I. Preliminary Information.
(1). Plan of Tour. Season. Expenses. Money. Equipment.
Plan. The facilities for travel in Egypt are now such that the
intending visitor may make an outline of his tour at home with
almost as great ease as for most of the countries of Europe. During
the travelling season, moreover, the weather is always fine (comp.
below), and never causes disappointment and derangement of plans
as in most other countries. A glimpse of the country may be ob¬
tained in four or five weeks (exclusive of the journey out) as fol¬
lows: 2-3 days may be devoted to Alexandria and the journey
thence to Cairo, 10-12 days may be spent in Cairo and its neigh¬
bourhood in the manner suggested at p. 29, 4-5 days may be occu¬
pied by the Suez Canal and excursions from it, and 14 days may be
devoted to Upper Egypt, while a few days must be set aside for
resting. The whole time, however, might very pleasantly be spent
at Cairo alone, the most interesting point in the tour.
Season. In Alexandria stormy and rainy weather prevails from
December to March, but in the interior of Egypt, to the S. of a
line joining Damanhur, Tanta, and Mansura, the case is completely
altered. Here, from the beginning of November till the middle or
end of April, there are but few days of bad weather (comp. p. lxxv) ;
the prevalent temperature is that of a delicious spring or moderate
summer, and the few drops of rain that occasionally fall will hardly
be observed by the European traveller. The fertilising inundation
of the Nile (p. lxii) has by this time subsided, and the whole face
of the country smiles with fresh verdure. Winter is therefore the
proper season for a tour in Egypt. In summer prices are naturally
Expenses. The cost of a tour in Egypt, and in Oriental coun¬
tries generally, is greater than that of a visit to most parts of Europe
and the traveller should estimate his average daily expenditure at
not less than 25-30s. (Steamboat-fares are of course extra; pp. 1-4.)
The traveller whose time is very limited, or who is accompanied by
ladies, will also require the services of a guide, or 'dragoman', as
they prefer to style themselves (5-10». per day).
Monet. A small sum of money for the early part of the journey
may be taken in English or French gold, or in English banknotes
(these usually at a discount of Y4-I percent), but large sums should
always be in the form of circular notes. These notes, which if kept
separate from the 'letter of indication' cannot be cashed by a thief
or a dishonest finder, are issued by the principal London banks
and by Messrs. Thos. Cook & Son. Fresh supplies may be forwarded
from England by post-office order, in sums not exceeding 500 fr.
European bankers in Alexandria and Cairo, see pp. 6, 25.
Baedeker's Egypt. 4th Ed. Jj