October 28 – November 3, 2024
Hosted by Scott Palmer
4 Day Egypt Pre-Tour Includes
Depart home for Egypt to begin our pre-tour! Our adventure begins as we depart from home and head to Cairo, Egypt.
Arrival at Cairo International Airport. We fill out an Egyptian Entry Card and meet at the visa and customs procedures. Transfer to our hotel, and check-in for dinner and overnight.
Breakfast and relaxation, followed by the start tour our Egypt Pre-Tour. First, travel to ancient Egypt with a half day of touring the wonders of the ancient world. Some of these Egyptian wonders even date back to 1000+ years before Abraham. After the pyramids, we stop by a papyrus factory. Here, we witness firsthand a blast from the past, as we learn about, as well as see papyrus being made.
During this exploration of our Egypt Pre-Tour, we spend time at one of the seven wonders of the world, The Pyramids of Giza. Cheops, with an original height of 496 feet, is the most colossal pyramid ever built. You have the opportunity to go inside both Khufu (the largest pyramid) and Khafre (the second largest pyramid). Of course no visit to an ancient pyramid would be complete without a camel ride!
Monumentally, this tomb was constructed for the pharaohs. Additionally, the pyramids were designed to safeguard their earthly possessions, as well as ensure a smooth transition into the afterlife. The sheer mathematical and engineering prowess required for their construction remains one of the world’s most ancient mysteries. Plus, it stands as a testament to the advanced knowledge, in addition to organizational skills of the ancient Egyptian society.
Theories abound about the methods of construction, ranging from the use of ramps to intricate mathematical calculations guiding the layout. The precision with which the pyramids align with celestial bodies adds an additional layer of mystery to their purpose.
To continue our Egypt pre-tour, breakfast and then travel to the Egyptian Museum. Following, we visit the Sakkara Pyramid and tomb of Unas. Additionally, we see Memphis; the old city of Menes. Traditionally, Abraham and Sarah tricked Pharaoh here by claiming to be siblings. Also, this is the city where Joseph of Egypt would have served as second in command to Pharaoh. Before returning to the hotel, we stop to see how Egyptian carpets are crafted. Finally, dinner and overnight in Cairo.
The Cairo Museum is undergoing renovations in preparation for the Grand Egyptian Museum, set to become one of the largest archaeological museums globally. This new museum, located near the Giza Pyramids, will house an even more extensive collection and offer a modern, immersive experience for visitors.
This day on our Egypt Pre-Tour is jam packed with activities. Breakfast to start the day, followed by a visit to Old Cairo and the hanging church. Traditionally, this christian church in Old Cairo, commemorates the flight into Egypt by Mary, Joseph, and little Jesus. After our visit, we transfer to the airport for our 55 minute flight to Luxor. Upon arrival, we cross to the west bank. Visiting, of course, the Valley of the Kings, the temple of Hatshepsut, and the colossi of Memnon. After which, we check into our hotel in Luxor. Later, we visit the wonderful temple of Luxor while illuminated in the evening. At the hotel, we eat dinner and overnight.
While many tombs are associated with pharaohs, some belong to royal family members and other high-ranking officials. Famously, this valley houses the tombs of several pharaohs, such as Ramses II, Tutankhamun, and Seti I. Primarily, this area was chosen for its secluded location, believed to provide better protection against looting by tomb robbers. As part of our Egypt Pre-Tour, we have the opportunity to view the inside of a few of these wonderful tombs.
Hatshepsut is the female pharaoh of 15th century BCE ancient Egypt. As a way to legitimize her rule and keep others from erasing her face in history, she embarked on a great architectural journey. Her mortuary temple was designed for her worship, as well as the worship of the sun god, Amun-Ra. As her reign is marked by significant building projects, this mortuary temple is one of the most iconic. it symbolizes her unprecedented rise to power as a female pharaoh.
Famous for the “singing” or “whistling” sounds they occasionally produce, these twin statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III make up the Colossi of Memnon. Situated on the west bank of the Nile near Luxor and originally built in 1350 BCE. Meant to be part of the mortuary temple complex of AmenhotepII, known as the “Temple of Millions of Years.” Ironically, this vast complex which once stood along the Nil has but disappeared over time.
The statues are symbolic representations of the pharaoh’s grandeur, as well as divine power. Originally, they flanked the entrance of the mortuary temple. Each colossus stands about 60 feet tall, and impressively, are carved from a single block of quartzite sandstone. Depicting Amenhotep III seated on a throne, therefore presenting a powerful and imposing image.
