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Re: Down to Egypt
It all started with a text message;
" Wanna go to egypt next week?"
To which my response was "What?!" and then "yea"
So we got down to start planning (most of which my friend did"

The plan was for 2 days in Sharm El Sheikh and 3 in Cairo
1/7 Sharm El Sheikh
1/9-12 Cairo

Finally the day came and we began

DAY 1- TRAVEL

We set off for a 10am Egged bus to Eilat. We get there and of course the bus is fully booked, but they tell us to wait anyways maybe people won't show up. Of course in classic Egged fashion they managed to stuff almost everyone onto the bus and off we went.

So most of you like to write about your plane rides - all I can write here is that it is equivalent to 5hrs of coach (I did find a lie flat seat in the aisle )

We finally arrived in Eilat and hit up Itzele Shwarma, last macolet with kosher food, and chabad to chill a little before cabbing to Taba Border.


The border was quite the hassle not going to go in detail now - I can upon request. Anyway we cross border and are immediately heckled by cab drivers. If you ever thought Israeli cabbies were bad this is like x10. You have to be good negotiator and tough to make it in Egypt. So we managed to bargain cabbie down to 300le and we were off to Sharm El Sheikh.

After about a dozen checkpoints in which our nationality kept changing we arrived in Sharm. We had decided that this trip would be cheap but with the Sheraton at only 3k a night we felt we couldn't refuse.  (Thanks @drago for plat status) The hotel was really nice but the service was unhelpful and wifi was down (something that we were relying on). We asked the concierge where we should head to as it was only 9pm but they just told us everything is closed, so we started schmoozing with random guests and one pair of English Jordanians told us they were headed to a place called Naama Bay so we went with them.

Naama Bay is basically Sheesha (hookah) bars, restaurants, clubs, and a bunch of shops. It stays up real late so don't rush to get there. We settled on awesome Sheesha bar where we sat on floor (paid 20le each for a beer - sheesha included) and just chilled. We bought a couple of souvenirs before finally heading back and calling it a night.

Random note - while things in Egypt are cheap it definitely began adding ip and I quickly learned trip was not as cheap as I originally thought but also not that much more...

Day 2 sometime soon

January 13, 2015, 10:33:17 PM
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Re: Down to Egypt OK before day two a little filler info and hopefully a couple pics.
Sharm El sheikh is basically an artificial desert town with tons of hotels/resorts, ranging from really really nice to your standard 3* product. From talking to random tourists and looking online it seems that you should be able to get nice hotels with all inclusive (unlimited (food) drinks!) for about $130.
We chose to go for a category 1 spg hotel - The Sheraton. It was 3k weekday and 2k fri/sat. The hotel itself was gorgeous - we had a room directly overlooking the sea and there was private beach but service was Very official and also quite unhelpful. I think the only thing they got right my two nights there was wake-up call. Definitely worth 3k points but not much more - plus we found the staff at the less opulent resorts to be much more chilled.

Anyway back to Sharm. Since it is vacation town there are not many real "locals". Most of the employees are residents of Cairo who come to work in Sharm for like 3 months at a time and then go home for at most a month before returning. What I can say about these folk is that they work thier a$$ off for a little money. Sure they will try sacking everythe dollar they can off you, but at least they work hard for thier money. If you are careful and make sure it is is evident they are not getting any $ or only x amount then they can be very friendly and fun to schmooze with. Also just btw like 98% of them are male. My entire time in Sharm I saw 3 Egyptian women.

While in Sharm we found 2.5 local places to hit up
Naama Bay - nightlife, stays up late 3amish, as for pritzus really not as bad as any American city. We just looked around and hit up one sheesha bar.

Old Market -  literally hundreds of stores all selling like the same twenty items. You can get some real bargains there. Also open until 2 or 3 am

Random stores, sheesha bars around town are also worth it to hit up and schmooze with locals.

