A small break to the sun to get a little bit more of Vitamins D is always a good idea. But when you get the chance to swim in between a big group of Dolphins and visit one of the most impressive buildings make by humans, you get a kind of energy that even sun can’t give you. @CindyVanDyck, the founder of Blogzine.be, went to Egypt on a discovery trip in 2019. In this article she tells you exactly why you should book your vacation to discover the magic of Egypt.
The trip to Egypt, Hurghada, started at Maastricht-Aachen Airport. The small, yet efficient and recently renewed airport, is the perfect base for all Corendon customers who booked a flight from here. First you get free parking for your car. Second, there are no long waiting lines or queues for the customs and passport check. Third but not least: you can get here quite fast without having to worry about being stuck in traffic. We all know how the ring of Brussels can be the main stress factor when leaving on a holiday. That is history from now on!
These three positive points about the Maastricht airport are making sure that your trip starts without any kind of worries. Perfect, right?
Whoever lets himself be led by heart will never lose his way. – Egyptian Proverb
First day in Egypt
After a 4 – 5 hours flight I arrived in Hurghada. I noticed that the climate was amazing for November. It might sound a little bit crazy to have this as a first remark, but I just l-o-v-e the sun. Especially with my Fibromyalgia. It was around 26 degrees all week and only at night it started to be a little bit chilly. But hey! Being almost December and winter, we couldn’t complain at all.
So we drove to our hotel “Sentido Palm Royale” which is located at Soma Bay, the Red Sea. We enjoyed an all-inclusive formula and had a magical sunset every evening.
The hotel itself was beautiful! The entrance made you immediately feel like you entered a luxurious castle. In our rooms we had a large bathroom, spacious terrace and it had everything you need for a week at the hotel. And even if I’m not a big fan of staying at the hotel during the whole week, it was so big that you won’t feel claustrophobic.
There were different swimming pools (including one for kids), you had plenty of space to relax at the beach. Also, several bars were located around these areas to get your daily cocktail – it’s holidays after all – or get another refreshing drink.
Themed restaurants and all-in buffet
Food-wise you had the all-in buffet restaurant with a mix between vegetables, meat, fish, a BBQ, desserts, salads and even sushi. So you don’t have to be worried about getting your stomach full at any moment. If you want to eat something more specific, there’s the opportunity to eat at their themed restaurants. One evening we went to one of them and discovered the Libanese kitchen with home made hummus, flat bread, meat and everything else we could wish for. It was so delicious and one of the best dinners we had! Greek, Italian and Indian are the three other options. Mexican at the all-in buffet is also a possibility. You see, plenty of things to choose from!
House of Dolphins
The stay in Hurghada wasn’t only about the hotel. On the second day we immediately went on our first excursion: the “House of Dolphins”. Just to make things clear immediately; it’s not that you’re going to an Aqua park or place where the dolphins are being kept in captivity.
Corendon !only! organises excursions where animals are living in the free and open nature, in their natural habitat and where they’re happy and living their best life. It’s super important to know this. And we should keep supporting the organisations who are focusing on these kind of excursions. When I heard it, I was so happy about this initiative! Thumbs up for Corendon.
The “House of Dolphins” is actually an area in the sea where they’ve been spotted quite often and where they live freely. We went up there with a yacht and had lunch on the boat as well. If you book the trip by Corendon they will explain you more into detail about it without a doubt!
Arrived at one of the two possible diving spots, we jumped into the water and saw a big group of dolphins. They were going super fast and I honestly couldn’t follow up with them but Lien Verwimp, also a travel blogger, captured some amazing shots and shared them on her Instagram (also the one with the dolphins!). No guys, it’s not photoshop but just a big group of 23 dolphins, also babies, swimming around us.
I have swum with dolphins before in Egypt, but never with such a large group. It gave me so much energy to be this close to them, to see the beauty of these animals and how the babies where staying close to their mothers. It felt like I was put in a scene of National Geographic and I was wearing a pair of 360° goggles. But no, it was all reality and an unforgettable day on the sea.
Cairo and its Pyramids
The day after the House of Dolphins we had another very exciting excursion on the planning. Something that was on my travel bucket list for such a long time and has to be on anyones list for Egypt: visiting the Pyramids in Cairo.
Even though the flight was leaving super early to Cairo, I couldn’t be more happy to go and see these impressive buildings made by humans centuries ago. We woke up at 3AM and didn’t even have time for coffee. I guess waking up so early was the moment that my other travel bloggers / colleagues saw the true “Cindy in the morning”. It was definitely not so elegant or vibrant as I usually am. Haha! Sorry guys for the grumpy face.
The first drive to Cairo was about 45 minutes long. Upon arrival you could spot the big difference between Hurghada, which is very touristic, and the big capital. The city life is different, there’s way more traffic and on the streets there were less tourists. It made me think about the early morning traffic in Brussels or any other big city.
However, I need to mention that I felt safe with our tour guide and I loved to walk around the souks to experience the life in Cairo. We also went into a small street where locals had their morning tea. I got the best pistachio nuts ever at a locals food (nuts) truck. They were covered in salt. Delicious! #addictioonalert
Combine it with a museum
After the morning walk we went to the Egyptian Museum. It’s definitely a must-do and easily to combine with a visit to the pyramids. A tip from our guide: it’s better to do the museum in the morning if you want to have the best shots at the pyramids. In Egypt the sun is too low in the morning to take Instagram-worthy pictures.
At the museum you see the impressive way of how they buried the pharaohs and how the tombs were put together in the Pyramids. Also the different treasures they found, the mask of Toetanchamon, the mummies like Ramses and lots of other objects are exposed. You will spend a couple of hours there so bring some water with you. If you have a camera you will also need to get a special ticket! Otherwise you need to storage it at the reception during your tour.
Following lunch we went straight to the Pyramids of Giza. You can choose to visit them inside (for an extra cost) or you’re free to walk around by your own tempo. If you want there’s the possibility to book a guide but we decided to discover the area by ourselves.
Besides having loads of kids following us, asking for pictures and the locals being big fans, I really enjoyed being there! Impressive if an understatement when you look up at the biggest pyramid in Egypt and you wonder how they could build these structures so many centuries ago without having the technology we have nowadays. And when you see the tombs in the Museum you’re even more confused about the way they buried the Pharaohs. It must have been so heavy to carry it all around and to create these special spaces. It was a mesmerising experience that I will keep in my memory forever.
We came back home from the trip to Cairo around 1AM in the morning the next day. We all spent the last day at the hotel in our own way to recover from the long trip. Some went to the spa, others slept till lunch and I went to the pool to get a little tan. If I could do it all over again tomorrow, I definitely would do it again, with the same team: Yentl Keuppens, Inge Moerenhout, Nasrien Cnops, Lien Verwimp and Jo Thuys, our personal Pharaoh!
Being at the end of my story about the magic Egypt has to offer, I want to say a special Thank you to Corendon for organising this unforgettable trip to Hurghada and Caïro. Also thank you to Sound of C for making this one of the best trips of 2019! Make sure you keep an eye on Blogzine.be for more travel inspirations and keep on traveling.