Spanish Spree Contiki

So easy to get hooked on Madrid that blends traditional culture with new vitality in everything from shopping and food to arts and culture.

Took a tour of the royal palace with a local guide, got to see how the other half lived and not bad – but having that many rooms I wouldn’t know what to do with them all. From there we headed north to Segovia with its roman aqueduct & alcazar (castle) before continuing onwards to Bilbao – the home of the Guggenheim art museum.

Bilbao to San Sabastian where we took a polar plunge in the atlantic ocean, and I thought it would be a little colder than how cold it really was. Lost my sunnies in the Atlantic ocean when a wave hit me, but oh well how many can say oh yeah I lost my sunnies in the Atlantic ocean. Had lunch at a Irish pub before climbing aboard the bus to drive to Pamplona – the home of the running of the bulls festival. Where we also had dinner and drinks with Hemingway.

Early morning onwards to Barcelona but first making a quick visit to soak up the baroque city of Zaragoza.

Seeing why Barcelona – the sexy city sizzles with seeing sites as Christopher columbus statue, Picasso museum, Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia & the 1992 olympic games complex. While walking through the Gothic Quarter &; La Rambla district.

Valencia – cruising down the orange blossom coast, the capital home to the Holy Grail.

Continuing west to the once moonish city of Granada where we see the medieval cathedral & bell tower. Taking a trip back in time in this glorious city that’s full of atmosphere & soaked in history. Exploring the fabled palace while feeling the lively culture on the streets and sampling some tapas & real sangria.

Drove through the costa del sol coastline and the Sierra Nevada mountains to make a stop in Gibraltar, a British colony before arriving in Sevilla. Where we took a taxi tour in Gibraltar onto the rock and a scenic drive past Marbella & Malaga – visited some monkeys along the way on the rock of Gibraltar, one sat on my head.

In the lively city of Sevilla, visited the cathedral and ate lunch on a rooftop over looking the cathedral. Visited alcazar & plaza de espana in Seville and some of you would recognize the plaza de espana from the most common film, star wars the attack of the clones – that is planet Naboo.

Next and final stop before Madrid, cordoba where we will relax in some cordoba baths (Arabic baths)

Egypt Contiki

Cairo is such a busy vibrate city but than again if it had twenty million people in it, it would be. Each morning around five o’clock a morning prayer goes off over the intercom. All the dogs bark like crazy.

Went to Alexandria the first day before tour where it took three hours from cairo. Where we first met Sherif our tour guide for the trip.

first day of tour, left Cairo at eight o’clock in the morning and went to the Egyptian museum. There is a lot of Egyptian history in there. Then we stopped off at the pyramids of Giza, and rode camels across the desert. While half of the group went inside the pyramid the rest of us went to the first pyramid and took a picture of us sitting on it while we had to defend off the vendors. Each time I walked I made sure I walked with a “husband”. After Giza we went to see the Spinx, I photo “kissed” the Spinx and Chris patted his head.

The children is the worst part of the vendors. Yes the parents let their children out there and work at a young age and we were warned that they do pick pocket so we always left our bags on the bus and only took our cameras when we got off to take pictures.

After the Spinx we went to the grocery store and liquor store before we got on the twelve hour over night train ride to Aswan – which we managed to make the time go by quick by what contiki does best and playing black bitch, and thirteen. Not even after fifteen minutes the trained delayed for half hour? And we wondered why we were stopped.

We were delayed so long that we missed out seeing the unfinished obelisk & high dam but we did take a sail on a felucca sailboat while we kicked back and listened to Nubian music. Later we went to a Egyptian market where we bought some bangles for the toga party and then visited The contiki secret. By this time it was new years eve and we partied like we were old friends already. It was a great time with belly dancers. It was a very late night and the next morning was an early morning because we had to catch a flight to Abu Simbel – the most complete example of ancient Egyptian architecture. Rest of the day was a relaxing day abroad the Nile cruise while we cruised to the unique temple in Kom Ombo in the city of Edfu.

We took a horse and carriage to the temple of Horus the avenger, where we raced them on the way to the temple. The traffic was a little more busier on the way back to the boat so could really race. Later, we set sailed and meandered up the Nile to luxor but after the old and new dam, approximately an hour after we were all sitting on the roof and Sherif was talking how one tour he did they got stuck for three days, and boom we got stuck on the Nile for three hours. Where we had to go back to dam and take the bus to Luxor where we Walked like a Egyptian while we strolled up the ancient avenue of the Spinx’s that linked luxor to Karnak temple, After Visiting the valley of the kings. At the Colossos of memnon, sherif and I coordinated with our contiki shirts 🙂 with a photo op.

Before heading to Hurghada we stopped off at a ATM and McDonald’s where we grabbed lunch because it was a five hour bus ride. There we arrived at 9pm and had our farewell dinner with some dancing, photo op’s and smoking of water pipe.

Contiki Secret: you have two options where one option is the boat cruise on the Red Sea. I will not mention what we do because its a contiki secret but on the red sea I will tell you this, it was the BEST way to end my time in Egypt!!!

After we got on the bus for our six hour drive back to Cairo, stopped after three hours at the road service for food and stretch. Watched the movie Ted on the bus but I fell asleep on Chris. Got back to the hotel Victoria in Cairo and met in the lobby where we had our departure meeting and gave my best contiki feedback forum, Sherif was awesome, very sad leaving everyone. After we just all sat around with a few drinks and visited one last time. Everyone else had left leaving Chris and I behind to cuddle on the couch.

Thanks to all my new friends and Chris for a fabulous new years trip in Egypt.