May 9, 2018

Walk like an Egyptian with Catriona


Much loved Getaway presenter, Catriona Rowntree recently returned from an adventure through Egypt and Jordan. We asked her a few questions about her unforgettable experience.

What was your favourite part of your journey?

The kindness of my guides, the sublime service on board the Sanctuary Sun Boat III and discovering my favourite goddess, the Goddess Hathor who represents all the wonderful things in life like dance, joy, feminine love and motherhood.

I have to say I loved taking the cooking class onboard too so I could learn how to make my favourite dishes. The food is so darn good you’ll want to recreate the dishes at home.

Upper sun deck, Sanctuary Sun Boat III


What kind of landscapes can Scenic guests expect to see in Aswan and on the Nile?

I found joy in the tiny details of the view as we sailed down the Nile. Unlike Europe with a grand chateau in the distance or vineyards that snake up the sides of cliffs.

My heart soared when I spotted tiny feluccas amongst the reeds with lone fisherman, beautiful birdlife and the odd cow wallowing in the water. It was just so peaceful and still felt as though I was on the set of an Agatha Christie movie.

Sofitel Legend, Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan, Egypt


Did you have a favourite excursion or experience?

This being my third journey down the Nile, I was sure I knew what to expect, but I’d never visited Dendera in Upper Egypt and I could've stayed for the whole day, there was just one fascinating story after another.

I would never have gone there if it wasn't for Scenic. Also, this is one trip where it’s all about the pre and post cruise locations.

I’m so happy I can finally tick Petra in Jordan off my bucket list, visiting the Royal Jordanian Automobile Museum in Amman got me in trouble with the Getaway crew as I couldn't stop talking, it was so interesting and I also adored the historic ‘legendary’ hotels we stayed at prior to our cruise…if those hotel walls could talk!

The Treasury, Petra, Jordan


What should Scenic guests pack for a trip to Egypt and Jordan?

Do dress respectfully, cover your cleavage, wear light layers (I took one pashmina but came home with a stack more bought from the local souks) but don’t dress like an extra from Raiders of The Lost Ark. I mean seriously, how many pockets does one person need?

I’d also wear a bright colour for the pyramids so you stand out in your pics and Abu Simbel.

Catriona Rowntree at The Great Pyramids, Giza, Egypt


What would you like Scenic guests to know about Egypt?

It’s safe! The hospitality is amazing, the food healthy and delicious. I just felt humbled by this trip, the beauty was almost overwhelming, every single day had a ‘wow!’ moment and that what is represented in the news at home is a far cry from the reality of the location.

Women can wear what they choose to wear, all religions are respected and as a traveller just milk every moment. Take that trip, visit that museum, ask that question. It’s glorious.

Catriona Rowntree at Jerash, Jordan


What do you think is the one thing all travellers to Egypt should see or experience?

Ooh, tough question, but Luxor has a place in my heart. As always with travelling, your greatest moments will come from talking to the locals. Learning from them, laughing with them, that’s what I’ll treasure for many moons to come.

View The Essence of Egypt & Jordan tour here.

Wadi Rum desert, Jordan