In 2011, my Dutch husband, myself (American) and two kids, also American had our summer holiday planned for Egypt. What we didn’t know was that this was not the ideal time to go as this would be the Egypt Revolution of 2011. The United States Department urged American’s to not travel to Egypt unless it was necessary. There were several protests, civil unrest as deadly police tactics provoked angry protesters. Police stations and churches were torched, protesters were killed, and thousands were injured. The Internet was even shut down for a while. I also heard about foreigners and tourists being kidnapped. There was nighttime curfew put in place.
Okay, so I guess I didn’t plan the best spot to go on holiday with my family this year. Usually, I plan a trip when it’s a public holiday and only stores are closed. Well, I have to admit it, I was not afraid. Military presence was seen everywhere, so we decided not to visit Cairo at this time. I did really want to visit the Pyramids, but figured we can visit another time. We were staying at a resort in Hurghada and when we first stepped off the plane, the humidity really hit me. As we took the shuttle bus to our hotel, it seemed like a ghost town. However, that luckily only lasted a couple of days.
We didn’t want to be the only visitors as we enjoy getting to meet other people on our trips. We filled our days there with a Safari trip, a day trip to the city, first time ever riding on a camel, a boat trip to swim with the dolphins and enjoying swimming in the pool and Red sea. After swallowing salt water and almost throwing up, I found I quite liked snorkeling.
My son being 21, quite rather enjoyed meeting several girls from other countries, but my 15-year-old daughter was not impressed with the constant attention she received from men. At one point, she went to the bathroom and a man followed her in. My husband immediately went in after him and although apologetic, he said he was going to clean. My husband stood by waiting until my daughter was done. We kept her close by for our trip, because the constant stares she received from the men made her quite uncomfortable as it would anyone. I don’t believe she would be returning there any time soon. Other than this situation, we found the Egyptian people to be quite friendly and helpful. For us, the adventures we took, the views on the beach was like a paradise. We met some great people who remain our friends to this day.
Did we feel safe? Absolutely
Would we go back? Absolutely