/ The Global Nomad
Global Nomad — By Christina Uticone on July 26, 2010 at 12:02 am
Filed under: all-inclusive, archaeology, egypt, featuredarticle

Exploring Egypt’s Mysteries

The mysteries of Egypt have fascinated me since I was a child.  A lifelong lover of murder mystery novels, I began reading Agatha Christie at a young age.  It was through her writing that I first discovered this land of archaeological riches, made all the more exciting against a backdrop of murder, intrigue, and upper-class British characters jet-setting through exotic lands.

egypt, desert, archaeology, pyramidI must have been about ten years old when I first read “Death on the Nile”, following M. Poirot and his ship of victims and suspects down the Nile River. (If you have never seen the 1978 film version with Peter Ustinov as Poirot with an all-star cast that includes Bette Davis, Maggie Smith, Mia Farrow, David Niven, George Kennedy, and Angela Lansbury, you must.) Christie also set her superb “Death Comes as the End” whodunit in Egypt, only that story takes place in 2000 BC, in the ancient city of Thebes.  Revolving around a high priest, his family, and his newest concubine, all operating in ancient Egypt – and on age-old human failures like greed and jealousy – the book drew me deeper into my curiosity of Egypt, and my desire to learn more about her history and landscapes.

A trip to Egypt is an ambitious one, and certainly requires an expert hand.  So, how do you go about unlocking her mysteries when planning your own Egyptian vacation?  I’ll give you a clue that will help you crack the case: all-inclusive holidays.  “All-inclusive” takes the unknown and makes it even better than knowable … it makes it doable.  Everything is included – from accommodations to activities, from food and drink to entertainment.  Taking advantage of all-inclusive holiday packages not only takes the guesswork out of planning, it’s also cost-effective; all of your expenses are paid in full, so any off-holiday excursions and expenditures can be planned around your remaining discretionary budget.  No worrying about how much to spend per meal/per day when you sit down at a new restaurant, no calculating sales tax or currency conversions in your head while standing at a busy hotel desk – your holiday is planned, paid, and waiting for you to enjoy.

My own childhood fantasies of Egypt holidays usually involved my wandering through open-air markets while stealing frequent, furtive glances over my shoulder, making sure I wasn’t being followed by shadowy figures with dastardly intentions for me.  Today my fantasies are slightly less heart-thumping, although the thought of heavily-perfumed incense and rich spices does make my heart beat a little harder, but with desire rather than fear.  At ten years old I imagined my future-self as a modern young woman with a mysterious secret, alone in a land of ancient mysterious secrets.  I was usually at the heart of a mystery, with the heat of the desert sun on my head.  I thought, as a child, that Egypt was all dry deserts and parched pyramids and I pictured myself protected (and disguised for personal safety) with beautiful, gauzy headscarves and giant sunglasses.  Today I know better (though I still wish for my own personal international mystery thriller requiring a disguise).

In addition to the architecture and archaeology for which it is so famous, Egypt enjoys the best of both worlds, with world-class beaches for those looking to compliment their “sun” with a little “surf”.  Head to the southern end of the Sinai Peninsula, to Sharm el Sheikh, to enjoy beautiful stretches of sandy beach.

Sharm el Sheikh holidays can be scheduled year-round.  If you like to look for mysteries that lie in deep waters, try snorkeling or scuba diving in the spring or fall, when visibility is at its best. Are you more interested in history’s mysteries?  Sharm el Sheikh is tucked between the Red Sea and Mount Sinai, and is rich in religious significance for the three largest world religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.  Sharm el Sheikh continues to make history today, and is known as the “City of Peace”, having been home to several notable Middle East peace conferences in 1999, 2000, and 2005.

Leave the details-sleuthing to the experts!  Enjoy an all-inclusive holiday to Egypt and focus on the mysteries that matter to you, whether they lie on sandy beaches or in ancient tombs.

But maybe pack your magnifying glass, just in case.

Photo credit: SXC 1, 2, 3

This post was sponsored by ulookubook.com.  The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Tags: all-inclusive, archaeology, egypt, featuredarticle

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