream

Egyptian food

Too bad none of them were low carb!

Kom Ombo Temple at night

The front of the Kom Ombo Temple

At 6:30 we visited another temple at night: Kom Ombo. This was another gorgeous scene, and seeing temples at night quickly became my favourite part of the trip!

Walking through the temple at night

Carvings of gods on the wall at Kom Ombo

Inside of Kom Ombo

The moon over the ruins of Kom Ombo

Kom Ombo Temple at night

“Egyptian Night” costume party

Dressed up in a black galabeyya

That night we had a costume party! We all dressed up in galabeyyas and had a romantic dinner on the boat deck.

After dinner, Abercrombie & Kent surprised us with a honeymoon cake! It was chocolate and INSANELY DELICIOUS!

Chocolate honeymoon cake

Day 6: Philae Temple, Unfinished Obelisk, & Felucca Ride

Philae Temple

View of the Philae Temple from a boat

The Philae Temple is basically located on an island. When they built the Aswan Dam it caused the area around the Philae temple to completely flood, to the point where the temple was actually drowning! So then they had this big project to save the temple by cutting it into pieces, moving the pieces to higher ground, and then reassembling the temple. Nuts, huh?

In order to get to this temple, we had to travel in a motorboat! Along the way we saw a few houses overlooking the lake. They were so colourful!

Houses overlooking the lake in Aswan

The Philae Temple in Aswan

Steps leading into the temple

View of the lake from the Philae Temple

The unfinished obelisk

The Unfinished Obelisk

I didn’t take many pictures of the unfinished obelisk because it was so hot, I was tired, and it was not a very picturesque place. All the granite made for boring photographs.

But the ancient Egyptians started carving out this granite obelisk. After a while (probably as they started carving out the bottom) it got two huge cracks in it so they had to abandon their work. Imagine doing all that carving away in the scorching hot sun, just to have it all be for nothing. I’d be pissed!

We got to climb all the way up the granite and got a pretty awesome view from the top!

View from the top of the Granite Quarry
Click to enlarge

Felucca ride

Felucca, an Egyptian sail boat

A felucca is a typical Egyptian sail boat, and we got to go on one! We had a lovely sail around and at one point a few Egyptian boys paddled up to our boat, hung onto the sides, and started singing!

An Egyptian boy on a paddle board

We started sailing at around 3:30 or 4pm and we were on the boat long enough to watch the sun set. It was insanely gorgeous.

Sail boats on the water at sunset

Sunset over the water in Aswan

Sunset over the water in Aswan

Day 7: Abu Simbel & back to Cairo

Phew, this was another busy day! We woke up at 7am and caught a 9:30am flight from Aswan to Abu Simbel. Abercrombie & Kent actually chartered this flight, so the people in our tour group were the only ones on board!

Abu Simbel

The temple of Ramses II in Abu Simbel
Temple of Ramses II

I don’t have a lot of photos of Abu Simbel because pictures weren’t allowed inside the temples. But it is a pretty spectacular sight! These two temples (for Ramses II and his wife, Nefertari) were actually cut apart and rebuilt. When they built the Aswan High Dam, the temple was going to be submerged in water. In order to save the temples, they took them apart and rebuilt them on an artificial hill on higher ground.

The Temple of Nefertari in Abu Simbel

Since the time of Ramses II up until now, there’s a solar phenomena two days out of the year: October 22nd and February 22nd. On those two days, the rays of the sun hit the entrance to Ramses II’s temple and fill the inside, illuminating the statues of the gods at the back, but leaving the statue of Ptah (the god connected to the Underworld) in darkness. This is why our tour guide insisted that Abu Simbel should be the eighth wonder of the world. 😉

Back to Cairo

After our visit in Abu Simbel, we returned to the airport and boarded our chartered plane back to Cairo, where we checked into the Four Seasons First Residence Hotel. When we entered our room, we found goodies!!

