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"Time & Space in the Temples & Pyramids"


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Abydos
More than 270
photos of Abydos!

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Niuserre Sun Temple
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Dashur Pyramids
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Hatshepsut's Temple
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Tel el-Amarna
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Luxor Temple Obelisk Astrological ceiling Valley of Kings Medinet Habu Pillars
.If you are an Egyptologist and would like us to arrange a special tour
for your group - perhaps including specific sites or permissions -
please contact Ruth Shilling to discuss options. 
Contact Us

"Egyptologists' Tour"
Well suited to those with a long-term interest in Ancient Egypt 
or those desiring a more thorough, in-depth tour.

Includes the typical sites, as well as Tel el-Amarna, the Beni Hasan Tombs, the Meidum Pyramid, Abu Sir with Sahure and Nuiserre Sun Temples, Dashur pyramids (Red, Bent & Black), Abydos, Denderah and more.

This tour is being offered again 
Saturday, January 5 - Sunday, January 20, 2008.

16-day Egypt Tour beginning in Cairo: Saturday, January 6 - Sunday, Jan 21, 2007
(or 17-day with air from New York : Friday, January 5 Ė Sunday, Jan 21, 2007)
with
Ruth Shilling & All One World Egypt Tours

For Optional Extensions: Nile Cruise, Abu Simbel, Alexandria, Petra, Red Sea - Contact Us  

*Note that this tour will include two 5-star hotels, two 4-star hotels and one guest house that is not rated.
Only two meals a day are included in this tour (our other tours include all meals).

Day-by-Day Itinerary    Price and What is Included

Day-by-Day Itinerary

CLICK all pictures to ENLARGE.  Use BACK arrow to return to page.
Travelers can begin their tour in Cairo, Egypt or New York, USA

Fri, January 5, 2007: For those beginning their tour in New York, USA, your plane leaves NY City, at 6:30 PM, Friday, January 5, 2007.  You fly direct non-stop from New York city, USA to Cairo, Egypt.  You arrive the next day at 11:45 AM. Other departure cities in the USA are available as add-on's.  Contact Us for pricing.

Day 1, Sat, Jan 6:  Those arriving from places other than New York should plan to arrive in Cairo sometime on Saturday, Jan 6 or late Friday, Jan 5.  We will arrange to have someone greet you at the airport and bring you to our hotel in Giza.  If you arrive early you can visit the Giza plateau on your own.

For those arriving from New York, we arrive about midday 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.  After leaving the airport 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.
Overnight: 5-star hotel near the pyramids.  Sofitel Le Sphinx (optional pyramid view) or similar.

Sakkara Step pyramidDay 2 - Sun, Jan 7: We begin our tour with 3 days of sites from Ancient Egypt's Old Kingdom (2,575-2,150 B.C.).  Leaving Giza we drive southward through fertile farmlands to 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 Sakkara which our friend Ashraf Mohie el-Din (part of the excavation team) will be telling us about.  Having the whole day will give us time to look at all that is going on here.

Also here at Saqqara we have the pleasure of seeing the newly opened Imhotep Museum.  A beautifully laid out modern museum, there are 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.

Optional: Carpet School visit.
Overnight: 5-star hotel near the pyramids.  Sofitel Le Sphinx (optional pyramid view) or similar.

Sphinx and 2nd PyramidDay 3 - Mon, Jan 8:  A full day on the Giza Plateau.  Visits inside whichever pyramids are open, the Great Sphinx and the mortuary temples of all three pyramids.   Camel rides, too! 

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) and a visit inside the Great Sphinx enclosure.  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.

Optionals: Papyrus Institute.  Sufi Dance Show and traditional music at a theater near our hotel.
Overnight: 5-star hotel near the pyramids.  Sofitel Le Sphinx (optional pyramid view) or similar.

Ka statue, Cairo Egyptian MuseumDay 4 - Tues, Jan 9: We start a bit later this morning so that you have time to enjoy the hotel - maybe a swim in the pool or time to write some postcards?  Then we are off to a full day at the 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... how can one see it all?  It is impossible, so you can return for another visit at the end of our tour if you choose.  Those who want to be there the minute the museum opens in the morning can leave early and meet the rest of the group when we arrive late morning.

