HORIZONS OF ETERNITY (REVISED)
This tour draws close, and due to news from the UK Foreign Office advising against all but essential travel to the Faiyum region, we have had to make changes from the original itinerary. We will now not visit the Faiyum but will instead spend two nights at the Cecil Hotel in Alexandra while visiting local sites. We have also included a day trip to the rarely visited sites of Bubastis and Tanis.
Day 1 – Sunday 27th September 2015
Fly London to Cairo with EgyptAir and on arrival we take our private transfer and check in to the first-class Movenpick Hotel at Giza for four nights on room and breakfast basis.
Day 2 – The Giza Plateau
Our first day begins with the short ride to the Giza Plateau to explore the Pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure as well as the satellite pyramids, mortuary temples and causeways before we head to the Mortuary Temple of Khafre and the Sphinx. For those who wish, there will be time to enter a pyramid and the Solar Boat Museum to view the boat of Khufu. After our in-depth tour we return to the hotel at lunchtime. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the hotel amenities. (B)
Day 3 – Sakkara
Today we meet up with our four-wheel drive vehicles and driving team then head to South Sakkara. We have an AWT special permit to visit this site where we will explore the vast and unique mastaba of King Shepseskaf of the Fourth Dynasty and the kings’ pyramids of the late Fifth and Sixth Dynasties. These include that of Pepy II, last king of the Old Kingdom and Pepi I. We have arranged to meet with Philippe Collombert of the French Archaeological Mission at Sakkara who have been working at the site for many years. Philippe has agreed to guide us round the project site and show us all new discoveries. If you were at the AWT conference in June 2013 you will remember his fascinating talk on this very subject. We will then drive to Abu Sir with its pyramid complexes of the Fifth Dynasty before continuing to the Sakkara Palm Club for lunch. After a rest we head to North Sakkara where we visit the Imhotep Museum before exploring the Step Pyramid Enclosure. Here we find not only the Pyramid of Djoser but also Old Kingdom Pyramids with Pyramid Texts and mastaba tombs with fine reliefs. We also include tickets for entry to the Serapeum, the galleries of the tombs of the ‘Apis Bulls’. (BL)
Day 4 - Tanis and Bubastis
Once again we board our 4WD and head into the Eastern Delta and our first stop 'Bubastis of the Cats'. This site was a cult centre for the worship of the goddess Bastet and a capital for the pharaohs of the 22nd 'Bubastite' Dynasty. Next, to Tanis, a vast site with huge enclosure walls dating from the 21st Dynasty and once the northern capital of Egypt. Our drivers will prepare a picnic lunch and we have plenty of time to visit the tombs and wander through the mass of inscribed and decorated blocks, fallen columns and statues. We say goodbye to our driving team on our return to Cairo.(BL)
Day 5 – To Alexandria
This morning we make take the road to Egypt's lovely coastal city of Alexandra. On arrival we check in to the Cecil Hotel 'the' address in Alex, for two nights on half board accommodation. Once refreshed we will leave for the Bibliotheca Alexandria where we have arranged a tour of this impressive building. Later we can take a walk to Qaitbay Fort or stroll along the Mediterranean Corniche. We have dinner at the hotel. (BD)
Day 6 – Ancient Alexandria
Today we take a look at Pharaonic Alexandria and during the course of the day we will visit several sites. We will begin with the Museum of Archaeology which has fine exhibits from the area. We visit the Catacombs of Kom el Shuqafa , the 'hill of treasures' discovered in 1900 and dating from the 2nd century AD. The Roman Theatre at Kom El Dikka once seated 600 spectators and we will view recent excavations in the area. We explore the Serapeum, Pompey's Pillar and the ruined Temple of Serapis. We also plan to visit the Royal Jewellery Museum housed in a former palace with its displays of decorative art and jewels of the Mohamed Ali Dynasty. We return to our hotel for dinner. (BD)
Day 7 – Return to Cairo
After breakfast we say goodbye to Alex and return to Cairo and the Movenpick Hotel at Giza for our last night in the city. After a lunch break we head to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. After a guided tour we have plenty of time to search out personal favourites and revisit the most famous collections such as Tutankhamun and the Tanis Treasures. There is an optional ticket available for those who wish to enter the Mummy Room. (B)
Day 8 – Sunday 4th October 2015
We take our private transfer to Cairo Airport and fly Cairo to London arriving early afternoon. (B)
Or take the internal flight to Luxor to join the ‘LUXOR WITH KENT WEEKS’ tour starting on 5th October.
If you take this option we transfer you to the Old Winter Palace, Garden Pavilion Wing, on Sunday afternoon.
On arrival you will be shown to your room and will have one extra night on room and breakfast basis before you join the tour. As the group arrive late on Monday evening you will have a whole day to relax in Luxor ahead of the start of the tour.
B=Breakfast – L=Lunch – D=Dinner