A cake that says 'Congratulations' in icing

A honeymoon cake from the Four Seasons staff!! They also left a card congratulating us on our honeymoon. So nice!! Now let’s check out the ultra comfy Four Seasons room:

Superior Room at the Four Seasons First Residence Hotel in Cairo

Bathroom at the Four Seasons First Residence Hotel in Cairo

And that doesn’t include the massive hallway from the door that leads to the bedroom, or the wardrobe! It was really an amazing room. We both wished we could spend more time there.

Day 8: Sultan Hassan & Refaie Mosques; Islamic Walking Tour

Mosques in Cairo

On our final day, we visited two mosques in Cairo. After the mosques, we did a walking tour around the old walled city and saw a bunch of market stalls.

Mosque of Sultan Hassan

Entrance to the mosque of Sultan Hassan

Wall art in the mosque of Sultan Hassan

Stairs leading up to the mosque podium

Refaie Mosque

Marble walls in the Refaie Mosque

Refaie Mosque

Walking tour

A man selling juice drinks

Marketplace in the old streets of Cairo

Old building in Cairo

Tour guide holding a Hookah

Women shipping in Egypt

Last hurrah!

With the trip coming to a close, we knew it was our last opportunity to indulge before going back to our strict low carb diet. So we did! And surprisingly, I gained less than a pound on the entire trip. I thought I’d come home and find myself 10 pounds heavier with all the amazing food they kept feeding us.

Chocolate ice cream with chunks of chocolate

What an amazing trip!

This was a dream come true honeymoon for my husband and I. Not only was Egypt itself phenomenal, but Abercrombie & Kent always went above and beyond. They made us feel like royalty!

Reasons we loved Abercrombie & Kent

  • Our Egyptologist, Ibrahim, was fantastic! He was knowledgeable, funny, and it was so clear that he cared about Egypt and its history.
  • The buses were clean, spacious, and air conditioned.
  • We got door-to-door bag service. Any time we went on a flight, Abercrombie & Kent would collect our baggage from our hotel room, get it to the airport, get it on the plane, collect it from baggage claim, and deliver it to our next hotel. We never had to do anything!!
  • They always provided us with hand sanitizer after being outside.
  • The crew on the boat was some of the nicest staff I’ve EVER encountered.
  • Ibrahim and other A&K staff members were always very clear about our itinerary and daily activities. We were clearly told how long we’d be on the bus, how long we’d be at the temple, and what time we’d get back.
  • They surprised us with an epic chocolate cake!
  • Everyone was so nice and helpful. They made sure we had their contact numbers and made it clear that we could contact them any time (day or night).
  • The food was outstanding! Breakfast and lunch were always buffet style (except at the Four Seasons Hotel), then we got menus for dinner. But the quality and variety of foods was great.

We never, ever felt unsafe

Yes we were always provided with an armed guard during our travels, but it wasn’t because Egypt is unsafe. Tourism is a major source of income for Egypt, and they’ve always had a special police branch for the “Tourism Police”. Even when I first visited Egypt 10 years ago, we were given an armed guard because that’s the standard way they operate. Security is tight because they care about their tourists and want them to feel safe and secure. It’s not because it’s actually unsafe.

Most of the people we met were friendly, and whenever we drove past people (especially teenagers/children) in the bus, they would smile, jump up and down, and wave at us. They were so excited to have tourists in the country!

The vendors were the only downside

Vendors in Egypt have always been pushy. They were pushy when I was there 10 years ago and they were pushy this time. But I swear they got even pushier. Maybe it’s because they’re so desperate since they need the money due to lack of tourism.. but regardless of the reason, it was NOT cool. Here are a few examples of their pushiness:

