Travel blogger Rick Steves is currently traveling through Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Check out some of his blogs, videos and photo galleries here.
Check out his travel articles in Europe here.
8:34 PM EDT, May 5, 2013
8:32 PM EDT, May 5, 2013
The religious scene in Jerusalem is complicated even for tourists. Before planning our day, my guide asked me my religion. Local guides know that, among Christians interested in seeing Jesus’ tomb, most Protestants prefer the tomb in the Garden Tomb while Catholics like the tomb in the...
8:23 PM EDT, May 5, 2013
8:19 PM EDT, May 5, 2013
Before Columbus and the illustrious class of 1500, many maps of the world showed Jerusalem as the center of the world. Jerusalem — holy, treasured, and long fought after among the three great monotheistic religions — has been destroyed and rebuilt 14 times. Its fabled walls are so strong...
8:13 PM EDT, May 5, 2013
This mountain perch, atop the Golan Heights in the far north of Israel, was once a hotly contested strategic high point between Israel and Syria (which is now at war with itself, but seems at peace from this vantage point). Today, it welcomes tourists.
8:00 PM EDT, May 5, 2013
7:49 PM EDT, May 5, 2013
For Israel, simply surviving is serious business. More and more Israeli Jews, along with people around the world who care about peace in the Middle East, think Israel would be wise to lighten up a bit. But when you travel there and hang out with the older generation, you appreciate why most of...
8:34 PM EDT, May 2, 2013
8:30 PM EDT, May 2, 2013
Tourism is a big part of Israel’s economy. And much of that is Christian tourism: mostly bus tours of Americans visiting sights from Jesus’ three-year ministry — places they’ve imagined since their childhood Sunday school classes.
8:09 PM EDT, May 2, 2013
Sitting down to our first lunch in Israel, in the Crusader town of Akko, we were treated to a typical and colorful array of mezze-style plates: delightful dips, soups, and salads that are a daily edible reminder of how fertile Israel is.
10:51 PM EDT, May 1, 2013
During my visit, Israel was celebrating 65 years as a nation. There were flags everywhere. For me, a highlight of my Israel visit was gaining an appreciation for the Zionist pioneers who built the country — slowly early in the 20th century, then very quickly after its modern founding in 1948...
10:37 PM EDT, May 1, 2013
A fun thing about travel is seeing how there are things you know, things you don’t know, and things you didn’t know you didn’t know–like an alternative system for elevators.<br /><br />
11:29 PM EDT, April 30, 2013
11:27 PM EDT, April 30, 2013
This April I’m dividing my time between Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Turkey. To many, Israel represents a beacon of democracy, stability, and prosperity in the middle of a bunch of very troubled states. (Having just come from Egypt, I can certainly understand that.) Of...
8:13 PM EDT, April 29, 2013
Thanks for traveling with me through Egypt. I’ll be reporting from Israel starting tomorrow. For a little break from the Middle East–and for something far more serious–here’s a fascinating interview produced by Seattle public television station KCTS. Just before flying to Cairo a couple of weeks ago, I had the honor and privilege of sitting down for a candid, one-on-one interview with the famous travel writer, Rick Steves. Check this out.
9:15 PM EDT, April 28, 2013
9:10 PM EDT, April 28, 2013
As you can tell by the flurry of posts, my 10 days in Egypt have inspired me to write. I’ve had an amazing experience here. My open letter to President Morsi actually earned me a reply from his assistant, who ensures me they are trying and that they appreciate the caring candor of this...
9:04 PM EDT, April 28, 2013
While Egypt has many of the world’s greatest ancient archeological sites, its museums are generally dreary. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, while old school, is world class simply by the brute magnificence of the treasures it displays. The Luxor Museum, made possible and designed by the people...
8:25 PM EDT, April 25, 2013
8:18 PM EDT, April 25, 2013
As I kicked back on a well-worn horse carriage at the end of the day, with a cool breeze coming at me off the Nile and colors rich with the setting sun, another jingle-jangle carriage passed me on the right. Just as it did, two rambunctious boys with filthy hands and feet, jalopy smiles, and shining...
11:38 PM EDT, April 24, 2013
There is a problem. With all this action, it’s very tough for me to stop doing stuff long enough to write down what I’ve been up to. Each day is jam-packed with vivid images and amazing experiences. Yesterday, we did a marathon sightseeing blitz of the tombs and temples of the west...
