We traveled to Egypt for 10 days from late December 2018 to early January 2019, spending two days in Cairo, four in Luxor, two in Aswan, and our last two in Giza.
Dolmabahçe Palace is our favorite palace in Istanbul. It was a recommendation from Aaron’s sister who lived in Istanbul for 4 years. The architecture, grounds, and setting are all stunning, and surprisingly it’s the least touristy historical site in the city.
Cruise ships have circuits in which they operate in a certain region per season, for instance Mediterranean cruises in the summer and Middle East cruises in the winter. At the end of each season, the ship needs to reposition to a new region. These repositioning itineraries will be sold at a lower cost because they involve more days at sea. The one we took this year was from Italy to Dubai on Costa Cruises with a Red Sea crossing.
In the 10 days we spent in Israel, we ate hummus 8 times to find the best one. Hummus wasn’t always a staple in Israel. It became popular after the 1950s, but in recent years has become more like a national obsession.
As an archeological and geological site, Petra is 5 stars hands down, but its poor management allows for plenty of scams. Petra is huge and has several distinct sites, but doesn’t have any signs or staff to point you in the right direction.