Chris and Dennis have been on a number of Zoom Vacations tours, from Australia to Peru, and they are always such great travelers that we were thrilled that they were able to join us recently for Zoom Egypt.
Zoom: What drove your interest to visit Egypt? When is your earliest recollection of wanting to go?
Chris: I have always been fascinated by Egyptian history and culture. I would watch every documentary and read every book I could at the time. Dennis was just lucky enough to marry me.
Zoom: What was the single best, or most fascinating site or ruin that you saw? Why?
Chris: As amazing as every site was, nothing prepared me for the awe I felt seeing the pyramids from the hotel window, or standing next to them and feeling the true scale of them.
Dennis: I would say, seeing some of the colors that remain on the carvings and hieroglyphs and the realization that all of the carvings that we had seen would have been colored and imagining what these sites would have looked like thousands of years ago.
Zoom: Could you speak to some peoples’ concerns about traveling to Egypt?
Chris: We both know how the perception of current events in the Middle East seems to incorporate Egypt, but we both felt extremely welcome and safe there.
Dennis: Cairo is a very old and large city. Chris and I are from a city that you can drive across in 15mins. In Egypt, as with every Zoom trip we’ve taken (this was #4 for us!) we never felt alone. We were met at the airport and guided through the strange and somewhat poorly labeled checkpoints. It is recommended that foreigners, when traveling in groups in Cairo, to have a security person with you and Zoom took care of it all. We never had to think about it and our guard chaperones were both attentive and unobtrusive. We never felt that were we were in any danger, except perhaps from the drivers…they are crazy!
Zoom: Did you feel comfortable traveling as part of a gay group?
Chris: The Egyptian people we encountered, especially those on the boat or at sites, were not concerned in the least about our sexuality.
Zoom: How was the food throughout the trip
Dennis: The food was spectacular on the trip! Especially during the cruise where the chef made delicious traditional Egyptian dishes as well as food from all over the world! It was some of the best food we’ve ever eaten!
Zoom: One of the special aspects of Zoom Egypt is that we take a small private boat on the Nile, just for our group. How was this experience?
Chris: It was beyond luxury to experience! The crew was attentive to every detail and made sure all of our needs and concerns were addressed. I still remember sitting on the deck at 2 AM one night staring at the stars thinking I was dreaming.
Zoom: Did you make new friends on the trip?
Dennis: Every trip we’ve gone on with Zoom we have made new friends that we have kept in touch with! This trip we were also lucky enough to see an old friend as well!
Zoom: Chris, you took some AMAZING photos on the trip. What makes this trip so great for avid photographers?
Chris: For a photographer, Egypt is a gold mine. While many of the sites have been photographed for years, nothing can replace seeing them with your own eyes and finding your own shots and memories.
Dennis: One of my favorite pictures of Chris from Egypt was him lying on the ground on the Avenue of Sphinxes trying to get a photo from a new angle.
Zoom: What was your favorite part of the trip?
Chris: It is hard to narrow down an experience like this trip to one favorite part. Each new experience and new site was an experience that is hard to compare to the others. Just living out something that has been a dream for so long was the best part of it.
Dennis: It is so hard to pick one favorite. I absolutely loved visiting each of the temples and learning about the history and culture from Salem, our Egyptologist for the trip. He was able to tie various themes together to help make sense of what we were seeing. After visiting these wonders, we returned to the boat where we were greeted by the staff and treated like kings and were able to lounge in luxury as we traveled up the Nile.
Zoom: Where do you think you will be going next with Zoom Vacations?
Chris: Dennis has always wanted to do the Amalfi Coast cruise that Zoom has offered in the past. So hopefully when the time comes for us to take another trip it will be available.