Those best days of our travel lives

From Luxor to Latvia, Stir­ling to South Africa, we share the favourite ex­pe­ri­ences of peo­ple who have many and var­ied rea­sons for want­ing to see the world

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - READERS’ STORIES -

TURN­ING 30 wasn’t that bad. Af­ter all, I was cel­e­brat­ing it inside the air­less, pitch-black vaults high above the King’s Cham­ber of Egypt’s Great Pyra­mid. Clearly we had found our­selves out of bounds, but the adren­a­line was fir­ing. We spo­rad­i­cally flicker a dy­ing key­chain flash­light, tak­ing in the an­cient graf­fiti that adorns the stone. But be­yond the tran­quil­lity of the cold dark­ness, a tag-team of tourists await their turn to climb into the be­he­moth. Re-emerg­ing, the hot, pol­luted rays blind like lasers; my skin caked in dust. Deep breaths as the heat suf­fo­cates, and a sigh: Egypt has not let me down. Amanda Leckie, Mitcham I can­not go on a rou­tine hol­i­day; it has to be one of dis­cov­ery. This is from some­one who spent ev­ery child­hood hol­i­day go­ing to the same place. A hol­i­day trans­forms and ex­cites, and for me this has come to mean go­ing to a home­land of sorts.

In 2010, it was to Latvia in midFe­bru­ary. I went with my daugh­ter and we called it the ‘‘ snow and ice’’ tour. I had spent 25 years get­ting to know Latvia via my mother-in-law and fam­ily and re­ally felt com­pelled to ex­pe­ri­ence my adopted home­land first hand. It was crazy fun. Jenny Esots, Wil­lunga My favourite trip was a gift from two of our four chil­dren – As­ton and Adam – who saved for four years to give Peter and my­self a treat that we will never for­get. It was a trip to the ‘‘ Ge­n­e­sis of Civil­i­sa­tion’’ – Egypt and Jor­dan.

The 18-day tour started in Cairo. We vis­ited the fa­mous pyra­mids and li­on­headed Sphinx at Giza Plateau.

The high­light was en­ter­ing the largest pyra­mid via the rob­bers’ en­trance. We took an overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Aswan, which was an ex­pe­ri­ence in it­self. Then a four-night Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor.

Abu Sim­bel was not pre­booked be­fore we left, it was a last-minute de­ci­sion while we were over there – I’m so glad we went and had a look. The Val­ley of the Kings was ex­cel­lent.

We had four nights in won­der­ful Da­hab, which is on the Red Sea where we went snorkelling at the Blue Hole. We took the ferry over to Aqaba in Jor­dan, moored at the Kings Jetty. Then it was three nights in Pe­tra – this place will leave you awestruck.

We took a visit to the Dead Sea and had a float. We spent a night at a Be­douin camp at Wadi Rum where we went on a 4x4 desert sa­fari in the very place Lawrence of Ara­bia roamed.

The best thing was my sis­ter Lexie Jack­son came along with us. The lo­cals in Egypt and Jor­dan kept telling my hus­band he was a ‘‘ lucky man’’ hav­ing two wives. It was quite funny. Kim Arthur, Moulamein Lis­bon will al­ways linger in my mem­ory – honey-toned and cit­rus- scented. The jewel-hued tiles adorn­ing crum­bling ter­races, sum­mer nights sip­ping cock­tails in the Bairro Alto quar­ter, the flick­er­ing lights and sor­row­ful melodies em­a­nat­ing from a Fado bar. The taste of freshly baked Pasteis de Bele­megg cus­tard tarts,

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