On the way home we will stop for shopping at the famous Khan el Khalili bazaar, if people would like.

Optional: Shopping at the Khan El Khalili bazaar.
Overnight: 5-star hotel near the pyramids.  Sofitel Le Sphinx (optional pyramid view) or similar.

Sun Temple with "hotep" blessings in 4 directions.  Photo by Ken Reynolds, A1W Egypt Tours traveler.Day 5 - Wed, Jan 10:  This morning we again drive south of Giza, this time to visit two sites that are not open to the general public - the Nuiserre Sun Temple at Abu Gurab and the Sahure Sun Temple and pyramids at Abu Sir. Again, we will be applying for special permits that will allow us entrance to these sites.  At the Nuiserre Sun Temple the central alabaster alter of the sun temple sends out "hotep" blessings in all 4 directions.  

While we are in the area, we also stop to see what remains of the ancient city of Memphis, the "City of the White Wall," capitol of Egypt during the Old Kingdom. 

After lunch back in Giza, you have a second opportunity to visit the Giza Plateau.  There may be things that you did not have a chance to see on our first day there, like the three smaller pyramids beside the Great Pyramid or some of the surrounding tombs.

Time to pack up for the trip through Middle Egypt tomorrow.

Optional: Gold Shop  (jewelry) - one of Egypt's specialties.  Get a cartouche with your name in hieroglyphs.
Overnight: 5-star hotel near the pyramids.  Sofitel Le Sphinx (optional pyramid view) or similar.

The Bent Pyramid, DashurDay 6 - Thurs, Jan 11: We leave early this morning and 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 rarely visited pyramids at Dashur.  No huge crowds of tourists and souvenir sellers here.  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 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. 

Traveling further south, our next stop is the Pyramid at Meidum.   As we get our first look at it from a distance, this pyramid is strangely beautiful, even though it is not in good condition.  Inside, we can touch some of the wooden timbers used in its construction more than 4,000 years ago!  This is also the area where the famous statues (on display in the Cairo museum) of Rahotep and his wife were found, as well as the famous "Geese of Meidum".

We continue on through the rural areas of Egypt to the town of Minya where we find the best hotel in Middle Egypt.  Located directly on the Nile, we settle into our bungelows and begin to lose the feeling of being in the 21st century, moving into a time when things were more simple.

Overnight in the town of Minya, overlooking the Nile - Aton Hotel, 4 star.

Day 7 - Fri, Jan 12:  This morning we 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, the tomb built for Akhenaten and the house of the overseer, Panhesy.  

Overnight in the town of Minya, overlooking the Nile - Aton Hotel, 4 star.

Day 8 - Sat, Jan 13:  Today we visit a number of different sites in the surrounding area.  We begin with the tombs at Beni Hasan, a Middle Kingdom (2040 - 1640 BC) site.  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 many animals portrayed - 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.  

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 Minya for overnight.

Overnight in the town of Minya, overlooking the Nile - Aton Hotel.

Abydos SanctuaryDay 9 - Sun, Jan 14: Today we leave Minya and travel 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 midday as the convoy of buses with tourists coming from Luxor is leaving.  The temple is all ours for the whole afternoon.

We also may be able to explore the rarely visited Ramesses II Temple, located a short distance from the Seti I Temple.

Afterwards we continue to Luxor, passing through Naga Hamadi where the writings were found that are now called the Nag Hamadi Library.  It contains the Gospels of Thomas, Mary and others.  

Our Luxor hotel is 5 star and located directly on the Nile.

Overnight: Luxor 5 star Hotel - Movenpick Jolie Vie, Sofitel Karnak  or similar, 5 star.

Day 10 - Mon, Jan 15: Optional early morning balloon ride over the West Bank of Luxor.  See the temples that we will visit later 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.

Karnak southern gate The splendors of the Karnak Temple Complex fill most of our day today. Luxor 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 for Karnak.  