January 14, 2015, 03:39:12 PM
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Re: Down to Egypt Day 2

We had originally planned to go on a full day boat excursion to one of the nearby islands and scuba dive over there.
Alas the claimed that UT was too windy and the boat did not sail that day. Also we woke up a bit too late, although I am sure for the right price that would not of been an issue. Anyway the Sheraton has a dive school/center on premises and after a bit of negotiation, we bought two dives  each from them for $50. My friend has a diving license whereas for me this was my first time. For anyone who has not tried it - it is absolutely incredible and worth every dollar. The world Hashem created below the surface is just so amazing I cannot even begin to describe. Fortunately my friend does have a GoPro and as soon as I get pics from him I will bli neder post. The experience itself is a little scary at first, but basically my guide just held me underwater for a while and after about a minute I realized I was still breathing and calmed down. The water was pretty cold so always ask for full wetsuit.

After both dives we still had energy so we booked quad biking (also from guy at hotel) for $30 each. They drove us off to the desert and gave us full 45 minutes on the bikes - no cheaping out. Guide was very friendly and a good guy. Instead of just having us ride in a circle they had us travel to a bedouin village thing as destination, which I thought was pretty cool. While chilling in village thingy I noticed I was sitting in a 100% kosher succah לכל הדעות! Fine except maybe Chazon Ish ;-) But still I thought that was fascinating and will bli neder post pics of that as well. We drove back through desert nearing sunset and scenery was beautiful. It is amazing that even a desert can be quite scenic.

We got back to hotel completely shot and just chilled and had early night. We had flight to Cairo for next day so had to wake up early...

January 15, 2015, 08:26:48 AM
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Re: Down to Egypt Day 3
We woke up bright and early for 9am flight to Cairo. Checking out of hotel was hassle, as we were in a rush, and they basically chased us for phone bill (the calls never even worked and I only tried because wifi was down).
We arrived at airport and we're told problem with visa.(I should mention now that we were planning on purchasing visa in airport.) Guy walks with us to passport control and a bunch of Arabic is thrown back and forth and finally they tell us we cannot travel because we need guarantee letter from tour company (?!). We try hocking different guys back and forth and no go. All they tell us is it is not a big deal just go to any travel agency in airport (there were a bunch) and they will do it for you. Anyway apparently it is a big deal and although they all knew what we were referring to (so maybe it was not complete bs) they would not do it for us. (and yes we offered $$$).
 As it was getting later on Friday, I finally relented, bought data, and cancelled our points stay at Le Meridian pyramids, and got on priceline. We ended up booking random hotel, Shores Golden, for $50/night (fri-sat) and stayed there for shabbos. Although it was not half as nice as sheraton, the staff were so much more chilled which we appreciated. Saturday night we hit up old market which is basically as described above.

P. S. Later on Monday we did official day trip with tour company to Cairo and everything went smoothly (without frikin guarantee) . I will explain what we did differently although I still do not completely comprehend what went wrong. All I know is G-d did not want us in Cairo.
On Friday we went to check-in (as would in any other airport), whereas on Monday we first went to visa office. The visa office is next to mosque-shtiebel thing and it costs $25.If you insist on paying with Egyptian they will make up price (different ppl on our tour paid different price) which can workout less.
Afterwords go to passport control where they will stamp (they never asked us for guarantee). Only then proceed to check in to receive boarding pass. I cannot promise this will work for you, but this is what worked for us. The last thing Egypt is  is consistent.

Pps I had booked flight on sp and was hoping to have travel insurance cover this. By the time I got around to calling I saw it was automatically refunded! And I still have no clue why
הודו לה' כי טוב

January 18, 2015, 08:49:10 AM
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Re: Down to Egypt Day 4 - Shabbos
Was spent in hotel where we enjoyed wine and other delacicies we shlepped in from IL

Satarday Night

IIRC After Shabbos ended on the recomendation of someone we hit up the Old Market. It is literally the same 6 stores 100x over. We strolled around for a bit and bought a bunch of Sheesha (Hookah) to bring back to IL. (I actually eventually brought to Goa in Ben Yehuda and the workers (Shebobs) there were massively impressed by it.)

We then realized we had a decision to make. We still REALY wanted to make it to Cairo, so we went to one of the dozen tourist shops that dot the area. Over our stay we had already found one guy we liked so we went to him. After a lot of back n forth (probably multiple trips, I can really barely recall how it all went down) We booked a full-day boat ride with scuba diving for sunday, and a full Cairo package for Monday. Im sorry I do not remember prices. The Cairo package included Early (and I mean early) morning flight, Egypt Muesuem, pyramids, and a bunch of tourist traps to kill time. It also included what looked like a nice lunch, which we of course did not partake in.