As the only temple available for visiting in the evening, we take advantage of this opportunity to see it all lit up. Adding to its stunning complex, and overall atmosphere. Originally, this structure was constructed by Amenhotep III in 1392 BCE. Later, this complex was expanded by Tutankhamun, Ramses II, and other pharaohs. Traditionally, it served as a focal point of the annual Opet Festival, celebrating the rejuvenation of the pharaoh’s divine power.
Dedicated to the Theban Triad —Amun, his wife Mut, and their son Khonsu — it was believed to be the dwelling place of the divine during certain festivals. The temple is also strategically linked with the Karnak Temple via the Avenue of Sphinxes. The temple boasts impressive structures, including the massive First Pylon, the Colonnade of Amenhotep III with its elegant columns, and the Great Court. Notable additions include the obelisks — one of which now stands in the Place de la Concorde in Paris — and the Mosque of Abu al-Haggag. Overall, representing the temple’s adaptations through different historical periods.
Our Egypt Pre-Tour continues. As a special treat, today we visit the temples in Dendera, as well as Karnak temple. These sites are extraordinary in preservation of colors, as well as architecture among the sites of our Egypt Pre-Tour. Especially important, is the connections we can make between the Egyptian understanding of our modern day temples and ceremonies.
Renowned for its unique astronomical features. Above all, it is known for housing the famous Dendera Zodiac. Of which, is a depiction of the night sky with constellations, signs of the zodiac, and various astronomical symbols. This famous symbol can be seen on the ceiling of the inner hypostyle hall of the temple. Additionally, this intricate carving has sparked discussions and theories about ancient Egyptian astronomical knowledge. As well as the influence that knowledge may have had on design amongst their temples.
Moreover, the Mammisi at Dendera is a noteworthy structure. Mammisi, meaning “birth house,” is associated with the divine birth o the temple’s principal deity, Hathor. It often contains scenes depicting the divine birth of the pharaoh, emphasizing their divine lineage. In addition to these features, the temple at Dendera is known for its preservation. According to some, it is the best-preserved temple in Egypt. Along with its rich iconography, it makes a significant archaeological and historical site.
This ancient Egyptian site is a collection of multiple temples, however the most famous of which is the Temple of Seti I. Seti I initieated the project and his son, Ramses II completed it. The temple is dedicated to the god of the afterlife, Osiris. Also, it serves as a memorial for Seti I and a place of worship for Osiris.
The temple is renowned for its religious and funerary significance, hosting the Osireion. A particularly intriguing aspect, the Osireion at Abydos structure hosts a connection between the pharaohs and Osiris. This subterranean structure is still a subject of debate, especially about its purpose. Additionally, theories propose that it served as a symbolic tomb for Osiris or a cenotaph for Seti I.
Another notable feature of Abydos is the King List. Carved on the walls of the temple, it lists the names of many pharaohs from the earliest dynasties to the time of Seti I. This king list provides valuable historical and chronological information about the early rulers of ancient Egypt. Additionally, the temple of Abydos is known for its royal tombs, including where pharaohs and high-ranking officials are buried. Overall, it continues to be a crucial archaeological site, shedding light on the beliefs, rituals, and royal egacy of ancient Egypt.
Arguably, Karnak Temple is one of the most important religious sites in ancient Egypt. Now, the temple serves as a vast open-air museum with several notable features. The Great Hypostyle Hall houses 134 massive columns, and as a result is one of Karnak’s most remarkable features. Each column is beautifully, as well as intricately decorated with hieroglyphics and reliefs. Impressively, Karnak boasts numerous obelisks, including the famous obelisk of Hatshepsut. Additionally, the complex houses an impressive array of statues depicting pharaohs and various deities.
In continuation of Karnak’s many remarkable features, the complex includes a large artificial lake. Traditionally, the lake is believed to had religious and symbolic significance. Possibly, it may have been used in purification ceremonies and rituals. As mentioned in Luxor, the Avenue of Sphinxes is a large processional avenue lined with sphinx statues. This avenue connects the temple at Luxor with that at Karnak, creating a ceremonial route for religious festivals.
We are excited to explore each of these marvelous sacred mysteries as a group. Karnak Temple is not only a testament to ancient Egyptian architectural prowess, but also provides invaluable insights into the religious and political history of Egypt.
Dinner and Overnight in Luxor.
Our Egypt Pre-Tour ends with breakfast and then transfer to the Luxor airport. However, now we transfer to the start of our tour to Israel. Our flight to Tel Aviv from Luxor, connecting in Cairo. Once in Israel, we meet up with the rest of the Traditions of Christ in Israel tour group.
More information about the Traditions of Christ in Israel tour can be found here.
Payment Terms: $300 pp deposit at time of booking. Final payment due 90 days before departure.
** this tour is based on a minimum of 20 passengers and a maximum of 40 passengers
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