  • They put a scarf around your neck, say it’s a lovely gift, and ask you to visit their shop after you’re doing touring. They REMEMBER who you are, find you after you’re done in the temple, invite you to their shop, you say no, then they demand the “free gift” back.
  • A man comes up with his donkey, says “Let’s take picture! No charge!” You say no, but he continues to insist and repeats “No money, no charge”. Then after the photo shoot, he demands a tip.
  • You walk through a marketplace because it’s on the way to the temple, and vendors try to put scarves and other clothing ON YOUR BODY and demand payment.
  • Vendors flash books and post cards in your face, quoting a price, you say “No thank you”, and they continue to follow you, decreasing their price with every other step. You continue to say, “No thank you”, but they keep pestering.
  • People approach you and start out really friendly saying, “Welcome to Alaska,” or “Where are you from?” or “What’s your name?” But once you respond, that’s it. It’s the start of their sales pitch. Be prepared to have them follow you around for 10 minutes trying to sell scarves and sculptures and books.
  • They follow you around for 5 minutes saying, “Come to my shop—no hassle! No hassle at my shop, come visit.” But what they fail to realize is THEY’RE HASSLING YOU RIGHT NOW!!

The main problem is that they don’t understand or accept “No thank you”. I actually think they do themselves a disservice. Because vendors pester you SO MUCH, it discourages you from browsing their shops. Because as soon as you express interest in ANYTHING, they’ll follow you around, quote prices, and try to sell you 10 other things you don’t want. I was so sick of being hounded, so I had to just stop browsing all together. It’s not worth it. I couldn’t even be friendly with these guys and that made me sad. What you have to do is look straight ahead, don’t make eye contact, and don’t say ANYTHING. Don’t say “hi” or “no thank you” — nothing. Because if you give them an ounce of attention, they’ll start the sales pitch you don’t want.

But, if the vendors were to leave people alone, I’d actually be more inclined to browse. There were things I’d have liked to look at and maybe even purchase, but the vendors make it impossible for you to do that since they hassle you so much. And if you express an interest in one guy’s shop, you’re suddenly THE PERSON WHO BUYS THINGS. Then all the other vendors descend upon you.

Thanks to my amazing parents!

Anyway, annoying vendors aside. 😉 They were really the only downside of the trip. Everything else was perfect!

I can’t write this post without giving a huge thanks to my parents, who funded this honeymoon for us! It was so special and romantic, and it wouldn’t have been possible without mom and dad. 😉 Thank you!!!

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I'm a 26 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

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67 comments

    1. Lol that’s true!! We actually took surprisingly few steps each day, but I bet we just sweat out the carbs, hahaha.

      You could totally do a less intense visit to Egypt. We did 1-3 activities every day, so we were super busy. But you could just hit the highlights and spend the rest of the time at hotel pools or on a boat. If I were to cut the trip down, I’d suggest:

      * Pyramids / camel ride
      * Sakkara
      * Karnak
      * Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
      * Valley of the Kings
      * Temple of Goddess Hathor
      * Temple of Luxor
      * Kom Ombo Temple (only if you can go at night)
      * Abu Simbel

      Okay maybe I didn’t cut it down that much, hahaha. But if you spread all those out over 7-9 days that’s only really one activity per day, which isn’t much (considering you don’t really spend more than 2 hours at any site).

      1. We went there for Christmas and I totally agree about the vendors at edfu temple, a guy put a scarf on my daughter. I also agree that the staff was nice. Did you swim in the pool?

    1. Yeah it’s really sad, but unless you want to be hassled non-stop you just have to look straight ahead, avoid eye contact, and don’t say ANYTHING. You basically ignore them, which will probably go against every instinct you have, but you have to do it. 🙁

  1. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing. Seriously, I loved reading this. Perhaps one day I will go myself. I have been reluctant due to safety concerns and being female. Thank you for the information of safety and a big boo to the venders. That would have driven me nuts. Heck, when people do that here, I get very upset. I agree, it is a huge disservice they are doing to themselves. If they would leave people alone and let them browse peacefully, there is a higher chance of a customer making a purchase.

    Julie (Being Home) recently posted: Master Bathroom Demolition Update
    1. Yeah I know a lot of people are worried about going to Egypt because of safety, but it’s really not an issue at all! And even being a female is fine. Heck, I waltzed around in shorts and tank tops, which people used to advise against (always recommending long sleeves—at least covering shoulders—and pants).