11:34 PM EDT, April 24, 2013
Cap your busy day of temple and tomb visits with a breezy sail on the Nile in a traditional felucca. For $50 you get an hour on the river and a lifelong memory.
8:54 PM EDT, April 23, 2013
8:54 PM EDT, April 23, 2013
Across the Nile from Luxor is a valley with more ancient treasures than any place I’ve seen. I spent a long day visiting tombs and temples to find the best places for my upcoming TV episodes on Egypt. With the help of an excellent guide, I enjoyed Egyptian art and history more than I ever...
8:49 PM EDT, April 23, 2013
There are a lot of Russian tourists in the Middle East these days. (Dangerous is a relative thing.) And they are famously gullible among Egyptian guides. Here’s an example.
10:54 PM EDT, April 22, 2013
Watch this amazing stunt. While cruising on the Nile, small boats captained by hungry merchants lasso the ship and haggle with passengers while being dragged by the ship upstream.
10:14 PM EDT, April 22, 2013
10:12 PM EDT, April 22, 2013
Egyptians have always respected and loved their Nile. They say, “The Nile is our life, our water, our electricity, it fertilizes our land. Without the Nile, there would be no Egypt.” The 135-mile stretch of Nile from Luxor south to Aswan is the most touristed. Three hundred elegant river...
8:38 PM EDT, April 22, 2013
8:30 PM EDT, April 22, 2013
Luxor is an hour’s flight up the Nile from Cairo. The name means “palaces” in Arab because it was the capital of Egypt from about 1500 to 1000 B.C. Important as the city was in the days of the pharaohs, only temples and tombs–structures for the gods and the dead–...
12:35 AM EDT, April 22, 2013
12:29 AM EDT, April 22, 2013
Thanks so much for all your comments as you’ve traveled along with me through Egypt. I’m struck by how much apparent ill will there is against Egypt and how people think I’m promoting aspects of Egypt that anger them. Egypt simply “is.” Rather than condemn or condone...
12:17 AM EDT, April 22, 2013
12:12 AM EDT, April 22, 2013
It’s poignant to be far from home — having fun and enjoying the people I’m meeting — in a land regarded by some as a place where Christians are being killed and women being abused . . . and where the government tacitly approves of these atrocities. Christians and women may...
12:05 AM EDT, April 22, 2013
12:00 AM EDT, April 22, 2013
While Alexandria, or “Alex” for short, has its ancient sites and its striking modern library, the highlight of the city for me was exploring its crusty old town: the Anfoushi district. I don’t know why, but I’m a hopeless romantic when it comes to broken concrete, faded-...
11:55 PM EDT, April 21, 2013
When waved by revelers into a wedding party on the streets of Alexandria, I’d say join right in.
11:21 PM EDT, April 18, 2013
Most tourists in Egypt visit only Cairo and Luxor. Few visit Alexandria, just a three-hour drive away — the country’s second city, and one of the great cities of the Mediterranean. Egypt’s historical capital for almost a millennium, today the “Pearl of the Mediterranean&...
11:07 PM EDT, April 18, 2013
In Alexandria, the Cecil Hotel provides a fine and very central home base. With almost no tourists in town, everyone gets a seafront room. Enjoy the view.
1:24 AM EDT, April 18, 2013
Dear Mr. President,
1:17 AM EDT, April 18, 2013
All over the world, markets come with the charming and melodic song of merchants selling slicers, dicers, bras, and knock-off DVDs. A stroll down this lane in Cairo takes the sound of commerce to new heights. Give this a listen.
8:27 PM EDT, April 16, 2013
How does an Egyptian rise above the insanity of the streets? Get an education, hope you can marry into a good family (weddings are still generally arranged between families, and after the match is made, the hope is that love may grow), move into the suburbs, and join a social club.
8:34 PM EDT, April 16, 2013
8:16 PM EDT, April 16, 2013
Touring Egypt’s museums, great mosques, and towering monuments of the pharaohs is a delight. And simply roaming the streets of Cairo day and night is a thrill and a joy for any traveler who likes his culture off the stage and in his face. But the typical American traveler to Cairo will need...
