Cairo

The city was founded in AD 969 as the royal enclosure for the Fatimid caliphs, while the actual economic and administrative capital was in nearby Fustat. After Fustat was destroyed in 1168/1169 to prevent its capture by the Crusaders, the administrative capital of Egypt moved to Cairo, where it has remained ever since.

 

Egyptian Museum

Main entrance of the Egyptian Museum

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, is home to the most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. It has 136,000 items on display, with many more hundreds of thousands in its basement storerooms.

 

Old Cairo

The part of Cairo that contains Coptic Cairo and Fostat, which contains the Coptic Museum, Babylon Fortress , Hanging Church , the Greek Church of St. George, many other Coptic churches, a Jewish Synogogue and Amr ibn al-‘As Mosque.

Giza Necropolis stands on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. This complex of ancient monuments is located some eight kilometres (5 mi) inland into the desert from the old town of Giza on the Nile, some 25 kilometres (12.5 mi) southwest of Cairo city centre. The pyramids are the only remaining monuments of the 7 Wonders of the World.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the main part of a complex setting of buildings that included two mortuary temples in honor of Khufu (one close to the pyramid and one near the Nile), three smaller pyramids for Khufu’s wives, an even smaller “satellite” pyramid, a raised causeway connecting the two temples, and small mastaba tombs surrounding the pyramid for nobles. One of the small pyramids contains the tomb of queen Hetepheres (discovered in 1925), sister and wife of Sneferu and the mother of Khufu. There was a town for the workers of Giza, including a cemetery, bakeries, a beer factory and a copper smelting complex. More buildings and complexes are being discovered by The Giza Mapping Project.

A few hundred metres south-west of the Great Pyramid lies the slightly smaller Pyramid of Khafre, one of Khufu’s successors who is also commonly considered the builder of the Great Sphinx, and a few hundred metres further south-west is the Pyramid of Menkaure, Khafre’s successor, which is about half as tall.

The generally accepted estimated date of its completion is c. 2560 BC. [3]Although this date contradicts radiocarbon dating evidence, it is loosely supported by a lack of archaeological findings for the existence prior to the fourth dynasty of a civilization with sufficient population or technical ability in the area.

Khufu’s vizier, Hemon, or Hemiunu, is believed by some to be the architect of the Great Pyramid

 

Aswan

Aswan is the ancient city of Swenet, which was in antiquity the frontier town of Egypt to the south. Because the Egyptians oriented towards the south, Aswan was the first town in the country, and Egypt was always conceived to open or begin at Aswan. It stood upon a peninsula on the right (east) bank of the Nile, immediately below (north of) the first cataract, which extend to it from Philae. It is supposed to have derived its name from an Egyptian goddesses with the same name, the Ilithya of the Greeks, and of which the import is the opener.

 

Luxor

Luxor is a city in Upper (southern) Egypt and the capital of the Al Uqsur governorate, population 376,022 (1999 survey), area 416 km² [1]. As the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, Luxor has frequently been characterised as the “world’s greatest open air museum”, the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor standing within the modern city. Immediately opposite, across the Nile River, lie the monuments, temples and tombs on the West Bank Necropolis, which include the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. Thousands of international tourists arrive each year to visit these monuments, their presence forming a large part of the economic basis for the modern city. As a result, Luxor represents an excellent base for touring Upper Egypt, and is a popular holiday destination, both in its own right and as a starting or finishing point for Nile cruises.

 

Dahab

Dahab is a small town situated on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Formerly a Bedouin fishing village, located approximately 100 km (62 miles) northeast of Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab is still considered to be one of the Sinai’s most treasured diving destinations. The arrival of international hotel chains and the establishment of other ancillary facilities has now made this a popular destination with tourists. The nearest international airport is located at Sharm el-Sheikh.

 

Tourist highlights include

Dahab is world-renowned for its windsurfing. Reliable winds provide superb flat-water conditions inside Dahab’s sand spit. There is also an area behind the spit known to windsurfers as ‘Speedy’ which has more flat water and strong interrupted winds, making it a perfect area for windsurfing at speed. A very small bay within ‘Speedy’, known as ‘ Baby Bay’, is used for freestyle windsurfing (doing tricks). To the east, wavy conditions couple with strong winds to provide formidable conditions for keen windsurfers.

The SCUBA diving and snorkelling are very good, with many reefs immediately adjacent to waterfront hotels. The nearby Blue Hole and Canyon are internationally famous dive spots.

The seafood restaurants along the waterfront of the down-town tourist area, known as Masbet, are good, with red snapper, calamari and lobster being highlights. The Bedouin-style seafood is based on baking in earthenware.

There are camel, horse, jeep and quad bike safaris. These are either parallel to the shoreline, up one of the several valleys or around the township.

A two hour drive is sufficient to reach Mount Sinai and Saint Catherine’s Monastery; ascents to view sunrise and sunset are popular.

 

Bahariya

Bahariya consists of many villages of which Bawiti is the largest and the administrative center. Qasr is Bawiti’s neighboring/twin village. To the east, about ten kilometers away are the villages of Mandishah and el Zabu. A smaller village called Aguz lies between Bawiti and Mandishah. Harrah, the eastern most village, is a few kilometers east of Mandishah and el Zabu. Hiez is the last village, but it may not always be considered as part of Bahariya because it is so far from the rest of the villages, about fifty kilometers south of Bawiti.

There is also the ruin of a temple to Alexander the Great located within the Bahariya Oasis. It is believed by some Egyptologists that the Greek conqueror passed through Bahariya while returning from the oracle of Ammon at Siwa Oasis. Excavations of the Greco-Roman necropolis began in 1996. Approximately thirty-four tombs have been excavated from this area.

 

Farafra

Farafra is the smallest oasis located in Western Egypt near latitude 27.06° North and longitude 27.97° East. It is located in the Libyan Desert, approximately mid-way between Dakhla and Bahariya. Farafra has 5,000 inhabitants (2002) in its single village and is mostly inhabited by Bedouins. Located near Farafra are the hot springs at Bir Setta and the El-Mufid lake.

A main attraction of Farafra is its White Desert (Sahara el Beyda). The White Desert of Egypt is located 45 km north of Farafra. The desert has a white, cream color and has massive chalk rock formations that have been created as a result of sandstorms. The Farafra desert is a typical place visited by schools in Egypt for camping trips.

Enjoy your Adventure

The Australian Hostel in Cairo