Darryl has gone via Italy to Egypt. Here is his path along the Nile:
Discovering Ancient Egypt I
January 16 – 26 , 2007
Join us on this customized tour of Egypt that is the result of research and experience on the part of our tour leader, Dr. Peter Lacovara.
Tuesday, January 16
Arrive Cairo airport, where you will be met by our representative who will help you with your immigration and customs formalities. Later you will be transferred to your hotel.
Marriot Palace Hotel
Wednesday, January 17
Buffet breakfast at hotel, we begin our visit to the famous Egyptian Museum, where you can see the world's greatest collection of Pharaonic art, including masterpieces from the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms and the Greco-Roman periods. An in-depth visit of the famous Tutankhamon treasures is featured on this tour. After lunch at the Nile Hilton Hotel, we proceed to the Gayer Anderson Museum, known as Bayt Al-Keretliya. The Gayer-Anderson Museum was the residence of a British Major, John Gayer Anderson, between 1930 and 1943. Anderson was an art lover and a great admirer of Islamic Cairo. His house is loaded with Islamic artifacts, paintings (both European and Egyptian), sculptures and many private belongings of him and his wife. The house is very well preserved with interiors and furniture intact. It consists of two houses, one of the 16th century, the other of the 17th, each comfortable by the standards of their time, and have been delightfully joined together. Then, on to the narrow streets and alleys that form the Khalili bazaars where you can enjoy watching skilled craftsmen working with gold, silver, and brass. Here you can buy hand made souvenirs at bargain prices.
Return to hotel.
Marriot Palace Hotel (B/L)
Thursday, January 18
Buffet breakfast at hotel. Depart our hotel to visit the Pyramids of Giza, the tombs of the kings, Cheops, Chephren and Mykerinus. Continue to The Sphinx, the largest single sculpture of all time where you will visit the funerary Valley Temple of Chephren and, beside it, the temple to which the Sphinx stands guardian. The Sphinx was carved from one solid piece of limestone and measures 50 meters (164 Feet) in length and 22 meters (72 Feet) in height. Then on to the Boat Museum. The Ancient Egyptians carved chambers in the rock, near the Pyramids to hold the boats that were part of the funeral procession of the King. One of these boats was discovered disassembled in 1954 and has been painstakingly reconstructed. The boat was 43.5 meters long, the prow and stern were 5 meters and 7 meters high respectively.
From there we drive through the Egyptian countryside to the site of Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt in Pharaonic times and the chosen city of the God Ptah. Although little remains of the ruins of this once mighty city, you will see the marvelous Alabaster Sphinx and the Collossus of Ramses II. Proceed to Sakkara, the necropolis or "city of the dead" near Memphis. Here you will visit the famous Step Pyramid of Zoser, which is considered the first stone building, as well as the first pyramid known to mankind! You will also visit its adjoining, fully restored, temples and the court for the ritual of the Heb Sed. Continue to visit the enormous Serapium, an underground tomb for Sacred Bulls, spreading for almost two acres under the ground. Finally a visit will be made to the Mastaba of Ti, a tomb with beautiful and well preserved scenes depicting ancient Egyptian daily life. We will also visit the brand new Imhotep Museum. Finally we will transfer to our hotel for check in.
Mena House Oberoi (B)
Friday, January 19
Buffet breakfast at hotel, start our day by visiting the Pyramid Of Meydum, which may have been the first Egyptian attempt at building a true pyramid. The pyramid was originally built as a step-pyramid, with over eight steps which were then to be filled in and covered by an outside layer. It was once thought that this outside layer, however, collapsed not long after it was built as a result of some errors in design, but now it is believed to have never been finished and the debris around the base are the remains of the original construction ramps. It is thought that the pyramid was built by King Huni or his son Sneferu, the 4th dynasty Pharaoh.
After Lunch we proceed to visit Dahshur, South of Saqqara and an extension of the necropolis. Here we discover the first true Pyramids in the history of Egypt, built during the reign of Snerferu, who was the father of Cheops, who built the Great Pyramid of Giza. Both pyramids date from the 4th dynasty. Both pyramids seem to have been built for the king, the imposing Red Pyramid, with its tint of reddish limestone blocks and the Bent Pyramid, which is probably the best example of the transition from step to straight pyramid.
Mena House Oberoi (B/L)
Saturday, January 20
Buffet breakfast at hotel. We will have the opportunity to observe the Delta landscape as we travel to Bubastis and Tanis, Zoan of the Bible and capital of Egypt during Dynasties XXI-XXII. Pharaohs of the period brought decorated stones and monumental sculptures from all over the Delta to embellish their temples. Today the site is an impressive outdoor museum. Lunch box will be provided between the visits. Back to Cairo.