      As a female, I never felt harassed. Every now and then you get a joking comment, but you know it all in good humour. For example, Egyptian men would have this conversation with my husband:

      “Is that your girlfriend?”
      “No, she’s my wife.”
      “Ohh, how many camels for her?”

      But they do it with a smile on their face, and you know they’re just messing around. It doesn’t feel scary at all, it’s just them messing with you.

      We spoke to Egyptians A LOT while we were there (mainly our Egyptian guides and people from A&K who live and/or were born in Egypt). Their general thought was that the US media completely misreported the uprisings/revolution to make it sound horrible and dangerous. But really it was a great thing for Egypt and they’re now hoping things will be better than ever. The Egyptians LOVE the United States, they just dislike the media and how they’ve been portraying the revolution.

      And yes, vendors definitely got more sales when they didn’t pester. When they hassled people and were so “in your face”, nobody in our group bought anything. When they left us alone and didn’t say anything other than an occasional shout out of “Here’s what I’m selling”, people actually made purchases! (Some of which were super expensive.)

    1. Yep, I highly recommend them! I’d love to use Abercrombie & Kent for all my future trips where I want a really informative, thorough tour through the location.

  2. What a fab vacation. Kudos for picking someplace awesome for your honeymoon. And the vendor thing, that would drive me absolutely crazy. I hate being harassed into buying something. Leave me alone! You are right, I st more people would browse if they weren’t so pushy to begin with. I like buying “local” on vacation, but it can be too overwhelming. I’ve had similar experiences in the Dominican Republic.

    Anne @ Lovely Literature recently posted: Fictional places I’d like to visit
    1. Yeah I understand why they’re pushy, and that they probably got even pushier because of the drop in tourism in Egypt (less tourism = less money). But, I think the vendors would make even more sales/money if they just left people alone. That’s why I think they’re doing themselves a disservice! Hassling people pushes them away and makes them less inclined to actually buy something.

  3. YAY! I’ve been waiting for this post all week lol (I think I’ve been going through Ashley withdrawal…I kept checking my subscription inbox for a new post!)
    SO MANY BEAUTIFUL PICTURES. Words cannot express how insanely jealous I am! I hope my honeymoon is half that awesome. I may look into Abercrombie & Kent, it sounds like they would be epic. It’s a shame about the vendors…that’s crazy! Good to know, though – if I ever get the chance to go to Egypt I’ll know to avoid them!

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful honeymoon 🙂

    Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat recently posted: Review: Empire of Shadows by Miriam Forster
    1. Hahaha, awww! 😀 I’m glad you finally got what you were waiting for!

      Abercrombie & Kent is DEFINITELY the way to go. They are pricey, but sooooo worth it. They make you feel like royalty and do all the work for you. You just have to sit back and enjoy it. 😉 My mom also used A&K when she went to India and loved them just as much as I did.

  4. Ashley,

    This is Phil Otterson, president of Abercrombie & Kent and I wanted to thank you for such a thoughtful retelling of your experience in Egypt. I was sitting at the next table over from you during our welcome dinner when you announced that you and your husband were celebrating your honeymoon. I was honored to have you choose us for such a monumental trip and I’m thrilled that we made this a dream come true trip for you both. Your blog was a joy to read, as it reminded me of the wonderful experiences I’ve had in Egypt myself recently. I have no doubt it will dispel any concerns people might have about travelling there now and inspire others to follow in your footsteps. Thank you again for sharing your story and beautiful photographs. We hope to see you again soon. And…CONGRATULATIONS to you both!

    Phil

    1. Hi Phil! It was so great to meet you on the trip. 🙂 Thanks for putting such a great tour together. Peter and I are really looking forward to our next A&K tour!

  5. Wow, Ashley, that sounds like such an amazing trip! So much for a week by a pool, eh? 😉 I am very, very envious of your travels. Egypt looks like such a beautiful country, and it’s definitely somewhere I’ll have to visit one day. I’m so glad you had a great time, and thank you for taking the time to take all those gorgeous pictures, and write up your experience.

