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Hatshepsut's Temple, Deir El Bahari, 3rd Level, Luxor West Bank

Sunset over the Giza Plateau

The Goddess Sekhmet holds counsel, Medinet Habu Temple, West Bank of Luxor

"Time & Space in the Temples & Pyramids"
A Specially Designed Tour for Tad Iwanuma & Friends

11-Days, November 4 - 14, 2007  -    Price: $3,925
Per person in Double Occupancy

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Includes: Three 5-star hotels, bottled water at all times, sightseeing with entrance fees as described below.  Additional fees required for activities listed as Optional.  
Complete list of what is included

Meals included are designated: BB=Buffet Breakfast   L=Lunch    D=Dinner

Day 1 

Nov 4,

Mena House Oberoi and Great PyramidYour plane arrives in Cairo at 8:45 PM.  You will be met inside the Cairo airport by a representative who will assist you with visas, customs, and retrieving your baggage.  He will then bring you to the hotel where Ruth will be waiting to meet you. Welcome to Egypt! 

Your 5-star hotel, the famous Mena House Oberoi, is right beside the pyramids.  With an interesting history and a location like no other, the Mena House is a one-of-a-kind hotel.

Overnight: Mena House Oberoi, 5 star hotel.

Day 2
Nov 5

Red Pyramid, Dahsur

Bent Pyramid, Dashur

Dashur Pyramids - Red, Bent & Black

Local Farmer, Saqqara
Local Farmers

We begin our tour with sites from Ancient Egypt's Old Kingdom (2,575-2,150 B.C.).  Leaving Giza we drive southward through fertile farmlands to the pyramids at Dashur, dated even older than the pyramids at Giza!  It is also a chance to begin savoring the riches of Egypt without huge crowds and souvenir sellers.  More photos of Dashur.

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 exhilerating.  The Bent pyramid was a key center of worship during the Middle Kingdom, and was much more important than Giza at that time.  The Bent pyramid is the only pyramid to retain most of its original casing stones.  The Black Pyramid (Middle Kingdom mud brick) can also be seen from here. 

Ruth has some friends in the Saqqara area who have a guesthouse in the Black Land, the farming area.  Hopefully they will be home and able to welcome us for lunch.  It's also a chance to see some the nearby farmers and their animals up close.  The farmers love getting the photos of themselves that Ruth brings to them each time. One well-known Egyptologist said, "If you want to learn about Ancient Egypt, study the traditions of the local farmers."  They may well be the closest link we have to the ways of the ancients.  See Blue Lotus of Saqqara Guesthouse.

The Saqqara area is where the carpets are made.  There is a carpet shop beside the Blue Lotus Guesthouse, so it will be easy for us to stop there, if you would like.

Shopping opportunity: 
-Visit to a local Carpet Shop. They have folkloric scenes in rough wool, Persian-style carpets and silk carpets, also prayer rugs.
Overnight: Mena House Oberoi, 5 star hotel.   Meals: BB, L.

Day 3
Nov 6

Step Pyramid, Saqqara

Rashepses wooden statue, Imhotep Museum, Saqqara

Niuserre Sun Temple altar, Abu Gurab
Niuserre Sun Temple

We begin today with a visit the Saqqara complex where we see the Step Pyramid, the early versions of the Book of the Dead (Teti Pyramid) and some tombs with scenes of the daily life in the Old Kingdom.  There have also been some recent discoveries at Saqqara which our friend Ashraf Mohie el-Din (part of the excavation team) will be telling us about.  

Also here at Saqqara we have the pleasure of seeing the newly opened Imhotep Museum - a beautifully laid out modern museum with a number of wooden statues from the Old Kingdom that are particularly memorable.  All the items on exhibit were found here at Saqqara and have not been on public display before.

In the afternoon we visit a site that is not open to the general public - the Niuserre Sun Temple at Abu Gurab. We will be applying for a special permit that will allow us entrance to this site.  At the Sun Temple the central alabaster altar represents the sun surrounded with "hotep" blessings in the four directions.  

Shopping opportunity: 
-Gold Shop  (jewelry).  Get a cartouche with your name in hieroglyphs.  
Overnight: Mena House Oberoi, 5 star hotel.   Meals: BB, L.