October 22, 2015, 10:10:23 PM
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Re: Down to Egypt Day 5 - Sunday

We woke up bright and early davened and checked out of hotel. They were very kind and let us keep all our stuff in a locked closet thing until we came back from excursion. (They were a little taken back by our 3 shisha's  ;D  ) We got to the boat and were actually impressed, it was Largish yacht and on the trip was maybe 30 ppl plus instructors. Here is where we met our first American (fine, Canadian) tourists but almost. They were seasoned world travelers but knew nothing about cc/points.  :o

The scuba diving here was even better than by the hotel. It was really very cool. This forum is crazy about snorkeling (which is cheaper, can be done on your own, and doesn't require a ton of gear), but seriously anyone who enjoys that should definitely try scuba if they can. It is absolutely incredible to be entirely submerged and surrounded by this wonderful world of color. Even if you only get 15 minutes at a time (the max for unlicensed) it feels so much longer down there and is sooo worth it.

IIRC the boat made three stops. I had paid for two dives so chose the first two stops to do them. My friend, being a licensed diver took one uber long dive (30 min IIRC), so he left at the second stop and was picked up later on the way to the third stop. Lunch was served on the boat, which again we did not partake in. But there were unlimited refreshments (bottled soda/water) and we brought instant oatmeal/protein bars for lunch.

We got back to sharm tired and homeless. I used my data to book cheapest hotel for the night. It was $20/night and was awesome. Firstly, guy working the counter was awesome 18-year-old who was high off his rocker. They got our reservation by fax (!?) which we both found amusing, and the room, lobby and property were surprisingly nice. (hotel link- itís actually 15 now) and crashed for the night. In an honest review of the hotels we stayed, I would rank the service here the best. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention when we checked in there was live band (guy at his keyboard - but hey Ive been to weddings that have the same) playing music for the guests.

Correction- Actually thinking back I think we booked Cairo now...but makes no dif

P.s. Some of you may be wondering how we still had rations now. You are correct we were dangerously low, but figured we could rough it out for one more day in order to see Cairo

October 22, 2015, 10:38:52 PM
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Re: Down to Egypt Day 6 - CAIRO

Again we woke up early and were picked up to go to the Airport. This time we got our Visa's before boarding pass, and I think that may have made the difference, although with all the made-up rules I cant promise. We actually paid for the Visa in Egyptian Dollars and that worked out cheaper. Plane ride was 40 min and uneventful. We met our tour guide in the airoport, a Muslim (no suprise there) lady with an annoyingly high pitched voice. But overall she was a good informative guide, actually fluent in English. The other folks on the trip are what really made it fun. What still stands out to me, is this one tall back-packer dude, below is what I recall of actual conversation;

Me: So where you from
Him: Uhhhhm (pause) well if I had to answer I'd say LA but I havent been there in like 4 years man. Ive just been all over the place (Lucky style, without the hotels and first class cabins, so more like Suave style)
Me; So if you had to pick a place to live, where would it be?
Him: Up in Northen Canada with the Eskimoes  :o :o :o (He was being honest, I swear) After a while, I'd start going crazy, so I'd go back to La, but then I'd come right back...

Anyway back to tour, first stop was Egypt Muesuem. Basically all the stuff from pyramids in one big building, really cool stuff. Probably the one stop besides the actual pyramids that is worth it. There are no pictures allowed in the muesuem, so this is where a GoPro came in handy. Alas it was my friends so I dont have pics, sorry. After a while our guides tour was getting boring so we dithced and started wandering around muesuem on our own. We found this posh professor type giving what seemed like an expensive high-class tour so we started asking him questions. He was obviously very knowledgable and got into a long winded explanation of which Pharoah was the one by Moses but caught himself and basically told us its inconclusive.

Next, was lunch, which we ditched and roamed around Cairo. It really is 3rd world, even the business parts are slumish and the roads are just wow. We tried to get bank to trade our $$ but it was no-go. After we made to the pyramids. Besides being an ancient wonder, they are really a tourist trap. You go there, take pictures, get hounded by vendors, maybe take an uncomfortable camel ride and leave. But we enjoyed it and got a bunch of good pics. Everything else from tour, besides from driving through Cairo was boring imho.

