Family & Friends Egypt Tour 2012
Tuesday, May 29 -
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Sightseeing Included in this Tour
Saqqara Step Pyramid
Unas Pyramid Causeway
Tomb of the Two Brothers
Old Kingdom Tombs
Cairo Egyptian Museum
with King Tut exhibits
Royal Mummy Room
Khan el-Khalili Medieval Bazaar with historic Naguib Mahfouz Restaurant
Giza Pyramids - Great Pyramid and 3rd Pyramid
Solar Boat Museum
Q&A with an Archeologist
Visit inside the Sphinx enclosure - by special permission
Karnak Open Air Museum
Optional: Sunset Felucca Sailboat Ride on the Nile
Valley of the Kings with
3 tombs of your choice
Tomb of Seti I -
by special permission
Tomb of Ramesses V&VI
Tomb of King Tut
Hatshepsut's Deir El Bahari Temple
Tuesday May 29,
Arrivals in Cairo
An English-speaking representative will meet you inside Cairo
Airport. He will help with visas, customs and getting your
bags. He will also accompany you for your private transfer to our hotel in Giza.
The Mena House Oberoi overlooks the Great Pyramid of Giza and Phillip has
reserved Pyramid View rooms in the Palace section just for you!
Hotel: Mena House Oberoi, beside the Great Pyramid of Giza
May 30, 2012
Saqqara Step Pyramid
Khan el-Khalili Bazaar
begin our tour of Egypt with a drive south of the Giza Pyramids through
the lush farmlands, what the Ancient Egyptians called Kemet, "the
black land." Then we make the abrupt shift to the "the red
land," which is the deshert (desert). Here we find
the ancient burial ground of Memphis, which was the capitol city of Egypt
during the Old Kingdom.
The most notable feature
at Saqqara is
King Djoser's Step Pyramid,
which is the earliest pyramid -- the one that started it all! Walking
through the colonnade to the open court with its high walls topped with
rearing cobras, we then go to the Pyramid of Unas and
down its processional causeway.
At the end of this
causeway we visit an interesting and beautiful tomb which is
rarely visited by tourists.
The "Tomb of the Two Brothers" is for the High Priests
Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep, manicurist of the king. Some of the reliefs
show what looks like our modern reflexology and chiropractic adjustments
being performed by one of the High Priests.
There is some controversy
about this tomb, so there is quite a bit written about it.
We also visit inside the Teti
Pyramid which has the oldest Pyramid Texts ("Egyptian Book of
the Dead") now available for viewing.
Also here at Saqqara we see the Old
Kingdom tombs that have scenes of the daily life of Ancient
Egypt. The scenes show many of the daily activities of the Ancient
Egyptian people, as well as
their animals, plants & birds.
Here in the Saqqara area we also visit the Imhotep Museum, a
well-laid out modern museum displaying artifacts found at Saqqara.
Saqqara's Step Pyramid was built early in Ancient Egyptian history and
is surrounded by later constructions from the following eras.
Here at the museum there are artifacts from all periods.
Especially memorable are the life-size wooden statues from the Old
Kingdom. It feels as if you can look directly into the eyes of the
Article about the Imhotep Museum co-authored by Ruth
In the afternoon we
the bustling city of downtown
Cairo to visit the famous
Cairo Egyptian Museum.
has the largest collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts in the
world and houses the incomparable King Tut collection.
Royal Mummy Room has the mummies of some of the pharaohs who
built the great temples and monuments that we admire today. You will
have a guided tour to see the most important objects and then there is
free time to look at whatever you would like.
Hotel: Mena House Oberoi, right beside the Great Pyramid.
May 31, 2012
Fly to Luxor
This morning we
visit the most famous sight in Egypt, the pyramids and Sphinx on
the Giza Plateau.
You will be able to go inside the 3rd Pyramid as well as the
Great Pyramid (both tickets are included).
Solar Boat Museum
we see a boat that is more than 4,000 years old! Just a bit more than 50
years ago, it was found buried (vacuum packed!) beside the Great Pyramid.
It was actually like a "boat kit," with all the pieces, which
then needed to be assembled.
We also plan to meet
with an archeologist at the Giza Plateau who will show us the
restoration work he has been doing on some tombs which are not open to the
Camel rides, if you would like, or
you can also just have your
picture taken on a camel. When you get home the most-often-asked
question after a trip to Egypt is, "Did you ride a camel?"