Day 4
Nov 7

Khafre (2nd) Pyramid, Giza

Ramp inside the Menkaure (3rd) Pyramid, Giza

Solar Boat, beside Khufu Pyramid ("The Great Pyramid"), Giza
Solar Boat

Today we spend a full day on the Giza Plateau.   We visit and go inside whichever pyramids are open.  Of the three pyramids, two will be open and one closed for renovations - dates are not announced in advance. 

We are applying for a special government issued permit that will grant us a private entrance to the Great Pyramid (for just our group and with all 3 chambers open to us).  We have every reason to believe that we will receive this permission, as we have on our previous tours.  However, we cannot guarantee this because government policies can change unexpectedly.

In the Solar Boat Museum we see a boat that is almost 5,000 years old and was found 50 years ago, here beside the pyramid.  We will also see the Great Sphinx & Valley Temple.  There are legends of the Sphinx speaking.  Does the Sphinx have a message for you?  Camel rides for the adventurous.  

Shopping opportunity:
- Perfumery.  Egypt is famous for its perfume oils.
Overnight: Mena House Oberoi, 5 star hotel.   Meals: BB, midday snack, late Lunch.

Day 5
Nov 8

FREE DAY with 

Applique bedspread at the Avenue of the Tent Makers, Cairo
Old Cairo & Shopping



FREE DAY* with 3 Options:

The Mena House Golf Course beside the Great Pyramid, GoogleEarth1) The Mena House has its own golf course right at the foot of the Great Pyramid.  To think that you could be golfing in the shadow of one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World!  Golfing arrangements are made through the Mena House Hotel. 
Cost: To be determined by hotel.

2) Shopping in the old city.  Visit the Avenue of the Tent-makers where you can buy appliquéd items directly from the makers, Kerdasa - where they make a wide variety of galebeya dresses and the Kahn El Khalili bazaar for a wide variety of goods, including belly dancing costumes.  Linger over dinner at the famous historic Naguib Mafouz restaurant or try smoking some shisha (flavored tobacco) at an outdoor cafe.  
Shopping escorted and assisted by Ruth.  Cost: $50 USD pp.

We will be moving to the Ramses Hilton Hotel for our last night in Cairo.  It is walking distance from the Cairo museum, so will be very convenient.  It also hosts the most famous belly dance show in Egypt.

Or you might like to do a Nile Dinner Cruise this evening, which will also have entertainment.

-Nile Dinner Cruise
with belly dancer and other entertainment. Cost: $90 pp.
Overnight: Ramses Hilton, Downtown Cairo, 5 star hotel.   Meals: BB, L.

Day 6
Nov 9

 Ka statue, Cairo Egyptian Museum
Cairo Egyptian Museum

Mohammed Ali Mosque, Citadel, Cairo

A later start this morning to allow some extra time to check out of your rooms before leaving for downtown Cairo where we will visit the famous Cairo Egyptian Museum.  Your guides point out the most famous pieces and then there is free time to look at whatever interests you the most.  The treasures of King Tut, the Mummy Room, Middle Kingdom papyruses, statues from all time periods.  

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 will get 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".  

Evening one-hour flight to Luxor.  

Shopping opportunity: 
- Papyrus Institute.  See the real papyrus and how it was made.  See what the modern Egyptian artists are doing with it.
-Royal Mummy Room
at the Cairo Museum.  See some of the most famous of the royal mummies. Cost: about $15 pp.

Overnight: Sofitel Karnak Resort, 5 star.  Meals: BB, midday snack, early Dinner.

Day 7
Nov 10

Hathor at_Bahari2R.jpg (31695 bytes)

Hatshepsut's Temple
Workers' Village, Deir El Medina, West Bank of Luxor
 Workers' Village
Ramesseum Temple, West Bank of Luxor


Valley of the Kings, West Bank of Luxor

Astrological ceiling in tomb of Valley of the Kings, West Bank of Luxor
Valley of the Kings

"Colossi of Memnon" 

Luxor Temple by night, Luxor
Luxor Temple

Here in Luxor, we begin our New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC) experiences on the West Bank, one of the most famous archeological sites in the world. 

