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Thought I forgot about you, huh?

Well, I sort of did. But I’m back! Back in the US (have been for two weeks) and back on the blog. I figured I owed it to you guys to finish posting on all my adventures even though they’ve been over for two weeks (sob). So here’s post 1 of what I’ll call The Great Catch-Up!

For Egyptian excursion, we went to Luxor and Hurghada. Luxor was filled with antiquities, lots of history, and equally long touring days; Hurghada, on the other hand, was filled with the beach, swimming, and lots of relaxing (and lots of Russians…). Here are the highlights from both!

Luxor Highlights

– finding a cute restaurant tucked into the back streets of Luxor and having the best falafel burger of my life there.
– seeing tons and tons of antiquities and ancient things….the Luxor Temple, The Karnak Temple, the Mortuary temples of Ramses II and III, the Colossi of Memnon, the Luxor Museum, the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Artisans…
– going to the Valley of the Kings and getting to see the tombs of Ramses I, IV, and IX. They were huge and beautifully decorated – I wish we could have taken pictures in them! I also wish we would have been able to see more tombs (there are 63 in the valley!).
– being mistaken for the first time in my life as Japanese….um, what? Our very quirky tour guide named Muhammed asked me on the first day if I was Japanese, and then proceeded to call me ‘Sweetie Sweet’ for the rest of the tour days. He also made me model sandstone pigments from the different antiquities we went to, and by the end of most touring days I would have stripes of different color sandstone up and down my arms.
– being woken up by the most deafening call to prayer I’ve ever heard….okay, so maybe this wasn’t quite a highlight, but it was an added bonus that when the call to prayer happened around 5 in the morning it usually was time for us to get up anyways (our touring days started early to avoid to intense midday heat).
– going on a hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings! Read all about it here.
– taking a leisurely feluca ride on the Nile at sunset.

Hurghada Highlights

– snorkeling in the Red Sea for almost a whole day. TIME had their own private boat and we cruised around the Red Sea to a few different spots where we could snorkel. We saw pretty coral, interesting fish, a small shipwreck, and even an eel!
– showing the numerous Russian tourists at our resort how to bust a move at the resort’s club (we were the best dancers there by far).
– getting absolutely eaten by mosquitos….also not a highlight, but definitely notable. This time was almost worse than Essaouira.