We begin our journey in the vibrant capital city of Cairo. Steeped in history and culture, this triumphant city is the largest in both Africa and the Middle East. Placed at the heart of the Nile Delta, Cairo has been a touchstone for many influential civilizations over the past four thousand years. In addition to medtitating at the Great Pyramids of Giza and the world famous Sphynx just outside the city, we will experience the ancient temples, tombs, churches, museums and monuments within. Cairo is home to one of the oldest synagogues in the world and, it is said, that Jesus and Mary worshiped there when they were in Egypt. We also will visit the famous Khan el-Khalili souk. This traditional bazaar is among the largest and most vibrant in Africa.
We will explore Egypt as it has been navigated throughout history, sailing atop the glimmering green Nile. Our three night cruise will embark from the lovely island of Aswan. We will traverse the beautiful and sacred sites at Aswan including the Philae Temple dedicated to Isis, the High Dam and the Unfinished Obelisk. Once on board we will dine on tasty local gourmet fare and relax with afternoon tea while we float down the majestic river.
After a peaceful night followed by David's daily offering of morning meditation and breakfast we will dock to visit the Kom-Ombo Temple honoring the crocodile god Sobek and the god of light, Haroeris. Our journey continues as we sail to the grand Edfu Temple. Dating to the Ptolemaic period this splendid structure combines Pharaonic and Greek architecture to pay tribute to the god Hours, represented as a falcon.
Following afternoon tea and dinner there will be a special Galabya party in which we are invited to wear the traditional garments of the region. We sail over night to Luxor where, after meditation and breakfast, we have the full day to explore the area's countless sacred wonders.
Luxor, an area so rich with ruins, tombs and monuments, has earned the title of "the world's largest open air museum." A tourist destination since Greco-Roman times this site is comprised of the city of Luxor, the town of Karnac and Ancient Thebes. We will take in the Luxor Temple complex and the Temple of Karnak, a beautifully perserved city of temples built over 2,000 years. Across the Nile in Thebes we will visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut who was the longest ruling female pharoah of ancient Egypt, the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. The Valley of the Kings contains over 60 royal tombs including the tomb of Tutankhamun. In the Valley of the Queens are the tombs of the wives and children of Pharoahs such as the beautiful Nefertari. Luxor contains a wealth of sacred and deep sites perfect for meditation and reflection.
Our cruise concludes as we spend a final night on the Nile, the river that has been the heartbeat Egypt for over 5,000 years.
On our Journey we will visit St. Catherine's Monastery. Built around what is believed to be Moses' burning bush this site is sacred in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Supposedly, after her death angels miraculously transported St. Catherine's body here. Claiming to be the oldest working Christian Monastery in the world St. Catherine's hosts not only priceless works of art from a myriad of cultures but also the world's second largest collection of illuminated manuscripts, outnumbered only by the Vatican. Surrounded by cypresses and gardens the original entrance to citadel was thirty feet high with people and provisions being lifted by a pulley system. In addition to the Chapel of the Burning Bush the walls of the monastery house a Fatimid mosque. The mosque, however, has never been used because it is not correctly positioned towards Mecca. Set at the foot of Mount Sinai, where Moses is reputed to have received the Ten Commandments, St. Catherine's Monastery has been one of the world's eminent centers of religious pilgrimage for over fifteen centuries.
We will stay overnight in Alexandria, the second largest city in Egypt. Planted on a ridge separating Lake Maryob from the Mediterranean Sea this bustling city is the country's largest seaport. The maritime setting supports an atmosphere that is as much Mediterranean as Middle Eastern. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC Alexandria was the capital of Greco-Roman Egypt. This ancient city's cultural and historical impact is symbolized by the famous lighthouse Pharos. This Legendary beacon is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. With generations of immigrants flocking here Alexandria has evolved into a cultural epicenter known as "The Pearl of the Mediterranean."
Our journey to Egypt is much more than antiquities and temples. It is a caravan to the spirit of a land rich with heart and history, soul and mystery. Whether we are traversing the great pyramids, drifting down the majestic Nile or praying at the homes of local Sufis, we are always immersed in the deep and gracious character of this sacred land.
Sleep in Cairo
|St. Catherine's||St. Catherine's||Alexandria||Alexandria||Cairo||Depart Cairo for home or Petra|
|Petra||Sleep in Cairo or take night flight home||Depart Cairo for home|
*(based on current exchange rate) which includes all room, meals, transportation, entry fees and guides. International airfare from your home country to Egypt is not included.