Egypt is the sort of place where you need a guide to get the most out of it. It’s perfectly possible to enter an ancient temple or an underground tomb and be overwhelmed with wonder–at the feats of engineering, architectural genius, or intricate, detailed carvings. But to elevate these sites from simply beautiful places to astonishingly rich cultural artifacts that will make you weep with wonder and (truly) enrich your knowledge of the human condition, you need a storyteller. And that’s where Extraordinary Journeys comes in. Yes, they do all the wonderful things that other luxury tour operators do–I never had to handle my own entry ticket, I never had to look at a map for fear of getting lost, and our driver was always there exactly when we needed him, with an air-conditioned car and a cooler full of icy water–but what truly differentiates an experience like this is who you have as your teacher.