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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts from February, 2009

St Patrick’s Night at the Camel Bar

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While Egypt is a land rich with its own culture spanning thousands of years it, like most others, isn’t immune to the odd import.

With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that there will be a little corner of Sharm El Sheikh celebrating St Patrick’s Night on March 17th.

Quite how the Guinness will taste is anybody’s guess but there’s no doubt that the place to be for visitors on Egypt tours is the Camel Bar, a key nightspot in this popular tourist destination and part of the Camel Hotel which boasts its own dive school.

In keeping with the season the bar will become a repository for all things Irish. A good time can be had on any night of the year but on Paddy’s Day there’s an extra special party mood, replete with the obligatory shamrocks, fiddle music and ill-conceived over-sized headgear.

Dressing up is pretty much de rigueur so those planning to pay a visit on this particular night had better pack a few extra items in their suitcases.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19022543-ADNFCR

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Egypt shows off its indigenous art at Al Nitaq

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The visually-arresting styles of modern Egytian art are given a fantastic showcase at the Al Nitaq festival in Cairo, held in February or March each year.

Galleries and exhibition spaces all over the city participate in this superb event, which incorporates everything from traditional mediums like painting and sculpture to contemporary work involving natural materials and technology.

As well as the visual arts, literature and performances are key parts of the festival too, with theatre events, workshops, poetry readings and many more highlights on the schedule, making this is well-rounded and comprehensive look at modern Egypt and its relationship with the world through art.

The festival began in 2000 and ran in 2001, but political difficulties meant that it was abandoned for several years, before making its reappearance in 2007 – much to the relief of the strong Egyptian art scene and both its young and established figures.

Visitors on Egypt tours should make a point of including some of the shows or openings into their sightseeing, particularly at the famous and historic Townhouse Gallery, in order to gain an insight into the modern face of Egyptian art and culture.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19022539-ADNFCR

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Egyptians prepare to celebrate the birth of the prophet

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As a predominantly Islamic country, religious festivals and memorials have an important role to play in Egypt’s society.

The celebration of Mohammed’s birthday, sometimes known as Mawlid, is to be held on March 9th in 2009 and is a major event in public life.

Visitors on Egypt tours should look out for the colourful and sometimes spectacular celebrations going on across the nation.

Parades and special decorations abound throughout Egypt at this time and whole communities gather together for this important religious and social festival.

Children receive special sweets for the occasion and carnival-like events abound in towns and cities, with local mosques forming the focal points for this significant occasion.

Thought to have originated in Egypt, Mawlid celebrations vary the world over and from country to country each observance is unique.

Egypt’s is unlike any other and travellers would be well-advised to take time out of their Egypt tour to witness this special and unique occasion.

Why not book the Full day Memphis, Sakkara & Pyramids tour in advance?ADNFCR-1652-ID-19020933-ADNFCR

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Hurghada casts off for the International Fishing Competition

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A competitive fishing event might sound like a rather slow day out but when such an activity is set against the backdrop of one of Africa’s most stunning coastal landscapes, visitors on Egypt tours might want to think again.

The International Fishing Competition in Hurghada, taking place again this February, always attracts hoards of spectators every year, not least for the stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.

Hopeful contestants have three days in which to score a catch that will sufficiently impress the event’s judges, with prizes awarded across different categories.

Fishing off the coast of Egypt gives competitors the chance to access the stunning variety of marine life in the Red Sea area on which the resort lies, which is also a popular spot for snorkelers and divers.

For a unique take on this universally-popular pastime, the International Fishing Competition in Hurghada could be a highlight of Egypt tours this year.

Why not book the Karnak & Luxor Temple tour in advance?ADNFCR-1652-ID-19020228-ADNFCR

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Cairo sets sail for the International Boat Show

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The city of Cairo is gearing up to host the 3rd annual Egypt International Boat Show from February 19th to 22nd.

Located in the Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Centre, this major event will bring together exhibitors from all over the world to show off their wares, which will include some of the most beautiful and majestic craft currently in production.

As a country with a lengthy coastline and the added advantage of the huge Lake Nasser to the south, this is a land with plenty of time for aquatic craft, not to mention a strong historical association with seafarers and maritime adventure.

Mindful of this rich heritage, visitors on Egypt tours can witness the kind of beautiful vessels now being made and marvel at the quality of workmanship, not to mention the kind of design which blends classic elements with modern technology.

Having begun in 2007, this show has increased in scale year on year and 2009′s event promises to be the biggest and best yet.

Why not book the Full day Museum & Pyramids tour before you travel?ADNFCR-1652-ID-19020215-ADNFCR

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Abu Simbel takes visitors back in time

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Visitors to the Abu Simbel temple this February will witness a truly extraordinary spectacle that has had onlookers rapt for centuries.