Mena House Oberoi (B/L)
Sunday, January 21
Buffet breakfast at hotel, transfer to Cairo airport for your flight to Luxor. Arrive Luxor Airport. We will visit the Karnak Temple and the Open Air Museum enroute to our hotel for check in. Afternoon tea and tour of Chicago House, the headquarters of the University of Chicago's expedition to record and preserve the monuments of Luxor.
Optional: Sound & Light Show at Karnak Temple
Leave the hotel and drive to Karnak where you will attend the spectacular Sound & Light production. This 75-minute spectacle first takes you around the temple grounds, and finally the last act is played while you are seated along the Great Sacred Lake. The performance takes you through the temple and tells its history.
Old Winter Palace (B)
Monday, January 22
Buffet breakfast at hotel, cross the Nile to visit the Necropolis of Ancient Thebes, the city of the dead. Where the wealth of antiquities is outstanding. Explore the Valley of the Kings lying protected by the high Gurna Hills surrounding it. Here you will visit the tombs of Egypt’s splended Pharaohs. Deep-cut into the rocky mountainsides are the magnificent tombs of spellbinding construction and decoration. Visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, where the story of her Divine Birth is carved on the Walls of her temple, originally dedicated to the godess Hathor, deity of love and Beauty. The temple's 37 meter (121 Foot) - wide causeway leads us to three huge terraced courts; the Temple of Hatshepsut is as intriguing as the Pharaoh-queen herself.
Then we proceed to visit Tombs of the Nobles, these are the private tombs of dignitaries and priests during the New Kingdom and are remarkable for their colorful scenes of everyday life. Medinet Habu, the site is dominated by the Mortuary Temple of Ramses III (1194 – 1163 B.C.), the largest on the west bank and one of the best preserved. There are many fine paintings and reliefs bearing scenes of the King’s military exploits, including a unique portrayal of a sea battle.
Ramesseum Temple, the Mortuary Temple of Ramses II, although half in ruin, still has a romantic appeal due to the remains of a colossal statues of the king lying shattered in the first court. Reputed as the inspiration for Shelley’s well-known poem “ Ozymandias ”, it is as much a tribute to the superb work of the sculptors as to the king himself.
Then to the two Singing Statues of King Amenophis the Third, known as the Colossi of Memnon, facing the Nile. Box lunch will be provided today between the visits.
This evening we will visit the Luxor Temple and the Mummification Museum.
Old Winter Palace (B/L)
Tuesday, January 23
Buffet breakfast at hotel, we drive south by the Nile towards Aswan, and en-route will visit the Temple of falcon-headed, Horus – one of the finest examples of Ptolemaic art in Egypt.
70 km south of Edfu and 40 km north of Aswan is the Temple of Kom Ombo, also known as the dual temple of Sobek and Haroeris. Everything is doubled in this perfectly symmetrical temple: twin entrances, twin halls, twin colonnades, etc. This Greco-Roman temple is directly on the banks of the Nile.
Arrive Aswan, transfer to your hotel for check in.
Evening visit to the Nubian Museum, (the Nubian Museum is one of the most beautiful museums in Egypt and is the first museum to explore the rich Nubian culture). The museum features Nubian artifacts, weapons, pottery, utensils, paintings, and sculptures. Furthermore, it offers a show of Nubian dance and music.
Old Cataract Hotel (B)
Wednesday, January 24
Buffet breakfast at hotel, we start our day to the docks on Lake Nasser for a short boat ride to the island of Philae where you will visit the beautiful Temple of Isis. From there we proceed to visit Tombs of the Nobles in the west bank of the Nile. Finally we visit Elephantine and Sahel Islands. Group dinner at the hotel.
Old Cataract Hotel (B/D)
Thursday, January 25
Buffet breakfast at hotel, then we will transfer to the Aswan airport. On the way to the airport we will stop for a short visit to the unfinished obelisk, which was commissioned by Queen Hatshepsut, but abandoned after discovering a crack that rendered it unworthy for a queen's monument. We continue to Aswan airport for your flight to Cairo. Upon arrival at Cairo airport, we will transfer to your hotel for check in.
Le Meridien Heliopolis (B)
Friday, January 26
Buffet Breakfast at hotel, then you will be met by our representative and transferred to Cairo airport, where you will be helped with your check-in and immigration formalities for your flight back home. [Optional Lake Nasser Cruise January 25 – 30, 2007]
From Cairo, Dar will go to Rome for three days, staying next to the Pantheon.