The stuff to see in Egypt is amazing- the Pyramids are impressive, but even better is Abu Simbel. We saw the temples at Luxor, did a Nile cruise and saw the Aswan dam, checked out Islamic Cairo, saw King Tut at the National Museum, and visited Saint Catherine and Sharm-el-Sheik. All of the sites were amazing, and there were tourist police everywhere- I felt safer in Egypt than in New York. They even insisted on giving us an armed guard when we crossed the Sinai.
What was less fun was being harassed all the time. The shopkeepers scream at you, follow you, and swear at you if you won’t buy anything, and they go on and on about their “hospitality.” I’ve seen true hospitality in Jordan and Morocco, but in Egypt, the only hospitality you’ll find that isn’t fake is in the back crannies of the markets where the true artisans are. By the end of the trip we were in a sour mood, and my last moment in Egypt really put the cap on the trip- the man at the security gate wrenching my bag off my shoulder, slamming it one foot away on the security belt, and telling me bluntly, “you give me tip.” Um… I don’t think so.
Worth going? Absolutely. Worth returning? I don’t think so. I’ve seen it once, and I have no desire to go back!