The Abu Simbel Festival, which takes place each year in February and October, gives visitors on Egypt tours the chance to observe the staggeringly beautiful sunset from the grounds of this spectacular feat of ancient engineering.

As ribbons of light from the rising sun seep through into the inner sanctum, a unique illumination bathes the temple in an almost ethereal glow, constantly changing as the sun’s position moves ever higher into the sky.

In a display of exactly the kind of extravagant whimsy that typified the Pharaohs, Ramses II ordered the temple to be built in such a way as the sunlight would illuminate the inner chamber on two occasions every year.

He instructed his architects to adjust the construction so precisely that now, millennia on, the effect is still every bit as spectacular as it would have been the first time it was witnessed.

To enhance the experience, the festival organisers lay on music, a selection of traditional food and other entertainment for their guests on Egypt tours, making this an enchanting and unmissable experience.

Why not book the Full day Cairo From Sharm tour in advance?ADNFCR-1652-ID-19017657-ADNFCR

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Hurghada gears up for the International Festival

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One of Egypt’s ever-more popular beach resorts is getting ready to host the highlight of its sporting and social calendar.

The Hurghada International Festival will see visitors on Egypt tours come in their droves to take in some of the entertainment on offer during this fantastic event.

Taking place over 12 days, the festival features three popular athletic contests: the triathlon, which opens the festival; the 75km Mare Monti, an off-road race set between a stunning sea view and the soaring mountains; and finally the Hurghada Half Marathon.

This last element attracts the largest amount of public attention and this year’s race promises to be the most hotly-contested and widely-spectated yet.

Aside from the sporting attractions, visitors on Egypt tours and locals can also enjoy the cross-cultural nature of the festival.

This is best exemplified by the kind of partying and exuberance with which its attendees enjoy both the sporting and cultural side of life in this former low-key fishing village.

Why not book the Full day Museum, Citadel & Bazaar tour in advance?ADNFCR-1652-ID-19017652-ADNFCR

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Fantastic frisbee festival draws to a close

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The Ulimutation fisbree festival is set to come to a spectacular finish at the popular Egyptian beach resort of Dahab this weekend (February 14th).

In many countries the day would be characterised by flowers, chocolates and the exchange of cards but on this famous beach the main attraction will be some of the world’s top frisbee experts, a host of enthusiasts and visitors on Egypt tours.

The festival includes a series of fantastic events, including Ultimate Frisbee (a popular sport on university campuses around the world) as well as freestyle tournaments, plus demonstrations from the world’s most daring frisbee experts.

One key event is disc golf, an ever-growing sport in which throwers must put their frisbee into a basket – or ‘hole’ – in the least number of throws, mimicking the original game of golf.

For the chance to relax on a beautiful beach and watch some top competitors exhibit their frisbee-throwing skills, Ultimation could be just the ticket.

Why not book the Motor Safari before you travel?ADNFCR-1652-ID-19015304-ADNFCR

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Runners on their marks for the International Egyptian Marathon

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The thousands of assembled hopefuls will be glad of the relatively cool seasonal temperatures at the International Egyptian Marathon on February 13th.

Taking place in the ancient and fascinating city of Luxor, this race promises to attract competitors and spectators on Egypt tours from around the world.

This year will see the 16th running of this prestigious event, which is widely regarded as one of the best long-distance races on the African continent. It is the only one of its kind in Egypt that is officially recognised by the Association of International Marathons and Road Races.

As is fitting for a locale with such history, the course takes in many famous sights, not least the start/finish point in the shadow of Hatshepsut’s Temple.

For runners who aren’t keen to attempt the full distance there are a number of shorter events, such as the Ramses Run and Walk over 12 kilometres, as well as other races for wheelchair racers and in-line skaters.

Why not book the Full day Memphis, Sakkara & Pyramids tour in advance?ADNFCR-1652-ID-19015297-ADNFCR

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Fantastic film fun in Amsterdam at the Imagine festival

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This year’s Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival looks set to be one of the biggest and best in the event’s 25 year history.

From April 15th to 26th Imagine will incorporate the finest in European and world cinema across a range of genres.

The event began as a relatively low-key, weekend-long happening but year on year it grew in profile. Now it is a highlight of the Dutch cultural calendar and is attracting heightening interest from around the world as the overall profile of European cinema is boosted by a series of hit films from directors and studios.

Alongside screenings and premieres there will be a series of question-and-answer sessions, interviews, workshops and other events to round out the experience – ideal for the seasoned cinema buff and the novice alike.

Visitors on Amsterdam tours would be wise to book their tickets soon as demand is likely to be high – along with most of the audience – for this fascinating look into the world of European film-making.

Why not buy the Canal Bus Day Pass in advance?ADNFCR-1652-ID-19012088-ADNFCR

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