Menkaure Pyramid or "3rd Pyramid," Giza Luxor Temple, Courtyard of Amenhotep III Goddess Sekhmet at Medinet Habu Temple, Luxor

"Time & Space in the Temples & Pyramids"
10-day Egypt Tour beginning in Cairo : September 10-19, 2006
(or 11-days with air from New York : Sept 9-19, 2006)

Ruth Shilling & All One World Egypt Tours

Optional Nile Cruise & Abu Simbel Extensions: September 18 - 24, 2006

Day-by-Day Itinerary for "Time & Space in the Temples & Pyramids"

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Day 0, Sat., September 9, 2006: For those beginning their tour in New York, USA, our plane leaves NY City 6:30 PM on Saturday, September 9, 2006.  Your American Tour Leader, 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. Other departure cities in the USA are available as add-on's.  Contact Us for pricing.
Those arriving from places other than New York should plan to arrive in Cairo sometime Saturday, September 9 or Sunday, September 10.  We will arrange to have someone greet you at the Cairo airport.  We welcome travelers from all countries to join us on these tours.

Day 1, Sunday, September 10: Midday arrival 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.  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".  
Khafre Pyramid at Giza (or "2nd Pyramid")
Our 5-star hotel is right near the pyramids. Welcome to Egypt!
Orientation session and Welcome Dinner.  
Hotel: Sofitel Le Sphinx or similar, 5 star hotel with optional pyramid-view rooms.

Walking across Desert at Dashur with Red Pyramid
Day 2, Mon, Sept 11:  We begin our tour with 3 days of sites from Ancient Egypt's Old Kingdom (2,575-2,150 B.C.) and earlier.  Leaving Giza we drive southward through fertile farmlands to the rarely visited pyramids at Dashur.  These pyramids are dated as even older than the pyramids at Giza!  It is also a chance to begin by savoring the riches of Egypt without being bothered by huge crowds of tourists and souvenir sellers.
The Bent Pyramid, 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 exhilarating.  The Bent pyramid was a key center of worship during the Middle Kingdom, and was much more important than Giza at that time.  It is the only pyramid to retain most of its original casing stones.   

Afterwards, we enjoy an Ancient Egyptian style meal prepared just for our group at a nearby guesthouse.  We are served the same foods that we will later see depicted in the wall reliefs at Sakkara, inscribed 4,500 years ago!  

Sakkara Step pyramidIn the afternoon we visit the Sakkara complex where we see the Step Pyramid, the early versions of the Book of the Dead, called the "Pyramid Texts" in Teti's Pyramid and some interesting tombs (where we see scenes of daily life during the Old Kingdom).   

Optional: Evening visits to a local Carpet School where they make wool, silk and simple camel hair carpets and/or a Papyrus Institute if you would like.

Lori at Giza Pyramid PanoramaDay 3, Tues, Sept 12:  Today we spend a full day on the Giza Plateau. We visit the Great Pyramid* (of course!) and either the 2nd or 3rd Pyramid, whichever one is open (of the three pyramids, two will be open and one closed for renovations - dates are not announced in advance).  We also see the Solar Boat (almost 5,000 years old!), the Sphinx* and Valley Temple.

Sphinx and 2nd PyramidThere are 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.

Optional: Evening visits to a Perfume Oil Shop and/or the Sound & Light Show at the Giza pyramids this evening.

Day 4, Wed, Sept 13:  FREE DAY WITH OPTIONS*.  You may be ready for a day relaxing by the pool as you gaze up at the pyramids.  Time to write those postcards at last or organize your things before leaving for Upper Egypt tomorrow?  Or you may choose from the following options:

1) Day trip into Cairo to see the Coptic churches in the area known as "Old Cairo."  Afterwards explore 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.  

2) Take a day-long to trip to Alexandria.  With the feel of a European city, Alexandria is quite different than the rest of Egypt.  Your trip includes visits to the Catacombs of Kom el Shugafa, "Pompey's Pillar," the Roman Amphitheater and the Greco-Roman Museum.  Or you may prefer to spend the whole day at the newly opened Alexandria Library.  Return to Cairo by evening.

3) Shopping in Cairo.  Visit the Avenue of the Tent-makers in the old city 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 wide variety of goods, including belly dancing costumes.  Shopping escorted and assisted by Ruth.