    Also, I need that chocolate cake in my life LIKE NOW!!!! 🙂

    1. Haha yeah this certainly wasn’t a “relax and do nothing” vacation! We were busy, busy, busy! It was a lot of fun though. 🙂

      The chocolate cake was AMAAAAZEBALLS!!

  6. This sounds like SUCH an amazing trip. I’ve always dreamed of going to another country, especially for a honeymoon, and Egypt is such an exotic and interesting place to go. These pictures were gorgeous! I’m so glad you both had a wonderful time and that the tour company you went with was fabulous. 😛 I think having people handle things like baggage and itinerary for you allows you the opportunity to just sit back and relax and ENJOY the vacation a LOT more.

    That’s terrible about the vendors. I understand they want your business, but that’s ridiculous. In the malls here in the States (not sure if they have this in England) we have “vendors.” Basically, they set up tiny shop carts in the middle of the mall as you walk through it and try and sell you things. If you so much as look at them or express interest in what they have they’re hounding you, trying to sell you more. Like you, I often see things I might be interested in but when they start hassling you it’s an instant loss of interest!

    Yay for a fabulous honeymoon! <3 The camels' expressions are hilarious. They always look really dopey in photographs haha.

    Sydney recently posted: Something New: A Life Update!
    1. Thank you Sydney! It was so nice that we didn’t have to worry about ANYTHING!

      We do have some vendors like that in England, but I’ve never seen pushy ones! Most of the ones here just sit on a stool by their little stall and look bored as hell, haha. Bummer that they’re super pushy over in the States. 🙁

    1. Ohh I hope you two do make it over to Europe. 🙂 Are you wanting to travel all over Europe or just go to a specific place there?

  7. Wow, Ashley your trip looked phenomenal! I’m so happy that you had a wonderful time on your honeymoon and that Abercrombie & Kent were such amazing hosts. The pictures are absolutely stunning, I think I took a good 20 minutes reading this post and oogling over your pictures! <3

    Lauren @ Lose Time Reading recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday (79)
    1. Thank you so much Lauren! 😀 It was such a great trip and I had a lot of fun going through the photos when we got home. 🙂

  8. I am so insanely jealous of you right now, Ashley. I have wanted to go to Egypt since I as little and love learning any bit of history I can. It was always my favorite topic in World History classes. Ahh the pictures you took were absolutely GORGEOUS. Whatever camera you used was phenomenal. The temples at night look stunning and if I ever get a chance to go, I am making that a priority. The pictures of you on the camel and you and your husband with the three pyramids behind you looks amazing. Seriously, I can’t say how much this post made me smile. It looks like you had an awesome time and makes me want to go even more! I hope that despite the early wake-up calls, the hot weather, and the busy schedules you two enjoyed your vacation and honeymoon. What a wonderful place to go!

    1. Thank you Christine!! We had an AMAZING time and I’m glad we got so many memorable photos. I really hope you get the chance to go to Egypt someday because it’s such a great trip!

      1. Hi Ashley,

        I was on this trip too. You were a cute couple! What kind of camera did you use? Your photos are amazing!

        Richard

    1. You totally need to go there! There’s really nothing to worry about in terms of safety. At this point, I don’t think it’s any different from going to New York (where something could happen, but you don’t go there expecting it to happen). Something bad could happen any time, anywhere.

  9. You guys did SO much on your honeymoon, like holy crap! And I love your pictures (as well as the lighting, their tourism office is awesome for that night show)!

    BTW you guys did a good job not looking blazing hot in those photos! I think I would just look miserable the entire time! 🙂

    Welcome back Mrs!

    Amber Elise @Du Livre

    1. I know, we were so busy!! I was exhausted at the end of each day, haha.

      We did take one “We’re sooooo hotttttttttt!” selfie at one of the temples (when it was 110 degrees) but I opted not to post it LOL!

