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|DAY 1: Tue - Arrival to Cairo
Arrival in the Land of the Pharaohs, at Cairo International airport, Right Travel Representative will be waiting for you after you get your luggage and clear customs and will be holding the Right Travel Green sign, then escorted to your hotel. Evening, you may choose our optional ancient Egypt tour (Sound & Light Show in Cairo - C32 - $40 P.P). Inaugurated in April of 1961, with the narrative voice of the late Richard Burton, magnificent sound and lighting effects, the show begins with the narrative of the Sphinx, who has been the guardian of the city of the dead for five thousand years. Overseeing the building of the three pyramids, the Sphinx reflects on the historical contributions of Thutmosis IV, Akhnaten, Nefertiti and Tutankhamon.
|DAY 2: Wed - Cairo, Egyptian Museum, Citadel, Old Cairo, Khan El Khalili
Start your Egypt travel tour with a guided tour of the Egyptian Museum to see the ancient Egypt monuments. You`ll stroll through the halls highlighting each historical period of this ancient land, Marvel at the glittering treasures of King Tutankhamen, unparalleled in their variety, exquisite beauty, and sheer weight in gold. Seeing this treasure of more than 1,700 fabulous items buried with a young and relatively unimportant king, who can even imagine what the tombs of great and long-lived pharaohs must have contained? You may want to enter the Royal Mummies room for an additional fee and view the "sleeping" Kings of ancient Egypt.
After lunch, drive to the Citadel of Mohamed Ali, also known as the Fortress of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi), built in 1183 and overlooking the city from the Muqattam Hills. The structure, with its domes and minarets, looks over a number of important buildings, including the Alabaster Mosque. Its domed interior, used by Moslems for daily prayers, is a spectacular sight of twinkling lights and beautiful mosaics.
Proceed to Old Cairo explore some of the early religious monuments of the city. You`ll visit the El Muallaqa, dating to the late fourth and early fifth century. This basilica was named for its location on top of the south gate of the Fortress of Babylon. Muallaqa means "suspended or hanging." Destroyed in a ninth-century earthquake, the church became the center of the Coptic (or Christian) Church of Egypt from the time it was rebuilt in the eleventh century until the 14th century. Make a stop at the Ben Ezra Synagogue, built sometime between the sixth and ninth centuries AD. The temple contains a Jewish Heritage Library, containing documents found here in 1896 that describe the economic and social conditions of Jews under Arab rule as well as descriptions of relations between various Jewish sects.
End the day with a walking tour of the largest 13th century covered oriental market, the largest traditional shopping bazaar in the world, the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar. In the tiny alleyways, there are hundreds of shops where you can watch gold and coppersmiths, brass makers, and fortunetellers at work. Look also for leather goods and woodwork inlaid with camel bone and mother-of-pearl. Bargaining, Arab-style, is the norm here, and practiced as a national pastime.
Evening, optional (Egyptian Family Dinner $32 P.P). you`ll get acquainted with Egyptian life as you enjoy a visit with a local family in their home, as they share their evening meal with you. This is wonderful opportunity to experience the everyday life and hospitality of typical Egyptians. ( B, L )
|DAY 3: Thu - Cairo Pyramids, Sphinx, Memphis & Sakkara
Drive to the Giza Plateau, home of Cairo Egypts signature attractions, the Great Egypt Pyramids, proclaimed by the Greeks to be among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. The largest among these is the Great Pyramid of Cheops, probably built more than 2,600 years before the time of Christ. Standing 480 feet tall this is the last of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world that still standing. Little is known of Cheops, you`ll also see the inscrutable and mysterious Sphinx, known in Arabic as Abu al-Hol ("the Father of Terror") and carved almost entirely from one piece of limestone.
