CAIRO – GIZA – CHEOPS AND MYKERINOS PYRAMIDS – TEMPLE COMPLEX IN LUXOR AND KARNAK – NILE CRUISE – SUNRISE BALLOON FLIGHT – KINGS’ VALLEY – TUTANKHAMUN’S TOMB – HISTORY OF PHARAOHS CURSE – EDFU TEMPLE – “KOM OMBO” TEMPLE – ABU SIMBEL – “PHILAE” TEMPLE – HIGH ASWAN DAM – CAIRO – CITADEL OF SALADIN – HANGING CHURCH – BAZAAR “EL-KHALILI”
Arrival At Casablanca
We will meet as a group with a guide at the check-in desk in Chicago O’Hare airport terminal 2-3 hours before departure. Passport and luggage check-in. Departure from Chicago.
Transfer and flight to Cairo – the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the country. On arrival – Move into the hotel, get ready for the next day, and get some sleep. This will be our first night; In a country where one of the world’s oldest civilizations was born and flourished – the ancient kingdom of the pharaohs.
We start the day with breakfast and we have a drive to Giza in front of us.
We will start our tour from the complex of three great pyramids: Cheops, Chephren, and Mykerinos. The Giza Pyramid is one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. The largest of the pyramids, built of over 2 million stone blocks, originally was 146 meter tall, but over thousands of years of erosion, the height has been reduced to a still impressive 139 meters.
The tomb of Pharaoh Cheops is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one that has survived to modern times. If just looking at the pyramid is not enough, then for the adventurous we have a proposal – you will be able to see it from inside.
Another option for those willing is a camel ride.
If we mention Giza, we cannot forget the Great Sphinx – i.e. a 73-meter long and 20-meter high statue with the body of a lion and a human head.
In the afternoon we will go to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The museum opened just after a ceremonial procession of royal boats carried the mummified remains of 22 pharaohs – 18 kings and 4 queens – through the capital to their new resting place.
In addition to the mummies, which are undoubtedly the greatest attraction of the museum, there are artifacts depicting Egyptian civilization from prehistoric times to the present day.
In the evening, for those willing, participation in the Sound and Light Show and dinner with a view of the colorfully lit pyramids (additional cost).
We are awakened by the thought that we are in the land of the pharaohs – No time to waste! Immediately after breakfast, which will provide us with energy for another day of adventure, we go to the airport and onwards to Luxor.
There, we will embark on a luxury ship,which will take us on a cruise on the longest river in the world, The Nile. Before that, however, we will visit the temple complex in Luxor and Karnak. The central place is occupied by the temple of Amon-Ra, which is the largest temple in the world with a column room – the so-called “Great Hypostyle.”
The next two buildings are a temple dedicated to the god of war – Montu, and the other erected in honor of the goddess Mut, Amon’s wife. The beginning of the development of this place was the period of the Middle Kingdom, and as the importance of Thebes rose, the Pharaohs wanted to make something unique there. Karnak was not only the center of the cult of Amun and his earthly dwelling, but also a place where priests lived and worked.
There was also a sacred lake in this area, as well as kitchens and workshops where temple furnishings and devotional articles were produced. Particular attention is drawn to the aforementioned hypostyle hall, i.e. the room where the ceiling is supported by columns. In the one in Karnak there are 134 huge columns, and the interior is decorated with polychrome, some of which have survived to our times.
Although in antiquity the complex was treated as a quarry, a few gems have survived to this day. This includes Egypt’s largest obelisk dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut made of a single block of granite. There used to be a second obelisk here, but Emperor Constantine carried it to Rome.
In the evening, for those willing, a return visit to Luxor. It is one of the two temples open to visitors in the evening. Against the background of the dark night sky, the beautifully illuminated colonnades introduce an impression of mystery, mysticism and are extremely spectacular, which provides a completely different experience than during the day.
We will be staying the night on the ship.
Early wake up for volunteers who have previously declared their willingness to fly a balloon at sunrise (additional cost). The balloon flight is an attraction in itself, while the flight over the Valley of the Kings, with the Hatshepsut temple in the background, is like nothing else.
