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Wickliffe N

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Wickliffe N

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Sep042010

Tour/Activity

Private Tour: Egyptian Museum, Alabaster Mosque, Khan el-Khalili

Cairo, Egypt

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review
The Alabaster Mosque and the Egyptian Museum were musts and very much worth visiting however Khan el-Khalili bazaar was essentially a collection of a hundred plus vendors selling mostly the same exact 'made in China' souvenirs. The tour stated 6-8 hours however our tour only lasted about 4 from pickup to dropoff. Our guide was very well educated and at times we were very impressed. At other times however, he seemed lazy. We had two days in a row with this guide and at the end of our first day, our driver dropped him off before we returned to our hotel. The next morning the driver picked us up while our guide met us at the museum. Later that day, the driver dropped us off at Khan el-Khalili at which point our guide said good bye and got a ride home with the driver though the driver did return an hour later to give us a ride home. This wasn't necessarily a problem as had we know we'd likely have encouraged him to do that, though it did make us feel the guide was more concerned with his agenda than ours seeing as how he made this decision on his own. Another example is when he spent 20 minutes with us in the museum and then said "ok, go visit the rest on your own and you can meet me outside in an hour". The guide was accomodating and allowed us to stop places not on the schedule which was nice but overall I'd rate him a 6 or 7 out of 10. My feedback for Viator is to update this itinerary to include more or shorten the duration to a half day.

Sep032010

Tour/Activity

Private Tour: Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Memphis, Sakkara

Cairo, Egypt

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
This tour was excellent and very much as advertised. It lasted about 6 hours and we saw all the sites including the Solar Boat and Lunch add ons which were worth it. Our guide, Fowsi (or Bowsi?) was also our guide the next day for the Egytian Museum, Mosque and Khan el-Khalili tour - see my review for that tour as well. The guide was very well educated, nice and accomodating, though at times he did push things we weren't interested in. He took us to a carpet making factory which was nice because we saw how they made them and most importantly, nobody was trying to push us to buy something. Then however he took us to a Egyptian cotton store which was nothing more than a typical boutique with a guy following us around trying to sell us stuff. We then went to a perfume making store which was a cross between the carpet factory and the Egyptian cotton store though admittedly, we did buy a bottle of perfurm. Like most reviews you'll reed, these extra visits seem more like a sales opportunity for the locals than an educational value add. I'd recommend Viator work with there guides on being less aggresive in taking visitors to these places unless they're interested in going. As we were driving past the Sphinx after the pyramids, he pointed them out but was going to drive right past them until we told him we of course wanted to stop. Are you kidding, go to Egypt and not stop for the Sphinx??? Again, he was very educated, nice and acommodating though. I'd rate the guide an 8 of 10 - which notably is a slightly better score than our opinion of him the next day.

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