Open Road Egypt Guide
picked up an older edition of the Open Road Guide
to Egypt off e-Bay. I hadn't heard of the publisher
before, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it a
comprehensive (if a bit dated) view of traveling
in Egypt. The books are written by veteran travelers
with fairly opinionated views of the "best and
worst", and they are geared towards people who
want to make their own travel plans and choices --
usually off the beaten path.
I was attracted to the guide by the cover blurb -
"Be a Traveler, Not a Tourist", and the
book was full of those little tips that keep you from
feeling like an idiot in a new culture: how to tip,
what to eat, where to stay and how to deal with local
travel options like taxis and busses. I don't know
about other people, but some of the most uncomfortable
moments traveling are when we're faced with a situation
that we're not quite sure how to react -- how to be
polite, what details to look for, how to avoid a serious
cultural faux paux, etc. It's part of the joy of traveling,
but it's nice to have a few hints along the way.
The book is well organized with a virtual guided tour
through each major city, including good details on where
to stay and eat. A fairly good listing of the
local sites accompanies each region. It almost seemed
as if the book was geared towards people planning
on long-term stays in Egypt, with a lot of time spent
discussing the logistics of living in the city (transport,
shipping, postal offices, etc) that may or may not
be useful to a traveler spending only a few days.
The first part of the book has some interesting itineraries
and travel options. Since the copy that I have is
a few years old, the prices and times for flights
and busses, as well as hotel rates, are a bit off. However, I've discovered that the "best places"
seem to crop up in each book, so the recommendations
are still good.
The maps and other illustrations are not as detailed
as some other books, and there are no photos in the
book at all. This isn't really a huge problem, but
it was a bit surprising when you compare it to the
other travel book options.
The style of the book is very casual and chatty, so
it's an interesting read, even if it doesn't have
enough detail to use as a sole travel guide. I might
pick up another travel book from this series as an
"armchair travel" guide to read before the
trip, but I would rely on other resources for the detailed
planning, I think.
I cannot find a listing for a current edition of this book, althoughOpen Road does seem to publish other travel books.