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"Time & Space in the Temples & Pyramids"

Egypt Tours
Photography,  Sketching,  Meditation,



More than 270
photos of Abydos!

Niuserre Sun Temple
Dashur Pyramids
Hatshepsut's Temple
Tel el-Amarna


Our upcoming Egyptologists' Egypt Tour also includes Tel el-Amarna and Middle Egypt.  
Open to non-Egyptologists as well!

Ruth Shilling at the Giza Pyramids Touching the Heart of the God Ptah, Abydos Amenhotep III courtyard, Luxor Temple

Tel-Amarna, Middle Egypt, Cairo & Luxor
11-day Egypt Tour beginning in Cairo : February 12-22, 2005
(or 13-days with air from New York : Feb 11-22, 2005)

Ruth Shilling & All One World Egypt Tours

Optional Nile Cruise Extension & Abu Simbel Excursion : February 22-27, 2005

Day-by-Day Itinerary 

CLICK all pictures to ENLARGE.  Use BACK arrow to return to page.

Day 0, Fri., Feb 11, 2005: For those beginning their tour in New York, USA, our plane leaves NY City on Friday evening, February 11, 2005.  Your American Tour Leader, Ruth Shilling, meets the group at JFK airport in New York City and accompanies the group on the flight to Egypt.  We fly direct non-stop from New York city, USA to Cairo, Egypt. Other departure cities in the USA are available as add-on's.  Contact Us for pricing.
Those arriving from places other than New York should plan to arrive in Cairo sometime Friday, February 11 or Saturday, February 12.  We will arrange to have someone greet you at the airport.  We welcome travelers from all countries to join us on these tours.

Day 1, Sat., Feb 12: Midday arrival in Cairo (7 hours ahead of New York time, 2 hours ahead of Greenwich).  Cairo is the biggest center of culture and learning in the Middle East, and one of the largest, most crowded cities in the entire world.  We begin with a panoramic view of the whole city from the Citadel.  Here we also visit one of the most beautiful mosques in the city, the famous Mohammed Ali Mosque, also called the "Alabaster Mosque".  

Our 5-star hotel is right near the pyramids. Welcome to Egypt!
Optional:  Sound & Light Show at the Giza pyramids this evening.

The Bent Pyramid, DashurDay 2, Sun:  We begin our tour with 3 days of sites from Ancient Egypt's Old Kingdom (2,575-2,150 B.C.) and earlier.  Leaving Giza we drive southward through fertile farmlands to the rarely visited pyramids at Dashur.  These pyramids are dated as even older than the pyramids at Giza!  It is also a chance to begin by savoring the riches of Egypt without being bothered by huge crowds of tourists and souvenir sellers.
 We spend time inside the Red Pyramid (nearly as large as Giza's Great Pyramid) and then have the opportunity for an unforgettable walk across the open desert to the Bent Pyramid.  The desert is rich with inspiration and the vastness is exhilarating.  The Bent pyramid was a key center of worship during the Middle Kingdom, and was much more important than Giza at that time.  It is the only pyramid to retain most of its original casing stones.   

Sakkara Step pyramidAfterwards, we enjoy an Ancient Egyptian style meal prepared just for our group at a nearby guesthouse.  We are served the same foods that we will see this afternoon, that were depicted in the wall reliefs at Sakkara more than 4,000 years ago!  
We spend the afternoon at the Sakkara complex where we see the Step Pyramid, the early versions of the Book of the Dead and some interesting tombs (where we see scenes of daily life during the Old Kingdom).   

Sphinx and 2nd PyramidDay 3, Mon:  Today we spend a full day on the Giza Plateau. We visit the Great Pyramid (of course!) and the newly re-opened "3rd Pyramid" where we have long, full visits to fully absorb the gifts that await us there.  The 2nd Pyramid is presently closed for renovations, but if possible, we will visit this also.  We see the Solar Boat (almost 5,000 years old!), the Sphinx and Valley Temple.  There are legends of the Sphinx speaking.  Does the Sphinx have a message for you?  
  Camel rides
for the adventurous. 
Optional:  Sound & Light Show at the Giza pyramids this evening, in case you were too tired the first night.

