Fodor's Exploring Egypt
was the first book I bought. I usually don't buy Fodor's
guides, since their normal line of travel guides is
a bit too staid for me. Fodor is a well-known and
well-established travel book series, and their coverage is
organized and well-researched. Their guides are updated
frequently, so they are a good source for correct
cost and time information, which can be critical to planning.
But the "Exploring" series is another of
the pictorial guides that provides a tour of the country
in full-color photographs In the best Fodor traditional
"gold guides" style, the Exploring series
is packed full of useful information -- still a bit
less in-depth than the other (less-well-illustrated)
guides, but useful for cultural information. Fodor
also offers nearly a dozen other guide series from
compact city guides to full-color travel planners.
I think it was the photography in this book that pushed
us over the edge to go to Egypt. The book is a lush
photo tour of each of the major cities in Egypt. The
bulk of the book is photos and descriptions of the
cities and sites, with a few chapters on history and
lodging options that will at least get you started.
A number of short itineraries are provided, and the
book is organized as trips to each city, with the
highlights and suggested sites. I found the sidebars
and photo captions to more interesting than the text
in most cases, with anecdotes and cultural tips.
All in all, this is a beautiful travel book, but I
can't recommend it as a functional guide. I would
be very surprised if someone was using this as their
primary travel source! Fodor's cover blurbs claim that
the guide is both practical and beautiful, but I'd
lean more towards the beautiful, myself. Like most
of the Fodor series books, it focuses on the main
tourist sites, with a few forays into more unusual
places. Beautiful, but more as an inspiration than
a working guide.