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
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,