A Grand Tour of Egypt – Limited Website Activity

As you might have noticed there haven’t been many updates on the website in the last few days, although the reason behind it is simple: I’m currently making a grand tour of Egypt.


Despite having done quite some domestic weekend breaks in the last months, I was badly in need of a holiday abroad, preferably somewhere sunny.

At one point I was considering either Mexico or Tanzania as both countries do not require PCR testing, but eventually decided against them both. In the case of Mexico, I managed to find a good flight deal. I however wavered and needless to say the deal suddenly disappeared.

With more and more airlines cancelling flights to Mexico or introducing PCR tests just to fly back to Europe, it also seemed somewhat like a risk.

In the case of Tanzania this all mattered a lot less. There were some good deals to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, but I didn’t feel like flying all the way there for Zanzibar alone.

Although I do love a good stretch of fine sand for a few hours, I’m not a beach person at heart. If I would visit Zanzibar, I’d want to combine it with a mainland safari – and unfortunately this is not the best time of the year for that.


Thus Egypt came into the picture as holiday destination. Not as far away as Tanzania or Mexico, but in these corona virus pandemic times that isn’t exactly a bad thing. In the (unlikely) case borders would close or airlines would stop flying, it would be much easier to get out in time.

And then there is the country of Egypt itself. Having a deep interest in history, I always wanted to visit Egypt before. It is one of the great ancient civilisations, and there is just something mysterious about Egyptian mythology and all those temples and pyramids.

Of course, Egypt is much more than that. Cairo itself is one of Africa’s biggest, most thriving cities and a cultural heart of the Arab and Islamic world. That is the case right now, but perhaps was even more the case in the past under famous rules like Saladin.

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Selfie in front of the pyramids. ©Paliparan

On the Nile

As I’m writing this I’m setting on the deck of a river boat on the River Nile. Currently we are still moored in Aswan but we are soon to embark downstream towards Luxor, visiting a couple of ancient sites on the way.

So far I’ve already visited the Giza pyramids, the Medieval old town of Cairo and the sights around Aswan such as Philae and Abu Simbel.

One thing which has surprised me so far is how few other tourists there are around. I literally had Abu Simbel to myself alone – a rare feat as in normal times you have to share such sights with thousands of others.

Needless to say, I’m tremendously enjoying my trip so far. So far all arrangements I made and vague plans I had worked out extraordinarily well, so let’s hope that will continue as well for the remainder of the trip. *knocks on wood*

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The temple of Abu Simbel, built in 1264 BC under Pharaoh Ramses II. ©Paliparan


Although I do not have the time to post regular updates during my trip (and even if I had, I’d rather not do so as to fully enjoy my time away) I have posted some impressions on my Twitter feed.

If you like to follow along for the last week as I sail down the Nile from Aswan to Alexandria, you can always follow me on Twitter!

When I’m back home from this vacation, the normal flow of travel news and articles on Paliparan will again resume, which for sure will include a full account of my Egypt trip as well as there are lots of things I want to share.

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The pool of the Sofitel in Cairo has an amazing view over the River Nile. ©Paliparan

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Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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