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Travelers can begin their tour in Cairo, Egypt or New York, USA or London,
Day 0, Fri.:
For those beginning their tour in New York, USA, our plane
leaves NY City, at 11:00 PM, Friday, December 26. 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.Those arriving
from places other than New York should plan to arrive in Cairo sometime
Saturday, December 27. We will arrange to have someone greet you at the
airport. We welcome travelers from all countries to join us on these
Sat, December 27: Afternoon
arrival in Cairo (7 hours ahead of New York time, 2 hours ahead of Greenwich). Welcome to Egypt!
We continue on with the short flight to Luxor, arriving
in the evening.
Egypt experiences begin with the Luxor Temple. Both gently
beautiful and full of awesome grandness, this temple was the "Bride
of Karnak" during the annual Apet festival. We begin with free
time to let our first impressions be untainted by external opinions.
Then we gather together and go through the temple with our
Egyptologist. Plenty of time for questions. We finish with
more free time to get those important photos or to just wander a bit more.
Early 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.
Day 3: For those who would like, we return to the Luxor Temple
for an early morning meditation before the crowds arrive. After
breakfast (always a sumptuous buffet at our hotel) we visit Hatshepsut’s
Temple, called "The Most Splendid of All" by the ancient
The splendors of Karnak fill the rest of our
day. Each Pharaoh wanted to leave something impressive at
Karnak. Obelisks and temples abound.
Optional opportunity: Sound & Light Show at Karnak in the
4: Today is our day to journey to Abydos,
the place of pilgrimage during Ancient Egyptian times. Abydos
is filled with magic, mystery and transformation. Our bus passes the
hills of Nag Hamadi, where the scrolls were found that contain some
of the Gnostic gospels.
On our return to Luxor we stop at Denderah to visit the Hathor
Temple there. Long a place of worship of the Goddess Hathor, the present
temple was built during the Ptolemaic (Greek) era. 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.
5: Our morning meditation is with the
fiery lioness, Sekhmet, in her chapel at Karnak.
Death in ancient Egypt was seen as a transition into the
afterlife. We visit the tombs on the West Bank
today. The west symbolized the afterlife or "other
side." We explore the Valley of the Kings (where King
Tut’s tomb was found) and the tombs in the Valley of the Workmen
with their brightly colored wall murals. We finish our day at the
temple of Medinet Habu. The Osirion chapel shows us
representations of the story of the goddess Isis bringing the pieces of
Osiris back together again, a powerful story of healing and the spiritual
Evening flight back to Cairo. Our hotel is right near the pyramids!
Just in time for New Year's Eve.
6, January 1, 2004: Today we enjoy a full day at the Giza Plateau. We have time in the Great Pyramid exploring the
different chambers and having time to sit and listen within (the power of
such an experience is not to be underestimated). We go inside the
2nd or 3rd Pyramid (whichever is open at that time), and see the Sphinx
and Valley Temple. There are legends of the Sphinx speaking.
Sphinx have a message for you?
We also see the Solar Boat (found beside the Great
Pyramid) and have camel rides at the Giza plateau.
Optional opportunity: Sound & Light Show at the Pyramids.
7: This morning we drive south through the farmlands along the
canals until we reach the Sakkara complex. Here we
see the Step Pyramid, the early versions of the Book of the
Dead and some interesting tombs.
In the afternoon we visit the Mohammed Ali mosque ("Alabaster
Mosque") and then have a leisurely, full visit to the Cairo
Egyptian Museum. The museum now stays open into the evening and there are
fewer tourists at this time. Mummies, hundreds of statues and the King Tut
collection are all there for our perusal. Having experienced the different temples and pyramids, the
Old Kingdom, New Kingdom and Ptolemaic (Greek) eras are now part of our common
knowledge and the artifacts at the museum have more meaning for us.
Afterwards we explore the
colorful Kahn al-Khalili bazaar.
8: On our last day in Egypt we have a second visit to
the pyramids, Sphinx and Giza plateau before driving out into the
desert to Dashur
where we spend the rest of the day in the vast quiet of the Egyptian desert.
go inside the Red Pyramid (nearly as large as Giza's Great Pyramid)
with its unparalleled acoustics. We also have the opportunity for an unforgettable walk across the open desert to
the Bent Pyramid. The Bent pyramid was a key center of worship
during the Middle Kingdom. We enjoy the deep peace in this place.
The next morning
it will be time to face airports and all the hustle and bustle of modern life on our
Farewell dinner at King Zoser's Lodge with a feast made of Ancient Egyptian
Jan 4, Day 9:
Those returning to the USA depart Cairo at 9:00 AM. Arrival in New York City in the afternoon,
3:30 PM New York time (7 hours
behind Cairo time).
There may be
changes to this itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control.