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.
legends of the Sphinx speaking. Does the Sphinx have a message for you?
Camel rides for the adventurous.
* Note: We are pleased that beginning in 2005, the Egyptian
government is again issuing special permits that have allowed us to enter the
Great Pyramid with only our small groups. These permits also
allowed us to go
inside the Sphinx enclosure - you can touch the Sphinx! This privilege cannot be guaranteed,
but we hope that we will continue to have this special opportunity.
Sound & Light Show at the Giza pyramids this evening, in case
you were too tired the first night.
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.
we visit to the Cairo Egyptian Museum – mummies, hundreds of
statues and the King Tut collection. 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.
Late evening flight to Luxor. Our 5-star hotel is right on the
5, Wed: Here
in Luxor, our New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC)
experiences begin on the West Bank with a
visit to Hatshepsut’s Temple, Deir El Bahari, called
"The Most Splendid of All" by the ancient Egyptians.
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, today we see the
daily life represented during the New Kingdom (about 1,000 years later).
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. When we arrive on the East
Bank we have a relaxing lunch before visiting the Luxor
Temple in the late afternoon-early evening (when the lighting is
optimal for seeing the wall reliefs). The dramatic lighting also
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.
6, Thurs: 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.
breakfast back at the hotel, the splendors of Karnak fill
the rest of our day. 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. 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 (Middle
Kingdom) and other magnificent
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
Optional opportunity: Sound & Light Show at Karnak
in the evening.
7, Fri: A full days trip in our own private A/C bus to the Temple of Seti I
(with the renowned Osireion)
at Abydos and the Temple of Hathor at
Dendera. Our bus passes the hills of Nag
Hamadi, where the scrolls were found that contain some of the
Abydos was the place of pilgrimage during Ancient Egyptian times
and still holds much of the mystery of the past.
The Temple of
Hathor 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.
8, Saturday, November 26: 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.
we make a second visit to the West Bank of Luxor.
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).
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
flight to Cairo this evening, so that you will be ready to take the Sunday
morning flight back to New York, or another destination. Or board
a Nile Cruise boat to continue your Egypt tour with a Nile
Cruise extension provided by our affiliate, American Express of Egypt. Extensions
are offered for a Nile Cruise, Aswan & Abu Simbel, and Alexandria &
may be changes to this itinerary due to circumstances beyond our
and What Is Included in this Nov 19-27 Tour