Sun Temple with "hotep" blessings in 4 directions.  Photo by Ken Reynolds, A1W Egypt Tours traveler.Day 4, Tues:  This morning we head out into the desert again to visit the Nuiserre Sun Temple at Abu Gurab and the pyramids at Abu Sir. This is a rare opportunity, as these sites are rarely visited by tourists.  The central alabaster alter of the sun temple sends out "hotep" blessings in all 4 directions. 

Ka statue, Cairo Egyptian museumAfterwards we visit the Cairo Egyptian Museum – mummies, hundreds of statues and the King Tut collection.  One could spend a week here and not see everything.  We have a good, long visit - a guided tour, as well as free time.  This evening we take in the colorful Kahn al-Khalili bazaar.  Enjoy shopping and bargaining, linger over dinner at the famous historic Naguib Mafouz restaurant or try smoking some shisha (flavored tobacco) at an outdoor cafe.  

Day 5, Wed: We leave Giza early this morning to begin this very special opportunity to see Tel-Amarna and Middle Egypt.  We travel south via our own private A/C bus to Middle Egypt.  At this time only about 15 people a week visit the sites in Middle Egypt (not like the thousands that visit Giza each day), so this is quite an opportunity.  

We begin with a visit to the Pyramid at Meidum.   As we get our first look at it from a distance, this pyramid is strangely beautiful .  It has a very arresting quality, even though its sides have slid down and it is not in a good condition.  Inside, we can touch some of the wooden timbers used in its construction.  Imagine touching wood that is more than 4,000 years old!  This is also the site where the famous statues (on display in the Cairo museum) of Rahotep and his wife were found.

Our visits to sites from the Middle Kingdom (2040 - 1640 BC) begin with the tombs at Beni Hasan.  The nobles' tombs portray scenes from the daily life, and are well preserved, full of color and quite fascinating.  Acrobatics, dancing, and military sports are emphasized.  But there are also scenes of making flour, baking bread, weaving cloth, and even a husband and wife on their wedding night!  There are also many animals - both those that were domesticated and those that were hunted.  There are also a few "mystic" beasts to speculate about, a unicorn... or what do you think?

It is near Beni Hasan that we find another interesting site, the "Speos Artemidos," a rock cut temple for Pakhet, an aspect of the lioness goddess Sekhmet.  It is here that the female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, made her declaration denouncing the Hyksos and telling of her mission to resuscitate the temples of Egypt.  We will see how she seeded the spiritual renaissance of the New Kingdom when we get to Luxor.
Overnight in the town of Menya, overlooking the Nile.

Day 6, Thurs: This morning visit the site of Tel-Amarna, a city built by Akhenaten and Nefertiti during the New Kingdom.  We visit some nobles tombs with wall reliefs unequalled anywhere else in Egypt.  The pictures appear alive and even as though they are moving.  We also visit the Northern Palace, one of the markers of the city limits (a huge stone with hieroglyphics), the Southern Palace and the tomb which was built for Akhenaten.  

In the afternoon we visit el-Ashmunein (Arabic), Hermopolis (Greek), Khmunu (Ancient Egyptian) or the "City of the Eight".  It was the main cult center of Thoth (Djhueti, Tehuti), god of Wisdom and writing, patron of scribes. We also visit Tuna el-Gebel which was the neocropolis of Khmunu.  All in all, a very exciting day.
Return to our hotel in Menya for overnight.

Sanctuary at AbydosDay 7, Fri: Traveling still further south to visit Abydos, the place of pilgrimage in Ancient Egypt.  We visit the Temple of Seti I (with the renowned Osireion).  We will arrive in the early afternoon after the the convoy of buses with tourists coming from Luxor has left.  This will give us some quality time in the temple without the other tourists.
Overnight in Nag Hamadi, where the scrolls were found that contain some of the Gnostic gospels. 

Denderah, astrological ceiling in hypostyle hallDay 8, Sat: We continue south to the Temple of Hathor at Dendera.  This temple was built during the Ptolemaic (Greek) era on a much older site that had been a place of worshiping the Goddess Hathor in earlier times.  The famous circular zodiac was found in the ceiling of a chapel on the roof of the temple.  The ceilings and walls of the main hypostyle hall are full of astrological imagery.
Again, we avoid the crowds coming from Luxor by visiting the temple before they arrive.

