Egypt is to live
By T. Foster Jones
WITH 5,000 YEARS of recorded history,
Egypt evokes some of the strongest imagery
in the world: endless, expansive deserts, colossal pyramids, ancient Luxor, the Sphinx and
the Nile. The land of the pharaohs is both
mythical and miraculous, a grand and glorious realm of mystery and achievement.
In the fifth century B.C. Herodotus wrote
of Egypt that “nowhere are there so many
marvelous things ... nor in the world besides
are to be seen so many things of unspeakable
greatness.” This still rings true today.
Egypt is a life experience, a travel destination that seems to be on just about everybody’s
must-do list. Travelers have been drawn to this
country to witness for themselves the profusion of art and architecture accumulated
through the millennia.
They come to see the wonder of the pyramids of Giza (three of the more than 70 pyramids that can be counted along the Nile), the
colonnades and monumental tombs, the giant
Alabaster Sphinx and the temples of Abu
Simbel, built by Ramses II, glowing under the
hot Egyptian sun.
They flock to Luxor to visit the magnificent monuments of Karnak—a mind-boggling
complex of obelisks, columns, sanctuaries and
pylons dedicated to the Theban gods and the
glory of Egypt’s pharaohs—to see the Valley of
the Kings and to glide slowly along the Nile on
a cruise from Cairo or Aswan, witnessing the
distinctive sails of dozens of feluccas silhouetted against a blood red sunset.
They come to Cairo, Egypt’s capital and
s treets, and to escape to the cool of the
E gyptian Museum, where
more than 136,000 items of Egypt’s history
are on display.
Yes, Egypt is an immersive experience. It
also might be considered a challenging destination, even for savvy travelers.
The very thing that makes it one of the
world’s most desirable destinations—its
wealth of once-in-a-lifetime sights—makes
tackling the logistics a daunting task. It can be
hard to know where to begin.
One of the simplest and most effective
ways to overcome the challenges is by not
dealing with them at all. A fully escorted tour
will provide a knowledgeable, experienced
guide and a detailed itinerary, enabling travelers to leave the problems to professionals and
focus all of their energy and time on what
they’ve come to see and do.
“It was nice having things taken care of
and not having to deal with all of the details,”
agrees Costco member Carl Fagerskog, who
took a Costco Travel escorted tour to China in
May 2008. “Everything is incredibly laid out,
and you get to see a lot of the world without
having to stress about it.”
“There are powerful reasons for taking an
escorted tour,” says Paul Wiseman, president
of Trafalgar Tours. “First is the savings. All the
tours that we run will save travelers significantly over the cost of doing it on their own.
“The second is the people. The tour director is an expert in the local area who is an
historian, organizer and friend to everyone on
the tour. Local guides are specific experts in
very defined areas that we visit. And we have
a lot of people who have, over the years, lot of people who have, over the years, organ ized and perfected the itineraries.”
Wiseman says there”s a good reason that
E gypt remains one of the most popular
desti-n ations for travelers: “It lives up to every
e xpectation.” C
The Costco Connection
C ostco Travel isoffering a deluxe, one-time-only,
fully escorted, nine-night vacation in Egypt. For
d etails, please visit costco.com or call Costco
Traveltoll-free at 1-877-849-2730.