|Subject: Re: Egypt and Jordan|
Allow me to also endorse the trip to Abu Simbel. You will not be there for more than a couple of hours (which is ample time without feeling rushed), so making the expensive trek does raise a question re: value. However, in my opinion, what you see there will yield one of the most significant and lasting visual memories of your Egyptian adventure. One thing that is particularly striking about the temples at Abu Simbel is their dual history--equally incredible as their original construction is their recent reconstruction as an act of preservation from the rising waters secondary to damming of the Nile. Dam projects are always controversial. Seeing Abu Simbel together with the dams, other impacted sites and the agricultural communities around Aswan and along the Nile gave me a better appreciation for all of the issues.
For your reference on air costs, last summer (June 2004), we paid 310USD per person for air from Cairo-Aswan-Abu Simbel- Aswan, then from Luxor-Cairo. In other words, we took four flights for a total of 310USD. Oanda.com tells me that today, 400CAD = 328USD. So, we got the Abu Simbel junket plus two longer flights in/out of Cairo for roughly the same price you are being quoted for the relatively short roundtrip Aswan-Abu Simbel-Aswan. I am guessing that is a reflection of the difference between high season (Feb.) and low season (June) air pricing. However, you might want to make a follow- up query just to make sure your quote is accurate? Coincidentally, we used a Canadian travel agency (out of Toronto) to put together our Egypt trip.
You are about to embark on a fascinating journey. Have a great time!
Diana Ball near Houston, TX