8:20 PM EDT, April 16, 2013
7:29 PM EDT, April 15, 2013
Here’s a quick tour of what’s probably the most expensive breakfast in all of Cairo, served at what’s likely the fanciest hotel in North Africa. While I’m not one to capitalize on a country’s economic misfortune, luxury hotels have rooms on the push list these days in...
11:45 PM EDT, April 14, 2013
Historically, tourism has been a leading sector in Egypt's economy. At the moment, most of its tourist industry is beach resorts . . . basically gated resort communities catering to masses of Russians eager for a sun break. Beyond that, the cultural tourist circuit of its great ancient sites (Giza...
11:41 PM EDT, April 14, 2013
I made a new friend in front of the pyramids. He’d like to say hello.
11:30 PM EDT, April 14, 2013
The wonders of Egypt await your visit. Sure, the Middle East is in turmoil. Sure, the Arab Spring is becoming a bumpy ride. But with a good hotel and a good local guide (which you can get cheaper than in London), you have the wonders of this amazing place all to yourself…and 80 million...
10:58 PM EDT, April 14, 2013
10:55 PM EDT, April 14, 2013
Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the country as a dictator for three decades, was deposed on February 11, 2011. The revolution here is barely two years old, and any visitor to Cairo with an interest in peoples’ struggles (like me) will find plenty of opportunities to learn...
10:53 PM EDT, April 14, 2013
A new attraction in Cairo is feeling the pulse of the people’s struggle for freedom by enjoying the political murals facing Tahrir Square.
10:47 PM EDT, April 14, 2013
Driving around Cairo’s “Freedom Square,” you have a sense that there’s history in the making here for a great nation. Join me for a spin.
10:43 PM EDT, April 14, 2013
Cairo, “the city of a thousand minarets,” is the biggest city in Arab world (with 17 million people). And whether you’re wandering aimlessly through the market streets of its Islamic quarter or driving out of town through towering canyons of high-rise apartment flats, you can&...
10:39 PM EDT, April 14, 2013
Here in Cairo, people and cars mix and mingle on the streets. Join me for a lesson in crossing an Egyptian street.
10:34 PM EDT, April 14, 2013
Tented, motorcycle-powered, six-seater mini-wagons offer a fun ride through the colorful lanes of Islamic Cairo. Video by Trish Feaster (for her Egypt blog, see http://thetravelphile.com/).
8:52 PM EDT, April 11, 2013
8:31 PM EDT, April 11, 2013
With the power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, I can’t help but wonder about changes creeping into public life here. (To envision this in the USA, imagine if Pat Robertson won the presidency and his friends controlled Congress.)
8:27 PM EDT, April 11, 2013
Egypt gives fun a new twist.
8:01 PM EDT, April 11, 2013
Just standing on a curb in a city where the police department was recently sent packing, you see a thunderous commotion that somehow works, and that locals learn to live with.
8:42 PM EDT, April 10, 2013
A part of any visit to a poor country like Egypt is aggressive hustling when exploring a tourist market. Cairo’s Khan el-Khalili market eagerly awaits your visit. Just so you’ll know what to expect, walk with me for a few minutes down its main drag.
8:34 PM EDT, April 10, 2013
8:34 PM EDT, April 10, 2013
While Cairo has modern suburban malls as glitzy as anything in Houston, and it has its 20th-century attempt at a European-style downtown, I like the dusty, donkey-cart world of the old Islamic city center. Khan el-Khalili, one of the largest markets in the Arab world, is a tourist magnet. And even...
8:29 PM EDT, April 10, 2013
8:26 PM EDT, April 10, 2013
Vast as Cairo is, it’s a small world for the traveler when it comes to sights and tourist-friendly stops. Local guides, local friends, and both guidebooks I’m using all dip into the same tiny pool of a handful of sights, restaurants, cafés, parks, concert venues, and hotels in...
8:20 PM EDT, April 10, 2013
With the revolution in Egypt, freedom can be misunderstood. Locals are learning that on a busy urban street, unbridled freedom can become a straitjacket for all.
7:04 PM EDT, April 15, 2013
7:59 PM EDT, April 10, 2013
I just flew from Seattle to Cairo. After being here for just a day, it seems like a week. Of course, I swung by the pyramids, got my mug shot with the Sphinx, and rode a camel. But the real fun has been feeling the pulse of post-revolutionary Egypt in the chaotic streets of ancient Egypt, nothing...