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Istanbul to Cairo on a Shoestring (Lonely Planet Istanbul to Cairo: Classic Overland Route) Paperback – January, 2000
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'Lonely Planet books speak the language of youthful, independent, tourist-trap-avoiding travellers'-- Sports Illustrated
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Of course, once you get used to traveling as a tourist, then the fun really begins. You can start to find your own way and go off the beaten track, to the places where few or no guidebooks have anything to say. And thank God this guidebook doesn't give away all the secrets of the Middle East, otherwise there would be nothing to discover.
My trip really began in Amman, Jordan, when I started talking to journalists and foreign aid workers, and their stories intrigued me so much, I decided to veer off my intended route and visit the West Bank of the Palestinian Territories. I ended up living there two years and writing a book about it (Fast Times in Palestine)!
Thanks, Lonely Planet, for what you say and what you don't say!
For instance, with more information I chose to go south through Jordan, ferry to Egypt, and then go back north into Israel, ending in Jerusalem. This made sites such as Petra in Jordan and St. Anthony's Monastery in Egypt fit nicely on the itinerary, and for me ending in Jerusalem provided a more fitting climax. No one trip can fit everyone. Whatever your desires, consider a guidebook that presents more options.
----UPDATE: I didn't take that trip actually; but I think the principle is still valid! Design your own trip! Lonely Planet's general guide to the Middle East is not bad.