The first site that we visit is also one of the earliest New Kingdom temples.  Called "The Most Splendid of All" by the ancient Egyptians, Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple, the famous Deir El Bahari has inspired many, including the founders of modern architecture. One of the outstanding features is the picturesque Hathor columns in the Hathor Chapel on the second Level. We are also privileged to be admitted to the third level which was only recently opened to the public. More photos of  Hatshepsut's Temple.

The west represented the hereafter and is where the dead were buried.  Today we visit 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 at Saqqara we saw scenes of daily life during the Old Kingdom, today we see the daily life represented during the New Kingdom (about 1,000 years later).  

Next we see the rarely visited Ramesseum, a favorite of many of our travelers.   There is a splendid hypostyle hall, an astrological ceiling and some excellent wall reliefs in good condition.  This is also where we find the fallen statue that inspired a poem by Shelley.

Just nearby are some villagers that are long-time friends of Ruth.  One of the highlights for many of our travelers is to meet some of the local people and see their lifestyle.  Hopefully we will be invited to their house for lunch.  The food is delicious!

In the afternoon we visit what is probably the most famous archeological site in the world, the Valley of the Kings, where King Tut's tomb was found.  There are many tombs here, and excavations are still going on, as well as renovations to tombs that have been uncovered a long time. One never knows which tombs will be open that day, but there will be a variety to choose from.  

A recent highlight was the opening of the Ramesses I tomb, restored with modern techniques pioneered during the restoration of the tomb of Nefertari (Nefertari's tomb is no longer open to the public).  An additional ticket is required for King Tut (optional: King Tut’s tomb, $12 USD).  

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 is long ago destroyed.  The Greeks believed they were statues of Memnon, the son of Eros.

In the late afternoon and early evening we visit the Luxor Temple when the lighting is optimal for seeing the wall reliefs.  When the sun sets, the temple is lit up giving the temple a special feeling.  It also gives us an opportunity for some dramatic photos.  Both gently beautiful and full of awesome grandness, this temple was the "Bride of Karnak" during the annual Apet festival.

-Tomb of King Tut
at the Valley of the Kings.  Cost: about $15 pp.
Shopping opportunity: 
-Alabaster shop.  The West Bank of Luxor is where the alabaster statues, bowls, vases, etc. are made.  See the process of preparing the alabaster and how the carving is done.
Overnight: Sofitel Karnak Resort, 5 star.  Meals: BB, L.

Day 8
Nov 11

Balloon RideThe Goddess Sekhmet, Chapel of Ptah, Karnak

Southern Gate, Karnak Temple

Senwosret "White Chapel", Open Air Museum, Karnak
Open Air Museum

Cube statue, Luxor Museum
Luxor Museum

Morning option:
1) Early morning Balloon Ride
over the West Bank of Luxor.  See the temples from a very different perspective! You decide about this option while you are in Egypt, a few days before arriving in Luxor.  Cost: about $140 USD.

After breakfast back at our hotel, the splendors of Karnak fill the rest of our day.  Karnak was the center of government during the New Kingdom and each Pharaoh wanted to leave something impressive at Karnak. The largest temple complex in Egypt, we see multiple temples, obelisks, great gates and the famous hypostyle hall - unequalled to this day.  We also see the Sacred Lake, the Festival Hall and Botanical Garden of Tutmosis III (a precursor of Napoleon's later record of the fauna and flora found in Egypt).

Also at Karnak, we visit the fascinating Open Air Museum where we view the Red Chapel of Hatshepsut and Tutmosis III (Karnak's original Holy of Holies) and Senwosret's White Chapel with its finely-carved Middle Kingdom hieroglyphs.  These are in raised relief - some of the best to be found anywhere.  There is something new each time we visit, as reconstruction of new pieces is ongoing.

Bring extra film (or lots of memory) for Karnak.  

In the late afternoon (Karnak closes at 4 PM) we make a visit to the modern Luxor Museum. There is a special exhibit room for 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.  There is also a new wing, just opened recently, with an excellent mummy exhibit and a number of splendid artifacts.  Our friend, Rachid, has painstakingly put together a wall from Tel el-Amarna which is displayed here.

- Sunrise Balloon Ride, cost: about $140 pp.  
- Sound & Light Show at Karnak in the evening.  Cost: $15-20 pp.