After lunch, continue the ancient Egypt tour to Memphis & Sakkara. Memphis, founded around 3,100 BC, is the legendary city of Menes, the King who united Upper and Lower Egypt. Early on, Memphis was more likely a fortress from which Menes controlled the land and water routes between Upper Egypt and the Delta. Having probably originated in Upper Egypt, from Memphis he could control the conquered people of Lower Egypt. However, by the Third Dynasty, the building at Saqqara suggests that Memphis had become a sizable city. Proceed to Sakkara site, Sakkara is one section of the great necropolis of Memphis, the Old Kingdom capital and the kings of the 1st Dynasty as well as that of the 2nd Dynasty. are mostly buried in this section of the Memphis necropolis. It has been of constant interest to Egyptologists. Three major discoveries have recently been made at Sakkara, including a prime ministers tomb, a queens pyramid, and the tomb of the son of a dynasty-founding king. Each discovery has a fascinating story, with many adventures for the archaeologists as they revealed the secrets of the past. Evening transfer to Giza Rail Station to board your overnight sleeper Train to Aswan, dinner will be served on board. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 4: Fri - Arrive to Aswan, High Dam, Philae Temple, Unfinished Obelisk
Breakfast on the Train, upon arrival to Aswan Egypt Rail station, you will be escorted to your luxury cruise ship where you will spend the next 3 nights / 4 days relaxing and enjoy the sailing from Aswan to Luxor.
After Lunch, visit the Aswan Egypt High Dam, located near Aswan, the world famous High Dam was an engineering miracle when it was built in the 1960s. It contains 18 times the material used in the Great Pyramid of Cheops. The Dam is 11,811 feet long, 3215 feet thick at the base and 364 feet tall. Today it provides irrigation and electricity for the whole of Egypt and, together with the old Aswan Dam built by the British between 1898 and 1902`, 6km down river, wonderful views for visitors. From the top of the two Mile long High Dam you can gaze across Lake Nassar, the huge reservoir created when it was built, to Kalabsha temple in the south and the huge power station to the north
Continue to the Granite Quarries with the Unfinished Obelisk. Much of the red granite used for ancient temples and colossi came from quarries in the Aswan area. Around these quarries are many inscriptions, many of which describe successful quarrying projects. The Unfinished Obelisk located in the Northern Quarry still lies where a crack was discovered as it was being hewn from the rock. Possibly intended as a companion to the Lateran Obelisk, originally at Karnak but now in Rome, it would have weighed over 2.3 million pounds and would have been the worlds largest piece of stone ever handled. However, a crack in the stone occurred, which caused it to be abandoned. Tools left by its builders have given us much insight into how such work was performed. The site has recently been renovated and equipped with tourist facilities.
Our last visit today will be to the Temple of Philae, was dismantled and reassembled (on Agilika Island about 550 meters from its original home on Philae Island) in the wake of the High Dam. The temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis, is in a beautiful setting which has been landscaped to match its original site. It`s various shrines and sanctuaries, which include The Vestibule of Nectanebos I which is used as the entrance to the island, the Temple of the Emperor Hadrian, a Temple of Hathor, Trajan`s Kiosk (Pharaohs Bed), a birth house and two pylons celebrate all the deities involved in the Isis and Osiris myth. The Victorian world fell in love with the romance of the Temple. But at night you May choose our optional tour ($45 P.P) to visit the Sound and Light Show at Philae Temple, a magical experience. Overnight in Aswan. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 5: Sat - Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Luxor
Early Sail to Kom Ombo and visit Kom Ombo Temple (the Ptolemaic Temple of Sobek & Haroeries). Located in the town of Kom-Ombo, about 28 miles north of Aswan, the Temple, dating to the Ptolemies, is built on a high dune overlooking the Nile. The actual temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor in the early second century BC. Ptolemy XIII built the outer and inner hypostyle halls. The outer enclosure wall and part of the court were built by Augustus sometime after 30 BC, and are mostly gone. There are also tombs from the Old Kingdom in the vicinity of Kom-Ombo village.