Early evening arrival in Luxor, where we settle to our 5-star hotel overlooking the Nile.

Hatshepsut's Temple Deir El Bahari at sunriseDay 9, Sun: We begin on the West Bank with the oldest temple from the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC) Hatshepsut’s Temple, Deir El Bahari, called "The Most Splendid of All" by the ancient Egyptians.  We have seen her mission statement near Beni Hasan and now we see how some of that was carried out.  

Next we see the rarely visited Ramesseum, a favorite of many of our travelers.  There are some exciting excavations going on there presently, and we may be privileged to get a closer look.  Perhaps the most colorful tombs presently available for viewing in Luxor, the Workman's Village, Deir El Medina, gives us a look at some of the tombs most often represented in books about Ancient Egypt.  Whereas on Monday we saw scenes of daily life during the Old Kingdom, and on Wednesday we saw scenes from the Middle Kingdom, today we see the daily life represented during the New Kingdom (about 1,000 years and 500 years later).

As we leave the West Bank of Luxor we see the "Colossi of Memnon," the two large statues of Amenhotep III that still stand, even though their temple was long ago destroyed.  We return to the East Bank where we visit the Luxor Temple in the late afternoon-early evening (when the lighting is optimal for seeing the wall reliefs).  The dramatic lighting also helps give the temple a special feeling in the evening.  Both gently beautiful and full of awesome grandness, this temple was the "Bride of Karnak" during the annual Apet festival. 

Early morning at Luxor TempleDay 10, Mon: For those who would like, we have a second visit to the Luxor Temple, this time in the early morning.  It's a wonderful setting for an early morning meditation, or perhaps you would rather photograph, sketch or just wander around.  It is a pleasure to be there before the crowds of tourists arrive. 
After breakfast back at hotel, the splendors of Karnak fill the rest of our day.  Each Pharaoh wanted to leave something impressive at Karnak. 

Karnak, Hypostyle HallThe largest temple complex in Egypt, we see multiple temples, obelisks, great gates and the famous hypostyle hall - unequalled to this day.  Also at Karnak, we visit the fascinating Open Air Museum where we view the Red Chapel of Hatshepsut (Karnak's original Holy of Holies), Senwosret's White Chapel with its famous finely-carved hieroglyphs, and some other magnificent pieces.  

Cube statue, Luxor museumLate afternoon/evening visit to the Luxor Museum with its special exhibit room of a cache of statues found in near-perfect condition.  They were buried under a courtyard at the Luxor Temple and found only recently during renovations.
 Optional opportunity:  Sound & Light Show at Karnak in the evening.

The Goddess Sekhmet at KarnakDay 11, Tuesday, February 22: You may choose to visit Karnak temple again this morning, either to catch the stunning photos provided by the early morning light or to do a meditation with the fiery lioness, Sekhmet, in her chapel there. Or you may decide to sleep in and meet the others afterwards at breakfast.

Today we make a second visit to the West Bank of Luxor.  The west represented the hereafter and is where the dead were buried.  We have already visited the tombs in the Valley of the Workmen, so today we visit the famous Valley of the Kings (where King Tut’s tomb was found).  

Pillars at Medinet Habu Temple, LuxorIn the afternoon we finish our explorations of the New Kingdom with the last great temple to be built during that period, Medinet Habu.  Second only to Karnak in size, built by Ramesses III on a site that was seeded by a temple built by Hatshepsut at the very beginning of the New Kingdom, it is a fitting way to finish our tour together.  There is a wonderful hall of pillars with colored reliefs of the many gods & goddesses that you have come to know through your lectures with Ruth and Ehab.  How many can you identify now?  

Return flight to Cairo this evening or board a Nile Cruise boat to continue your Egypt tour with a Nile Cruise extension provided by our affiliate, American Express of Egypt. An extension is offered for a Nile Cruise and Abu Simbel Excursion .

There may be changes to this itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control.

Prices and What Is Included in this Feb 12-22 Tour 

-   Optional Extensions   - 

Feb 22-27, 2005 Nile Cruise with American Express of Egypt
Feb 26, 2005 Abu Simbel (by air) with AmEx

All Photos on this page are by Ruth Shilling,
except the Sun Temple - taken by one of our travelers, Ken Reynolds.


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