Overnight: Sofitel Karnak Resort, 5 star.  Meals: BB, L.

Day 9
Nov 12

Ab-9-web.jpg (59076 bytes)


Astrological Ceiling, Hathor Temple, Denderah


Today we begin by driving north of Luxor, following the Nile to Qena and then to Abydos, the place of pilgrimage in Ancient Egypt.  The Temple of Seti I (with the renowned Osireion), is a place of legends, mystery and power.  Many feel that the reliefs of this temple are the highest art found in Ancient Egypt.  It is truly unforgettable.

During our journey we pass through Nag Hammadi where the writings were found that are now called the Nag Hammadi Library.  Discovered in 1945, these ancient codices (dating from 390 AD) contained the Gospels of Thomas, Mary and others. 

In the afternoon we visit 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.  We avoid the crowds by visiting the temple in the morning, instead of with the large convoy that visits in the afternoon.

Overnight: Sofitel Karnak Resort, 5 star.  Meals: BB, Lunch Box, D.

Day 10
Nov 13


KomOmbo-1-photo.jpg (90496 bytes)
Kom Ombo

Today we leave Luxor and travel by road to Aswan in the afternoon.  This will give us a chance to see two more temples, this time from the Ptolemaic era, 1,000 years later than the temples we visited in Luxor.

Our first stop is the Edfu Temple of Horus, the best preserved temple in Egypt. This temple was paired the the Hathor Temple at Dendera that we visited on yesterday.  

Our next stop is at Kom Ombo Temple, which was built for two gods - the hawk and the crocodile.  This temple is also famous for the wall reliefs that show medical instruments that were used, also a birthing chair and a calendar.

When we arrive in Aswan in the afternoon, we check in at the Basma Hotel and have time for a farewell meeting, maybe outside on the veranda overlooking Aswan.

Ruth & Ehab depart for Cairo about 5 PM.  

Overnight: Basma Hotel, 4 star hotel, Aswan.   Meals: BB, L.

Day 11
Nov 14

Abu Simbel


Morning excursion to Abu Simbel by air, followed by a return flight to Cairo.  Arrival in Cairo about 4 PM.  Transfer to a nearby hotel for dinner.

Late evening transfer to the Cairo airport for your flight to Kenya. 

Meals: BB only.
There may be changes to this itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control.

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What is Included in Your Specially Designed Egypt Tour
Price: $3,545 per person in double occupancy

  • Private visits and special opportunities to be at the sites when the crowds are not there.

  • 5 nights at the Mena House Oberoi, 5* Hotel, Garden Section in double occupancy

  • 4 nights at the Sofitel Karnak Resort, 5* Hotel, in double occupancy

  • 1 night at the Sofitel Le Sphinx, 5* Hotel, in double occupancy

  • Bottled water is continually available to you at no charge.

  • Food selection at meals is your choice - not a pre-set menu. 

  • You can be reached 24/7 by telephone (if you choose).  Rental mobile phones available at a cost of $60/phone for the duration of the tour.  Incoming calls are free.

  • American Tour Leader/Guide, see Leaders

  • Egyptian Egyptologist Tour Guide, English speaking, see Leaders

  • Entrance fees to sites per the above itinerary.

  • Camel ride at the pyramids, if you would like.

  • Transportation within Egypt as per the above itinerary.  Private A/C vehicles.

  • Airfare within Egypt.  

  • Baggage handling and portage

  • ALL TIPS for service personnel, temple guards, porters, bus drivers, security guards, hotel staff, waiters, etc. (tip for our Egyptologist Guide is not included). 


What is Not Included in Your Specially Designed Egypt Tour

  • Activities listed as optional in the itinerary.

  • Items of a personal nature - telephone calls, laundry, room service, beauty salon, massage, anything which you do on your own

  • Tip to our Egyptian Egyptologist. Suggested amount is $8-10 pp/day.

  • Meals not listed as included in the itinerary.

  • Anything not listed above as included.

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Tour Itineraries Extensions & Excursions Registrations Form Tour Prices Contact Us

Photo credits this page: all photos by Ruth Shilling, except the aerial view of the Mena House golf course, which is from GoogleEarth.



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