Anyway, after tour we made it back to Sharm for one more night. 

October 22, 2015, 11:18:08 PM
1
Re: Boston for a 22 Hour Mileage Run TR with @Itsyehuda Nice TR!
I'm sure others will find this handy

August 16, 2016, 01:10:14 AM
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Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve BENEFITS master thread
My wife just got her plastic card. We don't have any travel expenses until early 2017 and I'd like to get that credit ASAP. People said the we could get the $250 airline credit on the Prestige by buying refundable tickets. Any DP on that method for Chase?
Try it

September 02, 2016, 07:21:26 PM
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Re: Scotland & Ireland with 2 small kids Great TR - appreciate the time it took to write this up.

I have just one question, did you go to Scotland and not visit any distilleries?? That is like going to restaurants and not ordering any meat  ;)

August 16, 2018, 11:51:18 AM
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Re: Antarctica Cruise Raffle
Thanks!
MT!

Who is your +1??
I see EJB and raise him
:)

August 26, 2018, 05:29:59 PM
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Re: Antarctica Cruise Raffle
You'll need to dress up like me, grow a beard, put on some pounds, and give some lectures.
Sounds like a job for Benny Friedman

August 26, 2018, 06:58:12 PM
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Re: New Antarctica Cruise Raffle! Win A Superior Cabin
Thank you to all that purchased already!

We are currently at 124.
Thanks for updating.

Please continue to do so.

Also, can any Boyozucker's who plan on sniping the raffle identify themselves now?

September 17, 2018, 08:06:23 AM
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Re: Mega millions $1.6BB
I'd rather have a 1 in 302 mil chance of winning on my own than a 20 in 302 but have to coordinate with other people if we win.
They say after you win the lotto you have no friends. At least if you win with friends you are all in same boat

October 22, 2018, 06:24:20 PM
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Re: @Yehuda's Trips to DEN Suite deal!
Appreciate the HT

May 06, 2019, 11:28:24 AM
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Re: Citi AA Master Thread
You sure NL? Just got one today and it had language.
Not sure but it was not where it normally would be.
mail or email? 9 or 12 digit code?

mail. 12.
What is normally the dif if 9 or 12?

November 18, 2019, 09:30:55 PM
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Re: Booking El Al with Qantas - master thread
With you sparing a few words, you added a couple of pages to this thread.
That's how you become a top poster on DDF.
Basics

November 19, 2019, 10:30:23 AM
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Re: The funny/strange/interesting video thread...
Not sure how to embed this...but what a bunch of BS

December 06, 2019, 12:52:02 PM
1
Re: Closing the decade: 2019 in review Too lazy to make it look like the pros here;
All Y except TLV-HKG-JFK in CX j/F

Trips;
Georgia Skiing
Miami Cruise to Mexico
Day trip to Ist then BCN
Roatan Honduras
Day trip to Madrid
UMAN ROSH HASHANA
Israel Sukkos
Day trip Bucharest
Rome
Shabbos in Hoditch

Not pictured
Road trip NY to PHX rt

January 16, 2020, 11:39:17 AM
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Re: "Tell me' information hotline
Yeah, I remember guys calling them...

Tellme: What would you like to hear about?

Yeshiva guy: Baseball

TM: Did you say Basketball?

YG: No, BASEball.

TM: Did you say tennis?

YG: No, BASEBALL!!

TM: Did you say water polo?

"Okay, WEATHER!"

"Last night the Indians clobbered the Yankees 2-1"

February 16, 2020, 03:46:48 PM
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Re: Meir Key should take down the homosexual video and issue an apology You can agree or disagree with the video but the creator does not owe anyone an apology.

If you dont like it, hit the thumbs down, unsub, and leave an angry comment like a normal internet troll

Or better yet, don't watch

February 21, 2020, 04:37:43 PM
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Re: DDFer positive peer review/feedback Rileywiles23 is such a mentch he can bring back the alte bochurim of Ddf
June 29, 2020, 11:21:34 PM
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Re: DDFer positive peer review/feedback
Who asked you to pop in here?

Alte bochurim dont need to be asked. We come when we are around. And then disappear when they start asking for donations

June 30, 2020, 10:30:23 PM
1