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    EGYPT: From Alexandria to Abu Simbel

    With Karen Hendrix I 13 January – 07 February 2018

    ALUMNI TRAVEL I 1300 799 887 I (02) 9290 3856

  • EGYPT with Karen Hendrix I TOUR OVERVIEW

    YOUR TOUR LEADER: Karen Hendrix graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours - thesis was on Predynastic Egypt) majoring in Middle Eastern Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in 2003. Early on in her career she studied Predynastic Egyptology at the University of California at Berkeley. Karen has travelled extensively in the Middle East, excavating in Egypt, Syria and Jordan on numerous occasions over the last 25 years. She has been an excavator and the volunteer co-ordinator of the Jordanian Pella Excavation Project for the last 20 years. Karen also works for the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation at the University of Sydney.

    This is one of the most comprehensive tours of Egypt that you will be able to find. It encompasses not only the great monuments of the ancient Egyptian world such as the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, the glories of Upper Egypt including the Temple of Karnak and the Valleys of the Kings and Queens with their many tombs and lesser known funerary temples, but it also includes visits to the city of Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great, and brought to glory by the Ptolemies on the Mediterranean coast near the mouth of the Nile Delta, and the evocative Siwa Oasis where Alexander may have first felt his connection with the divine. The tour also takes you off the beaten track to the less well visited Middle Kingdom sites in the Faiyum all the way down to Beni Hasan and Tuna el-Gebel before we make a very special trip to Tell el-Amarna, the ancient sun city of Akhenaten. Here we are treated to a personalized tour of the site by Professor Barry Kemp, one of Egyptology’s leading scholars and the Director of excavations at Amarna for more than 30 years. Another special feature of the tour is a 5-day cruise down the Nile with visits to a number of Ptolemaic temples, Aswan and Abu Simbel. Travellers will also have a chance to explore the colour and bustle of Islamic Cairo with its medieval mosques, quaint museums and maze-like Khan el-Khalili Bazaar. I 1300 799 887 I (02) 9290 3856

  • EGYPT with Karen Hendrix I TOUR ITINERARY

    SAT 13 JAN ARRIVE CAIRO Arrive into Cairo, where we will be met and transferred to the group hotel. Welcome dinner tonight. (Meals in flight, L,D) SUN 14 JAN CAIRO Today we visit the National Museum in Cairo, an amazing collection of Egyptian antiquities from all periods, often presented in not the most desirable way but always astounding. Imagine seeing the familiar pieces of treasure from Tutankhamun’s tomb laid out before your eyes! Your tour includes special access to the royal mummies room. After lunch the afternoon is free until early evening when we enjoy a group dinner. (B,L,D) MON 15 JAN CAIRO This morning we travel to Giza to see the spectacular pyramids of Khufu, Khaefre and Menkaure (get an inside view if you wish!) and their associated monuments, including the sphinx and solar boat museum. After a full visit to the Giza Plateau, we then visit two Coptic Christian churches (St Sergius and The Hanging Church) and the Coptic Museum in ‘Old Cairo’. (B,L,D) TUE 16 JAN CAIRO Today we visit the first ancient capital of Egypt, Memphis, followed by a visit to Saqqara where we will study the development of pyramid architecture. We will see the beautifully curated Imhotep Museum, the Step Pyramid of Djoser and the pyramid complexes of Kings Unas and Teti. Following this we will visit the nearby site of Dahshur; home to the famous Red and Bent Pyramids. (B,L,D) WED 17 JAN CAIRO - ALEXANDRIA Today we travel the well-made road to Alexandria, the fabulous city founded by Alexander the Great on the Mediterranean coast, with its sweeping crescent-shaped Corniche. After lunch we have a city sights tour including the Qait Bay Fort (built on the site of the Lighthouse of Pharos), the Roman amphitheatre and the catacombs. (B,L,D) THU 18 JAN ALEXANDRIA This morning we visit the new UNESCO Library of Alexandria including its many museums. Afternoon at leisure - perhaps make a visit to Pompey’s pillar, the stunning Royal Jewellery Museum or potter around the markets and enjoy an ahwa (coffee house) like a true Egyptian local. (B,L,D)