Sail to Edfu & Visit Edfu Temple. Dedicated to Horus, the falcon headed god, it was built during the reigns of six Ptolemies. We have a great deal of information about its construction from reliefs on outer areas. It was begun in 237 BC by Ptolemy III Euergetes I and was finished in 57 BC. Most of the work continued throughout this period with a brief interlude of 20 years while there was unrest during the period of Ptolemy IV and Ptolemy V Epiphanes. This is not only the best preserved ancient temple in Egypt, but the second largest after Karnak. It was believed that the temple was built on the site of the great battle between Horus and Seth. Hence, the current temple was but the last in a long series of temples build on this location. Sail to Luxor Egypt and overnight in Luxor. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 6: Sun - Luxor West & East Bank Tour, Optional Sound & Light Show
Visit the West Bank necropolis including the Valley of the Kings, with its many tombs chiseled deep into the Cliffside. From the 18th to the 20th Dynasty, the Memphis area and pyramid-style tombs were abandoned in favor of the West Bank of the Nile in Thebes. Several great leaders as well as many less important rulers are buried here, and more tombs are being discovered even today. This is where Howard Carter discovered the treasures of Tutankhamen and was struck "dumb with amazement" when he beheld its "wonderful things" in 1922.
Proceed to the funerary temple of Queen Hatshipsut at Deir El Bahari. The mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut is one of the most dramatically situated in the world. The queen`s architect, Senenmut, designed it and set it at the head of a valley overshadowed by the Peak of the Thebes, the "Lover of Silence," where lived the goddess who presided over the necropolis.
Last stop for our morning tour will be at the Colossi of Memnon. Amenhotep III (18th Dynasty) built a mortuary temple in Thebes that was guarded by two gigantic statues on the outer gates. All that remains now are the 23 meter (75 ft) high, one thousand ton statues of Amenhotep III. Though damaged by nature and ancient tourists, the statues are still impressive.
Back to the cruise for lunch, afternoon proceed to your East bank visit of Luxor, visit Karnak Temple. In ancient Egypt, the power of the god Amun of Thebes gradually increased during the early New Kingdom, and after the short persecution led by Akhenaten, it rose to its apex. In the reign of Ramesses III, more than two thirds of the property owned by the temples belonged to Amun, evidenced by the stupendous buildings at Karnak. Although badly ruined, no site in Egypt is more impressive than Karnak. It is the largest temple complex ever built by man, and represents the combined achievement of many generations of ancient builders. The Temple of Karnak is actually three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples located about three kilometers north of Luxor, Egypt situated on 100 ha (247 acres) of land. Karnak is actually the sites modern name. Its ancient name was Ipet-isut, meaning "The Most Select (or Sacred) of Places". This vast complex was built and enlarged over a thirteen hundred year period. The three main temples of Mut, Montu and Amun are enclosed by enormous brick walls.
Continue to visit the Temple of Luxor, built by the two pharaohs, Amenhotep III and Ramses II. Ancient Thebes was a center of festivals, and the Temple of Luxor was the setting for the most important-the festival of Opet, designed to merge the ruler`s human and divine aspects. The temple was dedicated to Amun-Ra, whose marriage to Mut was celebrated annually, when the sacred procession moved by boat from Karnak to Luxor Temple.
Evening, you may add the optional (Sound & Light Show L14 - $40 P.P). Inaugurated in 1972 the Sound and Light Show in the Temple of Karnak in Luxor begins with a historical introduction covering the birth of the great city of Thebes and the construction of the Temple. Depicting the glorious achievement of the Pharaohs, spectators listen to the lyrical and poetic descriptions of artistic treasures, grand festivals, heroic deeds and literature of the times. Overnight in Luxor Egypt. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 7: Mon - Luxor, Cairo, Istanbul
Breakfast and check out from your Nile cruise, transfer to Luxor airport for your flight to Cairo, to connect with your flight to travel to turkey, arrival and transfer to your hotel in Istanbul for overnight. ( B )
|DAY 8: Tue - Istanbul City Tour
Full day Istanbul city tour to discover turkey culture including Hipodrome, The Hippodrome of Constantinople (Turkish: Sultanahmet Meydan, At Meydan) was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydan (Sultan Ahmet Square) in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with only a few fragments of the original structure surviving. It is sometimes also called Atmeydan (Horse Square) in Turkish.
