When you are traveling, you are often very busy, on a tight schedule, or lacking access to common conveniences such as restaurants or food stalls. Add a lack of food to the stress of being in a strange country or city can lead to the condition known as “hangry”, which is anger or irritation caused by not having enough to eat. It has probably happened to all of us at one time or another and now we can often see it starting in one another when we start to get short with each other. Being hangry while you are traveling can cause you to not enjoy the experience as much as you might otherwise have enjoyed it, so it is definitely something to be avoided if possible.
One of our very first trips abroad was to Paris and we were definitely tourists and not travelers at the time. As is typical for overseas flights, we flew late in the afternoon and overnight to arrive first thing in the morning at the Charles De Gaulle airport. Not wanting to lose any time during our trip, we did what we always do, which is to immediately acclimate to the local time and start our day even though we’d been up most of the night. It happened to be at a time when there was a transportation strike, so we had to walk to all of the sights that we wanted to see that day.
We made the most of the day, had a light lunch, and enjoyed walking along the Seine, seeing the Eiffel Tower, and just walking the streets of Paris. As the afternoon came to end, we decided to head back towards our hotel on the Left Bank to find a restaurant for dinner. This was our first trip to Paris and we didn’t know at the time that most restaurants don’t open until at least 7pm for dinner and most don’t open until even later. To make matters worse, we found ourselves lost as we tried to make our way back to the hotel. The net result was that we started snapping at each other and yes we were getting hangry. Eventually we ate dinner and we were back to holding hands and enjoying one of the most romantic cities in the world.
These days we always make sure to carry a power bar or snack with us as there have been many times where we don’t have access to a meal. Whether in the jungle or driving through remote areas, having something with you at all times is always a good idea. That doesn’t mean that we never get hangry anymore, but we certainly try to avoid it as it can ruin part of your day. Have you ever gotten hangry during your travels?
Egypt is definitely a fascinating country for many reasons and there are so many incredible sights to see. For most people, a trip to Egypt will start or end in the capital city of Cairo. While there are many wonderful places to visit throughout Egypt, there is much to see in and around Cairo itself. To make the most of your time in Cairo, it is best to spend at least 3 days in Cairo. These are the top things to see during your time in Cairo.
The Giza Pyramid Complex – No visit to Cairo in Egypt would be complete without going to see the Great Pyramids. Although the Pyramid of Khufu is officially known as The Great Pyramid, the entire complex is often referred to as the Great Pyramids of Giza. The Pyramid of Khufu is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World and also one of the most intact wonders and stands 481 feet tall (146.5 meters). There are actually six pyramids that make up the pyramid complex as well as the Great Sphinx.
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities – Taking time to tour the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities is certainly a highlight of any trip to Cairo. As with many other sites in Egypt, having an Egyptologist as a guide is extremely helpful if you want to learn as much as possible during your time in the museum. There are so many items on display within the museum that it can be quite overwhelming. In addition to the sarcophaguses, papyrus hieroglyphs, and pieces of art, there are several dramatic statues housed within the museum.
Dahshur – We enjoyed seeing a wonderful variety of pyramids during our time in Cairo, but visiting Dahshur was probably one of our most interesting experiences. First, we were virtually by ourselves as we walked around the pyramids as there were less than a dozen total other visitors there during the time that we spent there. Also, since it is the site of the first smooth sided pyramids, one successful and a couple of others that weren’t successful, it is an interesting look into the learning that occurred by the ancient Egyptians to create what would later become the Great Pyramids. Dahshur is located out in a remote area of the desert, which was purposeful as they wanted the pyramids to be away from any well-traveled area.
Historic Old City Cairo – Wandering the narrow streets of the Old City of Cairo is an amazing experience that is worth making your way through the crowded streets to see. Just wandering the streets is quite exhilarating, but the highlight was taking a tour of an Ottoman era house that was built in 1648 and is in excellent condition as it was refurbished in 1997 as part of restoration project for the entire area. It can also be combined to see several historic mosques, synagogues, and churches.
Step Pyramid in Saqqara – The Pyramid of Djoser, or Step Pyramid, is an ancient pyramid in the Saqqara Necropolis. It is located about an hour outside of Cairo and we toured it as part of trip to the Giza plateau. Although most people associate the pyramids of Egypt with the smooth sided Great Pyramids, step pyramids were the predecessors to such technology. There are other temples and burial grounds to be seen around the Step Pyramid, but as with Dahshur, there are not nearly as many visitors as at the Great Pyramids.