*Note: On this free day, your lunch and dinner are not included.  All other meals on the tour are included in your tour price (and you get to order whatever you would like, we pick up the tab!).

Evening Options: 
Sufi Dancing with live music
at the Citadel this evening.  
A Nile Dinner Cruise with belly dancer and other entertainment.

Sun Temple sends out "hotep" blessings in 4 directions.  Photo taken by Ken Reynolds, A1W Egypt Tours traveler.Day 5, Thurs, Sept 14:  This morning we head out into the desert again to visit the Nuiserre Sun Temple at Abu Gurab and see the pyramids at Abu Sir. This is a rare opportunity, as these sites are rarely visited by tourists.  This is by special permission from the Department of Antiquities.  The central alabaster alter of the sun temple sends out "hotep" blessings in all 4 directions.  
Or you may decide to take the morning off and enjoy the pool and a leisurely breakfast before packing up to leave for Luxor this evening.

Ka statue, Cairo Egyptian museumWe leave in the late morning to visit 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. 

Evening (10:15 PM) one-hour flight to Luxor.  Accommodation: Luxor Hilton or similar, 5 star hotel, located directly on the Nile.

Hatshepsut's Temple Deir El Bahari at sunriseDay 6, Fri, Sept 15: 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.  This is the oldest temple available to visit from the New Kingdom, so we start at the very beginning...

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 on Wednesday at Sakkara 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.   This is where the fallen statue of Ramesses II inspired a poem by Shelley.  

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.  

Luxor Temple Avenue of the SphinxesWhen we arrive on the East Bank we may have the privilege of being invited for lunch at our bus drivers' house.  A chance to meet some of the villagers and see there lives "up close."

In the late-afternoon and early evening we visit to 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.

Early morning at Luxor TempleDay 7, Sat, Sept 16: 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.
Another option is a sunrise Balloon Ride over the West Bank of Luxor.  See the temples we visit from the air!

Karnak, Hypostyle HallKarnak southern gate After 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 pieces.  

Optional evening opportunities:
Visit a jewelry shop where you can buy custom-made items in gold and silver.
Sound & Light Show at Karnak.

Sanctuary at AbydosDay 8, Sun, Sept 17: 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 Gnostic gospels. 
Abydos was the place of pilgrimage during Ancient Egyptian times and still holds much of the mystery of the past.  
Denderah, astrological ceiling in hypostyle hall
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.

Goddess Sekhmet statue at Karnak

Day 9, Monday, Sept 18: 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.

Astrological_ceiling_Valley_of_Kings.jpg (49203 bytes)Today we make a second visit to the West Bank of Luxor.  The famous Valley of the Kings (where King Tut’s tomb was found).  You will get to go inside a number of tombs, but we never know until we get there which ones will be open that day.  The newly opened tomb of Ramesses I has been beautifully restored and rivals the now-closed tomb of Nefertari in the vibrancy of the colors.

Pillars at Medinet Habu Temple, LuxorIn 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 identify now?  

We will also stop at one of the local Alabaster Shops, if there is an interest.  (Better to buy this sort of thing at the very end of your trip.)

Cube statue, Luxor museumLate 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 during renovations.  Again, a chance to test chance your present knowledge of Egyptian history, and where and when the artifacts displayed here fit into it.

Return flight to Cairo this evening, so that you will be ready to take the Tuesday morning flight back to New York, or another destination.  Or board a Nile Cruise boat to continue your Egypt tour with a Nile Cruise & Abu Simbel extension provided by our affiliate, American Express of Egypt.   

Day 10, Tuesday, September 19: Flights home or spend more time enjoying the riches of Egypt.  See options at Day 4 for suggestions.

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

Prices and What Is Included in this September 10-19, 2006 Tour 

All Photos on this page are by Ruth Shilling,
except the Sun Temple - taken by one of our travelers, Ken Reynolds.


Contact Us at ALL ONE WORLD  --  LEADER Biographies

What Our Travelers Say... - Letters & People you can contact

Tour Extensions & Add-ons         Itineraries & Short Descriptions of Tours  

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PHOTOS:  Abydos  --  Dashur  --  Hatshepsut's Temple  --  Tel el-Amarna 

Egyptologists .... Photographers & Artists     Tel Amarna & Middle Egypt  -  Mount Sinai  -  Petra

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