  10. This was an amazing post. Thank you for all the lovely pictures and comments.
    Actually my husband and me also spent our honeymoon in Egypt. Lol. But we did diferent tour. We slept in Hurgada and had a mix: one day we had a trip somewhere and next day was free for lazing around the beach. So we saw aproximately half the stuff you did. Although we also went diving in coral reefs and one day went into the desert to visit beduin tribe.
    My impresions were the same as yours. Everything is lovely but everyone are so pushy. For me Karnak was even more impressive than the pyramids. As for the temple of queen Hatepshtut (too lazy to scroll up and copy name) it was also hot. And we went in the middle of november to avoid the heat..

    Dragana recently posted: Kindle Deals for 15. October 2014
    1. Wow, what a coincidence!! Your tour sounds lovely. 🙂 :All that lounging around must have been nice. I’m jealous of the diving! That’s very cool.

      We were originally going to go in mid-November as well, but then A&K had a 50% off deal for this particular October tour.

      1. Yep we nearly picked your kind of tour, but then we thought it’s our honeymoon, let’s laze around a bit. It would have been exhausting traveling every day. I admire you two, I would have been dead tired after a couple of days.
        50% off is a great deal. And it was around 100F at noon so it’s not like you missed on much cooler weather.

  11. Wow! What an amazing honeymoon! I’m not at all surprised you didn’t gain weight – good food or not! Yall were going going going – I think I’m sympathetically sore! LOL What a bummer the vendors don’t learn that they’d do better if they didn’t harass tourists. I’m glad you were able to navigate them well enough to get your necklace though! So pretty! Welcome back – glad you had such a great time!

    Berls @ Fantasy is Mire Fun recently posted: Trapped by Revenge by Colleen Helme| Audio Review
  12. Those are some really great pictures!

    Ah, vendors. I once had a woman draw a henna symbol on my hand in Marrakech even though I said no. When I refused to tip her (I had said no after all and I was fed up with pushy vendors at that point), she followed me around, insulting me and my family and at one point she even cursed me and told me to go fuck myself. I couldn’t get rid of her for ages, I was actually afraid she’d get violent. I definitely agree that all the hassling is very counterproductive – sometimes I’d actually like to look at things, but it’s simply not worth bothering.

    Oh man, 110 degrees! On that same trip to Morocco, we got out of the plane and it was 118 degress outside. The pilot told us before we exited the plane, but I remember just dismissing that completely because it couldn’t be true after all. That kind of heat isn’t even real. o_o

    Looks like you had an amazing honeymoon (with lots of great food, yum)! 🙂

    1. Wow that’s insane!!! It is REALLY annoying when you say no though and they do something anyway.

      I remember the first time I went to Egypt about 10 years ago, this vendor literally put an object in my hand (like a small pyramid statue) and then demanded payment for it. I kept saying “No” and would try to give it back, but he refused to take it, and kept demanding payment instead. So finally I was like, “Okay then” and started to walk away with the object in my hand. That finally got him to take it back, hahaha.

      Eeeeks 118 in Morocco is insane! I feel like I’d actually melt if I walked out into that.

      1. I bet. 😀 Seriously, I get why they’re doing it, but I’d buy a lot more if I could actually browse in peace.

        It was nuts! I put my pokerface on for the walk from the plane to the airport building and pretended like I didn’t mind and then nearly collapsed inside. 😀 Thankfully it was only like that for a day or so because of hot winds blowing from the center of the country and then the rest of the holiday it was really pleasant. That taught me to look up temperatures before going somewhere though haha.

        Vlora recently posted: Frankfurt Book Fair 2014
  13. Ashley–
    What a great post! It was fantastic having you and Peter on the tour. We did have a great group–“Father Ibrahim’s Family.” I’m blown away by your amazing photos. I wish mine were half as good. Your pics and commentary swept me right back to Egypt.
    Have a great future!
    Best. John and Sally

  14. I am very glad to read this amazing post with the lovely photos, you are welcome to Egypt any time, we hope that you can do it again soon, best regards, Ahmed Salama from Egypt

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