So, in the end, we really enjoyed our time in Egypt, but I’m not sure it is a country that I would love to visit again - and I don’t think I have ever felt that way about anywhere else we have been.
Egypt is clearly a country that has a rich and vibrant history, and it’s place at the crossroads between Africa, Europe and Asia makes it a unique part of the world. Its religious heritage too, makes it remarkable, as it has had a pivotal role in Judaism, Christianity and of course Islam.
Modern Egypt however, is a country of contrasts and conflict. The economy understandably relies heavily on the tourist dollar and as with other heavily tourist countries, there is a strong vibe of “tourist Apartheid” where the tourists are whisked through the “sights” and have minimal interaction with everyday Egyptians. It is particularly difficult to interact with any female Egyptians, with a majority of women outside the major cities wearing full veil and not venturing out in public without a male escort. It is somewhat confronting to see cafes and shops and parks filled with men and seeing the relative lack of freedoms enjoyed by women.
So, given that we are aging regurgitator fans, we felt that “I like your old stuff better than your new stuff” summed up our time in Egypt, we loved visiting the temples in Luxor, Giza and Abu Simbel; but we found our interactions with modern Egypt more complex and less enjoyable.