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Sand dunes and Sunshine in Egypt!

Natalie from Oasis HQ sent us this update from her trip to Egypt –

Egypt. Most people have seen the news, heard the stories of the situation the Egyptian people find themselves in at the moment, but have also heard about all that Egypt has to offer.  So when I was asked to join our Christmas trip this year to meet all our Oasis contacts and see how the trips are running, naturally I jumped at the chance.  Christmas celebrations with my family and friends could wait until the New Year, so I packed my bags!

As I wrote this blog, I was floating peacefully down the River Nile on a Felucca with my fellow travelling companions.  How many people can say that their office is on occasion on board a sailing boat in such a fabulous location!  The dream job!

This trip will allow us to explore many temples, heritage listed sites and special places.  Already we have visited the Pyramids and Sphinx – sites that are so often on peoples bucket list of ‘must see before I die’.  We were blessed with friendly camels and clear blue skies with very little haze – although we did need to wrap up warm at night!!!  Several memory cards were filled up on that day alone…

During our time here we have witnessed the sense of humour, resilience and above all hope of the Egyptian people.  Only a few nights ago we spent the evening with a Nubian family who welcomed us into their home, cooked us an amazing meal and showed us good old fashioned Nubian hospitality.  Some of the group even  risked finger and thumb, feeding their chicken bones to the crocs in the dining room…Thank goodness we don’t have such customs of keeping animals like this in the UK!!

The question I’m asked more than anything else is “is it safe to visit Egypt”.  Naturally Oasis would not run trips there if it wasn’t, but on this trip I have so far witnessed the real hope that Egyptians carry at the moment.  Since the revolution they feel they have a positive future ahead.  The media cannot let us forget some of the demonstrations and protests going on, however these are in such localised areas and at no point did we feel unsafe or threatened.   The city bears the scars of some of these clashes; however it saddens me that at the moment, we see so many negative images and do not hear the positive stories.

So why is now a good time to visit?  Unfortunately for the Egyptian people, the number of tourists visiting the country has dramatically reduced over the last year.  However for the visitor this means that you can get shots of all the famous sites, with very few people in them.  This is a rare opportunity and I’m quite convinced that very soon people will be flocking back to a country that is so rich in culture, history and stories to tell.  Don’t write Egypt off now…. in fact seize the opportunity to visit.  As the sun was about to set on our day on the Felucca, I signed off and went off to find a nice spot by the bonfire at the side of the Nile, under the stars.  Happy New Year!

Posted in All Blogs, Middle East.

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