Cube statue, Luxor museumIn the early evening we make a visit to the 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 this year, with an excellent mummy exhibit and a number of splendid artifacts.  Our friend, Rachid, is painstakingly putting together a wall from Tel Amarna (displayed at the Luxor Museum) and each time we visit he has more of it completed.

Optional: Sound & Light Show at Karnak in the evening.  Cost: $15-20 pp
Overnight: Luxor 5 star Hotel - Movenpick Jolie Vie, Sofitel Karnak  or similar, 5 star

Denderah, astrological ceiling in hypostyle hallDay 11 - Tues, Jan 16:  We begin our sightseeing today with  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.

Early morning at Luxor TempleIn the late afternoon-early evening we visit the Luxor Temple (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.

Optional: Perfume Oil shopping.
Overnight: Luxor 5 star Hotel - Movenpick Jolie Vie, Sofitel Karnak  or similar, 5 star

Day 12 - Wed, Jan 17: Time to relax and enjoy our hotel this morning before checking out and heading for the West Bank of Luxor, one of the most famous archeological sites in the world. 

Hatshepsut's Temple Deir El Bahari at sunriseThe first site that we visit was called "The Most Splendid of All" by the ancient Egyptians.  One of the earliest temples of the New Kingdom era, Queen Hatshepsutís 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.

A wonderful site that is rarely visited is the Ramesseum.  There is 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.

Our new home is a inn on the West Bank.  We may hear rosters crowing and donkeys braying in the morning, a chance to feel the pulse of rural Egypt in all its timeless beauty.  As we will be spending the next two nights on the West Bank, there is time for an evening visit to one of the local alabaster shops, if you would like.  From the veranda of the inn we overlook the Medinet Habu temple and the West Bank hills.

Optional: Alabaster shop.
Overnight: Amenophis Inn, Luxor West Bank.

Day 13 - Thurs, Jan 18: Tombs, tombs and more tombs!  We will see many in the next two days here on the West Bank.  Today we will see the Valley of the Nobles and the famous Valley of the Kings.  Tomorrow we will see the Valley of the Queens and the Valley of the Workmen.  

We begin with the Valley of the Kings (optional: King Tutís tomb, $12 USD).  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, but there will be a variety to choose from.  A recent highlight is the opening of the Ramesses I tomb, restored with modern techniques pioneered during the restoration of the tomb of Nefertari (Nefertari is no longer open to the public).  The Valley of the Nobles is known for the tombs where only the eyes were outlined in black and some brightly colored daily-life scenes.

Pillars at Medinet Habu Temple, Luxor The afternoon is for Medinet Habu Temple, the second largest temple complex (after Karnak) in Egypt.  It includes the remains of the palace and temple built by Ramesses III, as well as the earlier temple built by Thutmosis III and Hatshepsut (newly restored), and the Late Period Chapel for the Priestesses of Amun.

Overnight: Amenophis Inn, Luxor West Bank.

Day 14 - Fri, Jan 19:  Deir El Medina, the "Valley of the Workmen,"  was called the "Valley of Truth" in Ancient Egypt.  This is where the artists that decorated the tombs in the Valley of the Kings lived.  Their own tombs have colorful scenes from daily life in the New Kingdom.  There is also a chapel here with the famous Judgment scene.  The most famous tomb in the Valley of the Queens, Nefertari's, is now closed, but there are some other ones that are now open.  

Next we see the rarely visited Seti I Temple which still contains some beautiful reliefs including some astrological imagery.  We also see what are now called the "Colossi of Memnon." They are actually colossi of Amenhotep III. The Greeks, however, thought they were statues of Memnon, the son of Eros.

Then it is time to pack up, check out of our guest house, and cross to the East Bank of Luxor where we have a farewell meal before each going our separate ways.  Time for last minute shopping in Luxor.  Maybe a visit to Aboudy's Book Shop?

Those following the tour schedule will return to Cairo by air this evening and have a FREE DAY in Cairo tomorrow.  Other options are to begin a Nile Cruise or to go directly to Aswan and do a trip to Abu Simbel tomorrow.

Overnight: 5-star hotel near the pyramids.