Continue to the Blue Mosque, was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I when he was only 19 years old. It was built near the Hagia Sophia, over the site of the ancient hippodrome and Byzantine imperial palace (whose mosaics can be seen in the nearby Mosaic Museum). Construction work began in 1609 and took seven years. One of the most notable features of the Blue Mosque is visible from far away: its six minarets. This is very unique, as most mosques have four, two, or just one minaret. Inside, the high ceiling is lined with the 20,000 blue tiles that give the mosque its popular name. Fine examples of 16th-century Iznik design, the oldest tiles feature flowers, trees and abstract patterns. The overall effect is one of the most beautiful sights in Istanbul.
Continue to Topkapi Palace, was home to all the Ottoman sultans until the reign of Abdulmecid I (1839-1860), a period of nearly four centuries. The order for the construction of the Topkapi Palace on the Seraglio Point overlooking both Marmara and Bosphorus was given by Mehmed II after the conquest of Constantinapolis in 1453. The place was then an ancient olive grove. The final form of the first palace covered an area 700m, and was enclosed with fortified walls 1400 meters in length. The walls were pierced by a number of gates, namely the Otluk gate, the Demir gate and the Imperial gate (Bab-i Humayun), and a number of minor angled gates between them. After the reign of Mehmed II the Conqueror, the palace grew steadily to form a city like complex of buildings and annexes, including a shore palace known as the Topkapi shore palace, as it was situated near the cannon gate -Topkapi- of the ancient walls of Istanbul.
Stop for Lunch in a good local restaurant. Afternoon Continue to Hagia Sophia with its classical basilica plan. The main ground plan of the building is a rectangle, 230 feet (70 m) in width and 246 feet (75 m) in length. The area is covered by a central dome with a diameter of 102 feet (31 m), which is just slightly smaller than that of the Pantheon in Rome. The most famous of the Hagia Sophia`s mosaics are on the upper floor, in the galleries. The South Gallery, where the great mosaics are, was used for church councils. When the Hagia Sophia was a mosque, the galleries were the place where women sat during worship services. Today, the galleries provide visitors with a commanding view of the nave from all sides and a close up view of some of the best Byzantine mosaics to be seen anywhere.
Final 2 stops for the day will be at the Grand Bazaar and with Turkish Handmade Rug store which is recommended by the Turkish Government). The Grand Bazaar is Turkey`s largest covered market offering excellent shopping: beautiful Turkish carpets, glazed tiles and pottery, copper and brassware, apparel made of leather, cotton and wool, meerschaum pipes, alabaster bookends and ashtrays, and all sorts of other things. ( B, L )
|DAY 9: Wed - Full Day Istanbul City Tour with Cruise
Full day Istanbul Turkey city tour including Spice Market, built 1664 is filled with the fragrance of the exotic East. Spices, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, lokum (Turkish Delight) and other edibles fill most of the shops, though jewelry and other high-margin goods have begun to move in. The narrow bazaar street running west from the market building, is particularly colorful, with lots more shops selling spices, snacks and house wares.
Getting on a ferry cruise up the Bosphorus. Lunch will be served in a local restaurant. Afternoon Passing thorough the Asian Side of Istanbul from the suspension bridge and visiting Beylerbeyi Palace, is located in the Beylerbeyi neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey at the Asian side of the Bosphorus. An Imperial Ottoman summer residence built in the 1860s, it is now situated immediately north of the 1973 Bosphorus Bridge.
Also we will stop at the Camlica Hill. The great Camlica Hill stands about four kilometers east of Uskudar and can be reached by car. It is the taller of the twin peaks of Mount Bulgurlu, the highest point in the vicinity of Istanbul, 267 meters above sea level. It has a small teahouse in the midst of the pine grove which gives the peak its name. Last stop will be at Leatherware store or handmade tile store before we return to hotel. ( B, L )
|DAY 10: Thu - Departure
Check out and transfer to Istanbul airport for your flight. ( B )
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