After breakfast, drive to the Valley of the Kings, the place where the dead pharaohs were buried. 64 tombs were carved into the rock walls. We will see the tomb of Tutankhamun, the discovery of which was the greatest archaeological sensation of the 20th century. The tomb was found in November 1922. The king’s mummy was poorly preserved and was in a sarcophagus with 3 coffins, including the inner one – made of gold.
The mummies head was covered by a 10kg golden mask, now stored at the Cairo Museum. Tutankhamun’s mortuary mask is one of the greatest masterpieces of Egyptian art. It is made of two sheets of gold metal decorated with semi-precious stones such as turquoise and lapis lazuli.
There is also a spell from the Book of the Dead on the mask, which served the Egyptians as a guide to the afterlife. Admiring the beautiful paintings on the walls and vault of the tombs, depicting life after death, we will learn the story of the “curse of the pharaoh Tutankhamun”.
Then we will go to the temple of Queen Hatshepsut. It is a unique temple because it was built in the form of terraces. Hatshepsut was the only woman who ruled Egypt for a relatively long time. She ruled for 20 years and it was a period of peace, prosperity, and good relations with its neighbors.
The temple is built high on a rocky slope and consists of three terraces. There is also a Polish accent and a memorial plaque.
The capital of Egypt in the period of the Middle and New Kingdom – Thebes, with buildings in Luxor and Karnak and necropolises in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, to this day makes a great impression and strikes with the grandeur and scale of ancient Egyptian civilization. In 1979, the complex was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
After a day of exquisite explorations of the history of powerful pharaohs, we will spend the night on a ship.
After breakfast, we will go to visit the temple in Edfu.
The city is known as a place of worship of the god Horus, so the temple built during the Ptolemaic dynasty is dedicated to him. Legends say that the temple was built in the place where the battle between Horus, the Egyptian god of heaven, and Seth, who identified chaos and demonic forces, took place. You can go there on foot or in a horse-drawn carriage (the ride for those willing).
It is the best-preserved temple in Egypt, which provides a lot of information about the structure of its construction and also the history of the great pharaohs and Egyptian gods. We will see pylons, courtyards, beautiful columns decorated with floral motifs, a hypostyle hall and a sacrifice hall behind which there is a sanctuary.
Around it there are chapels dedicated to other deities where their statues and other objects of worship were kept. There is a library room in the temple, and a catalog of books with 21 sections is carved on its wall.
In the afternoon, a visit to the unique Kom Ombo temple, the structure of which consists of two identical and connected parts, is devoted to two gods: Sobek – the god of fertility with the head of a crocodile and Horus the Elder.
The assumption of the builders of the temple, located several dozen kilometers north of Aswan, was a symmetrical arrangement referring to the mythical connection between the deities. This is reflected in two identical entrances, hypostyles and shrines.
The structure was built on a rock just off the bend of the Nile, in a place where crocodiles, sacred to Egyptians, used to lie in ancient times. Even the Greek historian, known as the father of history – Herodotus, who called Egypt “the gift of the Nile”, when writing about the Egyptian crocodiles, emphasized their importance in the life and religion of ancient civilization.
To this day we have records of embalming and decoration of reptiles after death and depositing them in necropolises. The sanctuary stood too close to the river and the successive floods of the Nile washed away the encampment, and the abandoned temple was slowly covered by the sands of time. The temple has been unveiled, but the sandy beach no longer hosts sacred crocodiles. .
We spend the night on the ship.
Morning tour of Abu Simbel (optional), a complex of two impressive temples, consisting of the tomb of Ramesses II and a smaller one of his wife Nefertari. The entrance to the temple of Ramses II is decorated with 4 characteristic 20-meter statues of Ramses II carved in the rock, and between their legs there are smaller figures representing members of the royal family.
The second, smaller temple is decorated with 6 statues of Ramses the Great and Nefertari, and the fact that they are of equal size proves the great love that the pharaoh had for his royal wife. The temples were built in the 13th century BC, during the reign of Ramses II. They were unearthed from sand in 1817.
Then they were located on the Nile, today on the artificially created Lake Nasser. The temples recently discovered from under the sands for the modern world were not far off from being hidden again, this time by water.