Mosque and Madrassa of the Sultan Hasan – We took a tour of Islamic Cairo that included the Mosque and Madrassa of the Sultan Hasan, which was truly fascinating not so much for what we saw, but more about what we learned from our guide. We wouldn’t recommend visiting without a guide unless you are familiar Sunni Islam, the history of Cairo , and the influences of the surrounding countries. Also, it is not currently a working mosque, so without someone to provide clarity on the features, it might not be as easily understood.
Sailing a Felucca on the Nile River – One of the best ways to escape the hustle and bustle of Cairo is to enjoy a ride on a felucca on the Nile River. These sailboats have been used for transportation for hundreds of years in the region and are still quite popular today, although mainly for tourists. There are plenty of other tour boats that you can take, but if you want a truly relaxing experience, then a felucca is the best choice. It takes skill to navigate the river using these unique sails, especially since they are at the mercy of the wind.
Abu Serga Church – Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church, also known as the Abu Serga Church as well as the Cavern Church, is an important historical and religious landmark in Cairo, Egypt. The church is supposed to be built on the spot where Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus rested at the end of their journey into Egypt. The church is dedicated to Sergius and Bacchus who were soldiers in the 4th century that were killed by the Roman Emperor Maximian and achieved martyrdom and sainthood.
Khan el-Khalili Bazaar – Visiting markets wherever you visit is certainly worthwhile, but there is something very special about the bazaars in the middle east. Khan el-Khalili Bazaar in the Old Town Center of Cairo, Egypt, also known as Old Cairo, is certainly one of them. They can be quite busy and you need to be aware of your circumstances to avoid pickpockets or those who might want to take advantage of you. In most bazaars it is usually customary to bargain over the prices and the vendors don’t take offense to it. In fact, to get the best price, you might even start to walk away before the vendor offers a lower price that seems reasonable to you. Haggling, though, does not mean offering a ridiculously low price that might be viewed as an insult.
With such an amazing history and fascinating culture, there is certainly an abundance of things to do when visiting Cairo. If time allows, there are certainly many other locations in Egypt that should be on your itinerary, but spending at least two or three days in Cairo is a must if you want to get a sense of this historic city. Our entire trip to Egypt is certainly one of our treasured memories, but our time in Cairo was a definite highlight.
Today we are featuring a guest post from fellow travel blogger, Neha Singh (DubaiWikia.com). Based out of Dubai, Neha has wonderful insights on the places to visit during a trip to Dubai.
Dubai is ever-changing. If there is one destination in the world that persistently tries to outdo its previous feats, it is Dubai. Dubai’s grit for innovative creation makes it one of the most sought-after destinations for travellers. Even if you revisit Dubai after a couple of years, you will find new additions to its city skyline. The emirate has a dramatic ambience and loves to surprise visitors with ground-breaking attractions. Nevertheless, amid this constant creation of new attractions, other landmarks and points of interest do leave a lasting impression and cannot be forgotten. In 2021, a variety of new experiences are lined up to welcome visitors. Here is a mix and match of what you should include in your Dubai holiday tour.
Burj Khalifa No matter how much Dubai conjures up new architectural marvels, Burj Khalifa still remains an undisputed champion in modern architecture. The tallest standing structure in the world is indeed a marvel which every Dubai visitor should witness. Located in Downtown Dubai, Burj Khalifa looks jaw-droppingly stunning from ground-level, but there is more in store for you inside this colossal tower. You can find yourself among the clouds when you visit ‘At the Top – Burj Khalifa’, an observatory deck perched on the 124th and 125th levels of this magnificent skyscraper. From here you get breathtakingly beautiful views of Dubai Fountain, the emirate’s skyline, and the serene Arabian desert sprawling beyond the city. A visit to Burj Khalifa will never become a passé for a Dubai visitor.
