For a long time a great fascination of an ancient culture had drawn me to tour Egypt. How can you come to terms with a people who seemed only to live to prepare to die and who worshiped gods with heads of animals, reptiles and even insects? Never was an impression more wrong. The reality of life from tomb paintings made 4000 years ago showed a culture with such love of life, they didn’t want it to end. Although intrigued by its monuments, my memory of Egypt will be of its people and their way of life. I found Egypt to be a juxtaposition of ancient and modern: a camel jockey with a cell phone; Cairo’s heavy traffic slowed by donkey carts.

The tour by Elisha and Merle of Heavenly International Tours proved to be expertly planned. The hotel rooms and the cabin on the Sonesta Nile Goddess were excellent. The planning with the Egyptian “Travel Plus” tour company made the connections to all the sight seeing locations flawless. Soha, our guide, displayed great knowledge and patience with my many questions on the history and culture of the Egyptian people. Much more was included in this trip than was listed in the tour itinerary. Unforgettable are the sights of daily life, such as men puffing away on water pipes on the streets of Alexandria, or the timeless Nile River scenery from the deck of our vessel. Words cannot describe the staggering experience of my fingers tracing stone carved hieroglyphics in temples made thousands of years ago.

My trip to Egypt in 2008 brought not just fond vacation memories, but unbelievable experiences that left a powerful personal imprint. A longtime dream was fulfilled, leaving only the desire to visit Egypt again.