    FRI 19 JAN ALEXANDRIA – EL ALAMEIN – MERSA MATROUH Your air-conditioned coach takes you 108kms along the edge of the Western desert, to El Alamein, the site of important conflict during the Allied Desert Campaign against Rommel. On arrival, you will be able to visit the Allied, German and Italian memorials. Each is an interesting reflection of its national culture, and though moving in their own way, are still surpassed by the beauty of the turquoise Mediterranean. There will be an opportunity to also visit the Military Museum, then we drive further along the coast to our overnight stop at Mersa Matrouh. (B,L,D) SAT 20 JAN MERSA MATROUH – SIWA OASIS After breakfast we drive 350kms along the desert road to the beautiful Siwa Oasis. Following a Bedouin-inspired lunch and an orientation tour on arrival, we take 4wd vehicles into the Sahara to explore the hot and cold springs (have a dip if you wish!) and witness a magical sunset in the Sahara Desert. (B,L,D) SUN 21 JAN SIWA OASIS – MERSA MATROUH In the morning we have time to explore the intriguing and traditional settlement at Siwa (by foot and/or bike). We will visit the temple of the Oracle where Alexander the Great had his divinity proclaimed upon him, followed by a visit to the tombs at Gebel el-Mawta which date from the 26th Dynasty to Roman times and the medieval city of Shally. After a leisurely look at the oasis and springs of Siwa, including the stunning Cleopatra’s Bath, we will return to Mersa Matrouh. (B,L,D) MON 22 JAN MERSA MATROUH – ALEXANDRIA – CAIRO Today is devoted to getting us back to Cairo for the next stage of our tour. Our coach will return us via Alexandria to Cairo with a stop for lunch on the way. (B,L,D) TUE 23 JAN CAIRO – FAIYUM - MINYA Today we visit the Faiyum Oasis and some important royal burial sites of the Middle Kingdom. We begin at the ancient capital of el-Lisht (also known as Itj-tawy) and the pyramids of Amenemhet I and Senwosret I, before making a visit to Senwosret II’s famous pyramid town, Lahun and the last pyramid building project in Egyptian history belonging to Amenemhat III at Hawara. I 1300 799 887 I (02) 9290 3856

  • EGYPT with Karen Hendrix I TOUR ITINERARY

    In the afternoon we travel to Minya to see the impressive rock- cut tombs of the Middle Kingdom and Hatshepsut’s less well- visited desert temple at Speos Artemidos, which features her famous denunciation text of the Hyksos. Overnight in Minya. (B,L,D) WED 24 JAN MINYA – AMARNA - MINYA Today we visit the ancient site of Akhetaten, also known as Tell el-Amarna, the capital city founded by Amenhotep IV (later Akhenaten) in the 18th Dynasty. This very special visit will be led by Professor Barry Kemp who has been excavating at the site of Amarna for more than 30 years. We will visit some of the nobles’ tombs in the north and south, including Ay, the king’s tomb, Akhenaten’s famous boundary stelae and the remains of the temples to the Aten and the Royal Palace. (B,L,D) THU 25 JAN MINYA – TUNA EL GEBEL – MALLAWI - LUXOR We start the day with a visit to Tuna el-Gebel, the necropolis of Khmun (Hermopolis Magna) in Ancient Egypt, the impressive Greek tomb of Petosiris and the incredible catacombs which housed thousands of animal mummies, including ibises, baboons and falcons. In the afternoon we head for Luxor, ancient Thebes, where we will be spending the next few days. (B,L,D) FRI 26 JAN LUXOR This morning we start our exploration of the west bank. We’ll begin at Deir el-Medina, the village for the workers who constructed the pharaoh’s tombs, and we’ll visit some of their own exquisite burials. Following this we visit the Ramesseum, the mortuary temple of Ramses II, and Medinet Habu, the mortuary temple of Ramses III. In the early evening there is the option to take a leisurely horse and cart ride through the modern streets and to visit the local souq. (B,L,D) SAT 27 JAN LUXOR – ABYDOS - LUXOR Today we take a full day excursion to Abydos and Dendera. Abydos was the cult centre for the God Osiris and was at the core of ancient Egyptian religion. What remains today is the impressive temple started by Seti I and completed by his son Ramses the Great. Among the rich decorations are important historical documents such as the ‘Kings List’ and ample evidence of ancient Egyptian religious ritual. Later we visit the Ptolemaic temple at Dendera dedicated to the goddess Hathor. (B,L,D)

    SUN 28 JAN LUXOR This morning we have the option to take a magical hot air balloon ride over the Nile and monuments of Luxor. After this, or a sleep-in if you wish, we return to our exploration of western Thebes with visits to selected tombs at the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens and the Valley of the Nobles. We will also visit the beautifully restored funerary temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri. Today will be a real highlight as we will see many masterpieces of New Kingdom art and we will also have the chance to visit the small tomb of Tutankhamun. (B,L,D) MON 29 JAN LUXOR Today is our last day in Luxor, and in the morning we move fr