Palm Jumeirah The first of its kind in the world, Palm Dubai Islands were a visionary idea often considered impossible which Dubai managed to turn into a triumph with the unveiling of Palm Jumeirah. Today, Palm Jumeirah is an icon of luxury lifestyle and leisure recreation. Perched on the outermost arch of Palm Jumeirah is one of the most opulent hotels in the world – Atlantis The Palm. The island is home to the biggest waterpark in Dubai – Aquaventure waterpark, a fantastic aquarium – Lost World Chambers, and the largest water fountain in the world – Palm Fountain. It is one of the most popular places to visit in Dubai for family holidaymakers, couples, and friends looking to have fun times together.
Bluewaters Island Unveiled recently, Bluewaters Island is a brand-new man-made leisure island set near Dubai Marina. Boasted as Dubai’s new hot and happening destination, Bluewaters Island is home to the world’s biggest Ferris Wheel – Ain Dubai which is also an observatory dock offering uninterrupted views of the modern Dubai skyline. The island is an excellent spot to explore chic shopping and dining experiences and offers luxury stay options which include the world-renowned Caesar’s Palace Dubai.
Global Village See the world in a couple in a day at Global Village Dubai. This mega-cultural carnival takes place annually from October till April and puts together a kaleidoscope of cultural and flavoursome experiences of 90 countries making it one of the grandest and biggest cultural events in the world. Divided into distinct Pavillions, each representing a destination, you can easily go country-hopping and get a gist of the ethnicity and fabulous food and entertainment from around the world. It is a great way to go globetrotting and even getting a glimpse of destinations before you can add them to your travel bucket list.
Al Seef The surroundings along the Dubai Creek is a rustic slice of Dubai that captures the old-world charm of the emirate perfectly. There is a treasure trove of experiences in store for you at Dubai Creek to explore the bygone humble past of the emirate. However, the newly opened Al Seef district has charmed visitors to explore this region in a convenient and leisurely way. This waterfront promenade lets you enjoy the vibes of Old Dubai with modern conveniences. Stretching 1.8 km along the Dubai Creek shoreline, Al Seef is a wonderful place to soak in Emirati history, view the charismatic Old Dubai setting while sampling cuisine from a fascinating range of restaurants, and indulging in retail therapy while wandering around.
Dubai Frame When it comes to viewing Dubai’s stellar skylines, there are a few Dubai attractions that pop up in the minds of a Dubai visitor. However, the view from Dubai Frame stands out as a unique experience as it offers the best of Dubai’s past and present scenic panoramas. Strategically located at Zabeel Park, the world’s biggest picture frame captures and showcases the splendours of Old Dubai and Modern Dubai from one spot. Dubai Frame is a landmark that one needs to visit to get a gist of Dubai’s charming past, the innovative present, and visionary future. This eye-catching architectural marvel glistens and gleams in the Arabian sunshine in the day and at dawn lights up in vivid illuminations – a sight to behold.
Dubai Canal Most Dubai Tour packages would often feature a cruise trip on Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina. Now, you can add one more option to that cruise experience. Dubai Canal – an artificial water inlet that extends around 3.2 km from Dubai Creek is a new way to explore Dubai’s fabulous city panoramas from a cruise tour. The trendy Dubai Canal meanders along some of the iconic sights of modern Dubai and is decked up with a contemporary bridge and walkway which illuminates in vibrant colourful neon lights at sundown. It is a wonderful way to spend a day sightseeing in Dubai city.
Dubai Expo 2020 Dubai had excitedly geared up with some amazing modifications and new attractions for the Dubai Expo 2020. However, the coronavirus outbreak dampened the momentum and the mega event had to be postponed to 2021. Taking this as an advantage chance, the emirate made use of the time to perfect the venue and is all set with safety protocols in place to welcome guests from around the world to the most anticipated world event of the year. For those visiting Dubai in 2021, take this chance to explore a world of innovative pavilions, extraordinary works of modern architecture, and much more.
Dubai is the only city in the world that can tackle the odds. Even while the world was reeling from the effects of a widespread pandemic and shutting down borders as a safety measures to curb the Covid-19 spread, Dubai managed to ensure that the tourism doesn’t get completely halted in the emirate. For those yearning to escape the woes of pandemic daily life, Dubai welcomes you with open arms to experience some of the most awe-inspiring spectacles and architectural landmarks in the world. 2021 will also bring in some addition to Dubai’s long list of stunning attractions and also a refreshing look to Dubai’s dramatic landscape. So, if you are waiting for a holiday break in 2021, choose Dubai and gear up for a fascinating journey of a lifetime.