Options:
1) Follow tour schedule - Friday evening return to Cairo by air.  Free day in Cairo on Saturday.  Overnight in Cairo Saturday night. Return home on Sunday, Jan 21, 2007.  Saturday possibilities: Cairo Egyptian Museum, Coptic Cairo, Islamic Cairo, shopping at Khan El Khalili, Giza Plateau.  No entrance fees are included in your tour for this day.

2) Same as Option #1, but take a day trip to Alexandria on Saturday.  Overnight in Cairo Friday and  Saturday nights.  Leave on Sunday, Jan 21.  There is an additional fee for the Alexandria trip.

3) Stay in Luxor and begin a Nile Cruise on Saturday, Jan 20.  3 Nights/4 days or 6 Nights/7 days.  The cruise can be followed by a trip to Abu Simbel. 

4) Take a train on Friday evening from Luxor to Aswan and overnight in Aswan on Friday night.  Saturday take the Abu Simbel excursion by air or by road.  Return flight to Cairo that evening.  Saturday night in Cairo with others from the tour.  Sunday, Jan 21, flights home.

5) Friday night in Luxor at the same hotel.  Saturday go to Aswan by road with sightseeing stops at Edfu and Kom Ombo.  Arrive at Aswan in the evening and take return flight to Cairo.  Saturday night overnight in Cairo with others from the tour.

6) Same as #5, but on Saturday night remain in Aswan and continue the next day with sightseeing in Aswan, followed by a trip to Abu Simbel.

Day 16 - Sat, Jan 20:  FREE DAY.  See above options at #1 and #2.
Overnight: 5-star hotel near the pyramids.

Day 17 - Sun, Jan 21:  Return flights home.  For those leaving for the USA, your flight leaves at 10 AM and arrives in New York at 3:15 PM - the same day but with an increase of 7 hours for the time difference between Cairo and New York.  For those traveling to the UK the time difference is 2 hours.

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

* Unlike our other tours, there are only 2 meals a day included in this tour.  Also there are 2 nights at a guest house which is not a 4 or 5 star hotel.  Our other tours use only 4 and 5 star hotels.

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Prices
$2,795 US Dollars: 16-day Tour beginning in Cairo, January 6-21, 2007 
$3,695 US Dollars: 17-day Tour with Roundtrip Airfare from New York, January 5-21, 2007 
Prices are per person in Double Occupancy.
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Early Bird Special!
Pay in full by Sept 4, 2006 and receive a $200 USD discount off your tour price.

DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

What is Included in the "Egyptologist's Egypt" Tour*

Included:
∑ Airfare within Egypt, Cairo-Luxor roundtrip.
∑ Meet & Assist with Transfer to our hotel from the Cairo airport, if needed upon arrival
∑ All transportation within Egypt as described in itinerary, including private A/C buses for our group.
∑ 7 Nights in Cairo-Giza at a 5-star hotel near the pyramids, Sofitel Le Sphinx or similar.
∑ 3 Nights in Minya at the Aton Hotel, 4 star.
∑ 3 Nights in Luxor on the East Bank at the Movenpick Jolie Vie, Sofitel Karnak, or similar, 5 star.
∑ 2 Nights in Luxor on the West Bank at the Amenophis Inn.
∑ Sightseeing with an English-speaking Egyptian Egyptologist guide & an American tour leader/guide.
∑ Breakfast plus one other meal per day.
∑ Bottled water.
∑ All entrances fees and transportation for sightseeing as per itinerary above.
∑ A private visit inside the Great Pyramid and inside the Sphinx enclosure (government permit, cannot be guaranteed).
∑ ALL TIPS for service personnel, temple guards, porters, bus drivers, etc.  (Tip for our Egyptologist Guide is not included.)

Not included:
∑ Items of a personal nature - laundry, telephone calls, internet use, etc. 
∑ Your third meal each day is not included.
∑ Tip for Egyptologist guide.
∑ Anything which is not listed above as being included in your tour package

* Please note that, unlike our other tours, this tour has 2 nights that are not at a 4 or 5 star hotel, and only 2 meals a day are included (instead of 3)..

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Photo credits this page: all photos by Ruth Shilling, except the Sun Temple altar (A1W traveler, Ken Reynolds).

 


 

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