Bruce and Jenny Gray

In 2011 we made our long awaited retirement overseas trip, travelling to Greece, Egypt & throughout Europe.

Having not travelled so extensively previously we didn’t quite know what to expect with our tour directors so weren’t all that surprised when we had an Irishman in Greece or an Australian throughout Europe! Whilst both were very professional and had an understanding of the countries we travelled through they could not match the local knowledge and expertise of our tour director (and Egyptologist) in Egypt.

We met our guide on the first morning of our 11 day Egyptian tour and were immediately impressed by his approach to our forthcoming tour and his explanation of what we could expect.

Our guide was able to clearly relate to those knowledgeable about Egypt (my wife Jenny) and those who weren’t quite on the same page (me).

My initial interest in Egypt was to visit the Pyramids and stand where my father had stood in WWII; Jenny’s interests were far deeper and immediately started questioning our guide on what, when & where we would be travelling.

The timing for our trip couldn’t have been better for us, albeit not so good for the Egyptian people or economy, as there were very few tourists (only 5 in our group) so having someone as knowledgeable as he was an immeasurable added bonus.

Our guide took the time to clearly explain details of each place we visited and to make us always felt part of our tour group, joining in our discussions and jokes but at the same time being very professional when needed.

Nothing was ever too much trouble for our guide even if it came to assisting us to buy toiletries in the local shops.

Our guide made each day one of interest and created a sense of involvement with each temple we visited by explaining the intricacies of each and their place in Egypt’s history. Whenever there were crowds around our guide would simply start our tour at a different point then come back to the start showing that he clearly had a deep understanding and wasn’t just reciting the right words at each stop.

At the end of our tour we were to visit the Egyptian Museum but due to some uncertainty, and keeping our safety as his main priority, our guide simply changed the tour around so that we could visit the museum a day earlier.

Nothing was missed on our tour for which we are truly grateful to our guide for. I certainly came away with a far deeper understanding and appreciation of Egypt and her history than expected and Jenny came away with many of the ‘blanks’ filled in on her knowledge of Egypt (along with a huge papyrus and oil essences!).

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