I know, it's because Egypt had its revolution last year and people are nervous about traveling here. And right now it's the 1-year anniversary of the revolution. All of us here are really hoping for peaceful demonstrations over the rest of the weekend and a smooth transition during the upcoming elections. Because Egypt is a really cool place to live. To see. To experience.
If you have ever had a desire to visit Egypt, to see the sights, now is a really good time. The country desperately needs it's tourism industry to perk up. The historical sights are all but empty - whenever we've toured the Pyramids, the Citadel, Luxor, Karnak - there were no crowds. Absolutely none. Even Khan Al Kalili (the large market in Cairo) has had a very difficult time with the lack of tourists. Our beach retreat to the Red Sea in early January? We were the ONLY Americans there. And we only noted a handful of Europeans. We pretty much had the beach to ourselves.
If you come to visit, you'll find merchants desperate to sell their items, hotels with reduced rates, and even flights that are considerably cheaper. You won't be fighting long lines at the sights, and you can relax and enjoy. Plus my beloved Egypt will prosper. Really. Consider a vacay here - you won't regret it!
So, of all the places we've visited so far in Egypt, Luxor/Karnak are my favorite. Especially Karnak. It's absolutely breathtaking! We spent hours touring through the Temple. Luxor itself is gorgeous. The Nile River is so blue, the air is so clean, and the people are very friendly. Here's last week's blog about our vacay, just in case you missed it!
If you do get the chance to visit Luxor, we highly recommend the Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island. The resort is spectacular and the service is amazing. I don't usually take the time to give a specific shout-out to a resort, but this place is truly amazing.
Hidden on a private island (Kings Island - used to be 'Crocodile Island'), the Maritim Jolie Ville is a cluster of villas. We booked two adjoining rooms so the we'd have the space a family of five needs to say sane for a four-day getaway. The rooms are modern, spotless, and have great amenities. The shower IS AMAZING. Free WiFi (common in the U.S. - but trust me, NOT common in Egypt!) and TV with some English-speaking channels. There are five restaurants on premises, an ice cream shop, a convenience store and souvenir shops, a bank, multiple pools (including a no-kids pool if you prefer your vacay sans kids), a jogging path around the island, a gym, a mini zoo for the kids to enjoy, and a playground. Each night for dinner, the waiter knew our children by name and went out of his way to make them happy. Make my kids happy and I'm happy. Plus the food was incredible. Total win-win. Felucca rides, boat rides (that's how we traveled to Luxor and Karnak), a kid's club, a giant chess board in the garden (very cool), and lots of scheduled activities.
OH, and I can't believe I didn't think to mention the Spa. A-MAAAAAYYYYY-ZING. The fab hubby enjoyed a deep-tissue massage and steam shower. I opted for the full 2-hour spa treatment and had a body scrub, body wrap, sauna, steam shower, and relaxation massage. My spa treatment was a mere 500LE (That's 90USD). At my favorite Aveda Spa in the U.S., this would have cost me well over 250USD.
I really can't say enough about this resort. Luxor was wonderful to visit, but this resort really made the trip extra special for our family. And with that being said, I'll allow the photos to do the rest of the talking. Go and visit! Tour Luxor and Karnak and the Valley of the Kings, and then spend the rest of your time relaxing at this resort - we're already looking forward to going back next year.
|Infinity Pool - along the Nile River.|
|Valley of the Kings in the background!|
|Bubs loves the water!|
|Sunset along the Nile.|
|Awesome big brother!|
|At the mini zoo - yes the bunny nibbled his finger.|
No, he wasn't happy about it!
|Even Owen enjoyed the petting zoo. He'd like us to think|
he's getting to big for such things. But we know better.
|My favorite moment.|
|The resort has it's own fields and grow some of their own food.|
I love how green and lush it is. A stark contrast to the nearby desert.
|My early-AM run along the trail around the island.|
|Awesome run trail!|
|Camel sighting during my run!|
|Along the Nile River, mid-point of my run.|