We finish our day with
a special treat. We are applying for a government issued permit that
will enable us to go INSIDE the
Sphinx enclosure -- close enough
that you can touch the Sphinx! Because government policies can change,
we cannot guarantee this, but we have every expectation that we will be
able to enjoy this privilege.
late check out of the Mena House Oberoi and a drive to Heliopolis where we
have a meal before our evening flight to Luxor, 7:15/8:25pm.
Your 5* hotel, the Luxor Hilton, is right on the East Bank of
Hotel: Luxor Hilton Hotel.
June 1, 2012
Karnak Open Air Museum
Here in Luxor we see the
temples and tombs from the New Kingdom era.
We begin our sightseeing
on the East Bank of Luxor with the largest temple complex of all,
Not just a temple, but a whole series of temples, and the magnificent
Hypostyle Hall in the middle of the central axis. Every
king wanted to make his mark at Karnak, so we have contributions from a
number of different times in Ancient Egyptian history.
We also visit
Open Air Museum, where we will see the Red Chapel of Hatshepsut
and Thutmosis III, the Middle Kingdom White Chapel and a number
of other exquisite artifacts.
After lunch at a nearby restaurant we visit the
Luxor Museum. There is a
special gallery here for a group of statues that were recently found buried
under Luxor Temple. (LINK
to one of these statues) A modern museum, like the Imhotep Museum, the
artifacts are well displayed and arranged, making it a very pleasant
museum to visit.
While we are in the town of Luxor we will make a stop (or two, if
needed) for people to buy snacks, drinks, etc for the week on the scuba
In the late afternoon we
of Luxor. An Avenue of the Sphinxes leads us to this picturesque temple with its obelisk and colossi
statues of Ramesses II guarding the entrance. Built mostly by Amenhotep III, there is a wide open court that portends the open-roofed
temples of his successor, Akhenaten, worshipper of the sun-god Aten.
We finish our day with an
optional felucca sailboat ride on the legendary River Nile.
Late in the day as the sun is setting is the most picturesque time. Or you
may prefer a swim in the lovely pool at the Luxor Hilton.
Hotel: Sonesta St George, Sofitel Karnak or similar, 5* Meals:
June 2, 2012
--- Valley of the Kings
King Tut's Tomb
Ramesses V&VI Tomb
to visit the
Tomb of Seti I
We are up very early this
morning to begin our visit to the West Bank of Luxor where we visit the most famous site
of all, the
Valley of the Kings. The Ancient Egyptians chose a
place for their burials that was so dry that no vegetation grows there at
all. When the weather is hot, the Valley gives the feeling that if you
stayed there long enough, you might become a mummy, too!
This is where Howard
Carter found King Tut's tomb and amazed the world with the many
marvelous things found therein. The Tomb of King Tut is
open at this time and the extra ticket has been included in your tour.
We are applying for a
special permit that will give us permission to visit the Tomb of Seti 1st which has been closed to the public for many years. We have
every expectation that we will receive this permit. However, we cannot
guarantee what the Egyptian government may decide.
Here is a
LINK to a wonderful series of webpages and images about this tomb.
The tomb of Ramesses V&VI was
recently restored and is truly spectacular (extra ticket is included in
your tour). You will also get to choose another 3 tombs to visit.
Below is an explanation of the Egyptian Hours of the Night,
the journey of the sun,
which is represented on the walls of the tombs.
When we leave the Valley
of the Kings we will visit Hatshepsut's
Deir El Bahari Temple. Called "The Most Splendid of
All" by the ancient Egyptians, it was built at the very beginning of the New Kingdom and
served as an inspiration for the generations to come. Photos of
We finish our sightseeing
together with one of our favorite temples. It is not on the normal tourist route, so it is
particularly nice to visit. The mortuary temple of the famous
Ramesses II is called the
Ramesseum. This is also the temple with the fallen colossus
that inspired a poem by Shelley.
We will return to the Luxor
Hilton for lunch and then you will travel by road to Hurghada to begin
your scuba diving trip. Godspeed!
Until we meet again!
All photos on this page
are by Ruth Shilling. Please
to use them in your project.