The construction of the Great Aswan Dam in the 1960s risked flooding of the temples, but it was decided to move them elsewhere before that happened. The objects were cut out of the rock and transported higher, where they were set again. There is a polish twist to the story, since the team participating in the rescue operation supervised by UNESCO was led by a Polish archaeologist and Egyptologist – prof. Kazimierz Michałowski.
We will watch the sunset by going for a ride on a typical Egyptian wind-powered boat (felucca).
In the evening (for those willing) there will be a visit to a Nubian village where we will discover the original life of its inhabitants and learn about their traditions, culture, and language.
We spend the night on the ship.
We are leaving the ship on which we have been sailing on for the last few days.
We will drive to the Temple of Isis – a beautiful temple complex, one of the most picturesque in all of Egypt. Situated on the Nile, at the height of the first cataract, is the island of Philae. It is a sacred place, because according to the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians the island was the first piece of land to emerge from the vastness of chaos.
In the times of the great pharaohs, Isis was worshiped on the island and a temple dedicated to her was built here. At this point, the Aswan dam should be mentioned once again, because its construction also threatened the existence of a historic building on File.
When a dam was built on the Nile, the water was collected up, which means that the island is regularly flooded. And again – a rescue came, because a decision was made to move the temple of Isis to the nearby island of Agilkia. We will also see the dam itself.
For millennia, Egypt’s economy was dependent on the Nile, because the intensity of floods regulated how much arable land could be irrigated. This is why the aforementioned Herodotus wrote that Egypt is the gift of the Nile. Work on the Great Aswan Dam lasted over 10 years. It is one of the two dams on the Nile and is 3600 m long, 980 m wide at the base and 40 m at the top.
The Egyptians knew the beneficial effects of building a dam very quickly, because the droughts that hit the country would cause a terrible hunger, but thanks to the water accumulated in Lake Nasser, it was possible to prevent the defeat.
Also electricity produced by the dam’s hydroelectric power plant supplies households and production plants all around.
Afternoon flight to Cairo. On site – hotel accommodation and overnight stay there.
The last hours in Egypt are ahead of us and we will spend this time exploring Cairo, one of the largest Islamic cities in the world. The bustling capital of Egypt today began as a Roman fort at the beginning of our era.
As years passed, the military settlement began to expand and a proper city arose. In 970 CE the Al-Azhar mosque was built, and shortly thereafter the university opened, which quickly became famous as one of the most renowned Muslim theological colleges in the world – with that Cairo has become a center of science and philosophy.
The construction of the first railway line and the Suez Canal, which was to facilitate contact with Europe, contributed to the further development of the city.
The rulers of Egypt, who built Cairo, entrusted the work of French architects, which you can still see the fruits of their work. This is because the part of the city designed by the French is characterized by wide avenues, open spaces and lots of greenery.
The old districts have a completely different character, because you can see dense buildings with crowded alleys that often end with dead ends. There will be an opportunity to buy souvenirs for those willing. If possible, we will also try to see Cairo from the perspective of local residents. Late evening transfer to Cairo airport, customs and flight to Chicago.
Landing in Chicago, goodbyes to the group.
Pokaż cały plan wycieczki10 dni
Firma nie ponosi odpowiedzialności za stracone mienie klienta w wyniku włamania, kradzieży, zgubienia itp. nie ponosimy również odpowiedzialności za straty klienta w motelach. Firma Rek Travel zastrzega sobie prawo do zmiany programu, dyktowanych okolicznościami niezależnymi od niej. Klient zobowiązany jest do przestrzegania regulaminu wycieczki. Uczestnicy wycieczki ubezpieczeni są zgodnie z wymogami amerykańskiego Departamentu Transportu na łączną kwotę $5000.000 (polisa do wglądu na życzenie klienta). Za dodatkową opłatą uczestnicy mogą ubezpieczyć się na wypadek leczenia szpitalnego i ambulatoryjnego schorzeń nabytych w trakcie wycieczki oraz nieszczęśliwych wypadków w obiektach zwiedzanych (wszelkie informacje w biurze).