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Lonely Planet Travel Atlas

I was only able to get an older version of this atlas (which is unfortunately out of print), but the detailed topographic maps are still useful. They are meant to be used as a road atlas, although the few roads in Egypt hardly seem worth a whole book of maps! The topographic information is useful for those who are looking to climb some of the mountains in the Sinai, and they accurately represent the truly changeable face of the land.

I truly believed that Egypt, as a mostly desert country, was billiard-table flat. Expanses of sand interrupted only by the shallow meanderings of the Nile. Boy, was I wrong. While the expanse of the Great Western Desert is a flat pool of sand, the land around the Nile is mountainous, with sheer cliffs and deep gorges.

We were able to track most of our travels in this atlas, but it annoyingly has the delta region in the "fold" of the book, making it almost unusable when actually near Cairo. The coverage of the desert and its few great oasis are nice, though -- they are a part of Egypt often "skipped over" in other maps and overwritten with inset squares of a city. In the atlas, though, they are accorded their own pages with all the minute details included.

There are better, smaller maps around, but this is one of the most complete. However, since we were not going into the desert, it was less important to know what was there (even if interesting to consider) and a smaller, more "tourist" oriented map suited us just fine.

I was unable to find this map at any bookstore, and only snagged a copy via eBay while searching for general travel books. The maps are seriously out of date, and I would not recommend using it as a road map without some other references.

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