Egypt (Lonely Planet)

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9780864426772: Egypt (Lonely Planet)

Travelers have been seduced by the legendary attractions and intrigue of Egypt for centuries. Whether you're interested in exploring Egypt's unique archaeological sites and temple art, camel riding along ancient spice caravan routes, bargain-hunting in the bustling markets of Cairo, or diving the spectacular coral reefs of the Red Sea, this guide will show you how. Full of down-to-earth advice for all tastes and budgets, it's the ideal companion.

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Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Destination: Egypt

Egypt is the most extraordinary place. Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, noted as much more than a century before the birth of Christ when he wrote, "Concerning Egypt I will now speak at length, because nowhere are there so many marvellous things, nor in the world besides are there to be seen so many things of unspeakable greatness..." By which he meant the Pyramids and the immense wealth of awe-inspiring temples and monuments left by the pharaohs. But to those you can now add the legacy of the Greeks and Romans, the churches and monasteries of the early Christians, and the overwhelming profusion of art and architecture accumulated from centuries of successive Islamic dynasties.

Around these ancient wonders day-to-day life goes on. Egyptian society and culture offer as much intrigue and magic as the country's historical treasures: whether it's the voice of diva Umm Kolthum wafting from a busy Cairo coffeehouse at dusk, or taking passage on a local Nile ferry to reach a small family restaurant on the far bank.

Then there's the incredible natural beauty of the country. The fine white sand, clean clear water, and purple mountain backdrops of the Sinai and the Red Sea coasts have long been known to divers, who come to enjoy offshore reefs with sheer drop-offs that plummet to unknown depths, for coral-encountered shipwrecks and for the abundance of amazing marine life. Equally other-worldly are the vast expanses of blinding white sand and rippling dunes of the Western Desert, now more accessible through a growing number of desert-safari outfits. There's far more to Egypt than just the Pyramids.

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Humphreys, Andrews, Jenkins, Siona, Loga
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