So, I packed my suitcase and headed for Egypt and Jordan; two countries very close to my heart! I always believed that a small group tour combining these two countries would make for one incredible experience. Despite being geographically close, the experiences to be had in Egypt and Jordan could not be more different.
My visit started in Egypt, and it was so lovely to be back after a long 18 months. Driving through the city to the Marriott Hotel at Zamalek reminded me that Cairo’s traffic was still hectic; a controlled chaos with all forms of transportation using the same road.
Upon arriving at the hotel, I was greeted with happiness and genuine delight from the workers to see Aussie’s coming back once again to Egypt. There were a range of nationalities staying at the hotel. From Europeans to Colombians, and from Brazilians to Malaysian people; it filled me with joy to see life slowly returning to normal.
While in Cairo, I visited the Great Pyramids in Giza; an experience that always takes my breath away no matter how often I travel to Egypt. The views were incredible, with the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx as postcard worthy as ever. I also visited the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in Cairo, a fantastic and educational museum which is definitely worth the visit.
Aswan was next up on the agenda and I stayed at the Old Cataract Hotel. The views over the Nile River at sunset are just spectacular and are a true bonus to an already gorgeous property. I also stayed for one night at the Movenpick Hotel, and the dinner I had in the Tower overlooking Luxor was a highlight.
I then drove to Luxor, and I stayed in the Steinberger Hotel. Another hotel that overlooks the serene Nile, I arrived at sunset and the views were incredible. The drive between Aswan and Luxor takes you through various villages, a great opportunity to see local life.
My journey then took me to the wonderful country of Jordan and its beautiful capital city of Amman. Here the traffic is a bit more organised (opposed to the crazy Cairo!) and Jordanians are very hospitable, all thrilled to be welcoming tourists to their lovely nation again.
From Amman I made my way to Petra, and it’s impossible to visit the region without walking through the narrow Siq and the Nabatean City to reach the Treasury Building. It’s the most amazing walk and one which I do every time I visit. If walking doesn’t come easy to you, then fret not, as there are new golf cars that can take you from the entrance to the Treasury.
Wadi Rum was my next stop, truly one of the most scenic areas in Jordan. The colours of the Wadi Rum mountains are so vibrant with their hues of orange and red, which are made even more beautiful at night by the thousands of stars that light up the night sky.
A visit to Jordan is also not the same without going to the idyllic Dead Sea. It’s a place you can have a wonderful massage with dead sea mud and float in the salty sea with ease. It’s truly a bucket-list experience.
After exploring Egypt and Jordan, I was so pleased to see firsthand that these two countries have managed to stay active during the pandemic and are COVID safe with health measures under control. Egypt and Jordan are looking forward to welcoming back Australian tourists once again.
All images by Marion Bunnik