EGYPT & THE ANCIENT SKY with Fred Watson - 4 - 13 March 2018 / Egypt // SOLD OUT
- Duration: 10 Days
- Location: Cairo
- Product code: Egypt18
Ancient Egypt’s rich religious tradition permeated every aspect of society including their understanding of the night sky. Keen observers, they found patterns and behaviours to explain astronomical phenomena such as the rising and setting of the sun daily. Numerous gods and goddesses feature in the artwork of temples and pyramids built with an astronomical orientation.
Join Astronomer Fred Watson, and Egyptologist Brenan Dew, on the archeo-astronomy trail, as they explore Egypt and the Ancient Sky.
Day 1 - Sunday 4 March 2018 - WELCOME TO CAIRO
Arrive into Egypt’s capital, Cairo on EK863 (arriving 12.10pm). We will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel for three nights accommodation. Settle into your room, before we get to know our fellow travelling companions over a Welcome Dinner at the hotel. (WD)
Hotel: Marriott Hotel Cairo (3 nights)
Day 2 - Monday 5 March 2018 - CAIRO SIGHTSEEING
Today, with our Egyptologist and special guest guide Brenan Dew, we visit the only surviving Wonder of the Ancient world – The Great Pyramids of Giza. Until the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France in 1889 CE, the Great Pyramid was the tallest structure made by human hands in the world. Here we see the enigmatic sphinx and venture inside one of the pyramids. (B)
Day 3 - Tuesday 6 March 2018 - CAIRO SIGHTSEEING
No visit to Egypt is complete without a trip through the galleries of the world famous Egyptian Museum. The museum contains the world's most extensive collection of antiquities. Among its attractions are the amazing treasures recovered from Tutankhamun’s tomb. Your sightseeing continues at the Coptic Museum which houses Coptic art from the earliest days of Christianity in Egypt up through early Islam. Later, travel into the desert region outside Cairo to the Katameya Astronomical Observatory. Katameya Astronomical Observatory is the largest in the Arab world and the Middle East. Eighty kilometres from Cairo and 450 m above sea level, we’ll have for a lecture and some time to explore the Egyptian night sky. (B)
Day 4 - Wednesday 7 March 2018 - CAIRO – LUXOR
This morning we leave early to fly to Luxor (flight included.) The modern town of Luxor is the site of the famous city of Thebes the City of a Hundred Gates. It was the capital of Egypt from the twelfth dynasty. The huge complex of Karnak, the largest religious building ever made is our next stop and we venture into the spectacular Temple of Amun. Continue to the impressive Luxor Temple, walk past the processional road lined with sphinx and enter the temple which is flanked by massive statues of Rameses II. (B, D) HOld Winter Palace, Luxor (Classic Nile view rooms)
Day 5 - Thursday 8 March 2018 - DENDERA TEMPLE SIGHTSEEING
Travelling by road today our destination is the Dendera Temple complex, one of the best-preserved temple complexes in Egypt. The temple was built for Hathor, the goddess of love, joy, and beauty. The temple with carved columns, has retained much of their original colour and decorated crypts. After a full day we return to Luxor and transfer to embark on our Nile Cruise – our home for 4 nights. Enjoying the desert evening, we marvel at the magnificent Sound and Light Show. (B, L, D)
Cruise: M/S Miriam or similar
Day 6 - Friday 9 March 2018 - VALLEY OF THE KINGS TO EDFU
Today we explore the Luxor West Bank and visit the Valley of the Kings, the burial place of many of the New Kingdom Pharaohs. We also take time out in Valley of the Queens* before continuing to Deir el-Bahari and entering the awe-inspiring Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, who was one of the few female rulers in Ancient Egypt. Hatshepsut became queen of Egypt when she married her half-brother, Thutmose II, around the age of 12. Upon his death, she took on the full powers of a pharaoh, becoming co-ruler of Egypt around 1473 B.C. We stop at Memnon Colossi and gaze at the two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III before returning to your cruise and sail to Edfu. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Saturday 10 March 2018 - TEMPLE OF HORUS – ASWAN
The Temple of Horus at Edfu, is our first stop today. Dedicated to the Falcon God and considered the best-preserved cult temple in Egypt. After exploring this magnificent site, we sail along the magnificent Nile, to Kom Ombo to enter the only double temple in Egypt dedicated to Sobek and Horus. We cruise further south to Aswan. Aswan is a busy market and tourist centre located just north of the Aswan Dams on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract. In the evening, don your galabeyas (traditional Egyptian attire), for an Egyptian dinner and gelabeya party. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Sunday 11 March 2018 - ASWAN SIGHTSEEING
Today, visit Aswan High Dam which was built between 1960 and 1970. 22 monuments and architectural complexes, including the Abu Simbel temples, that were threatened by flooding from Lake Nasser were preserved by moving them to the shores of Lake Nasser under the UNESCO Nubia Campaign. We also see the Granite Quarries to see the enormous unfinished obelisk. Travel to the Temple of Isis on the Island of Philae. Wander through the temple complex to be awed by decorated gates, columns and walls, before heading back to our vessel for the night. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Monday 12 March 2018 - ABU SIMBEL SIGHTSEEING
Disembarking from our cruise we transfer to the airport for our flight to Abu Simbel. From here we head to the Great Temple of Abu Simbel. Four towering statues of Rameses were carved out of a single slab of rock. This afternoon we return by flight to Cairo and transfer to your hotel for a relaxing evening with our fellow travellers for a Farewell Dinner to celebrate your time in Egypt. (B, D)
Hotel: Mena House Hotel
Day 10 - Tue 13 March 2018
Take some time to enjoy the hotel and one last chance to look at the pyramids of Giza, before our transfer to the airport to meet flight EK924 departing at 7 pm. We will leave after lunch and take in one last observatory – the National Research Institute for Astronomy and Geophysics. The NRIAG is a national astronomical, geophysical and environmental sciences research establishment with more than 110 years of successful history, making it the oldest research institute in North Africa.
- Astronomer Fred Watson to accompany throughout
- Egyptologist Brenan Dew
Accommodation, 9 nights first class hotels or cruise ship
- Breakfast (B) daily, Dinner (D) and Lunches (L) as listed
- Visits, excursions and entrances as mentioned in the program.
- Sightseeing tours with local English speaking guide as per program.
- Local Tour guides
- Transfers and sightseeing by air-conditioned coaches
· International / Australian Domestic airfares with Emirates Airline
· Additional charge(s) relating to documentation regarding visas or travel arrangements.
· Travel insurance (required)
· Costs of passport or visas
· Beverages during meals except where indicated
· Optional excursions
· Personal expenses and anything else not included in the 'tour includes' features
What’s the weather like in Egypt in March?
Egypt enjoys warm weather all year round thanks to its location in North Africa and the Sahara Desert. Temperatures are still high in winter and spring, with plenty of warm and sunny weather in March.
Entry and exit
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Currently, Australian citizens wanting to enter Egypt for tourism are required to purchase a visa on entry to Egypt. This visa can only be purchased with US Dollars, not Egyptian Pounds. Contact the nearest Egyptian diplomatic mission for the most up-to-date information.
In March 2017, UK and US governments announced new restrictions on carrying electronic devices for passengers travelling from or through Egypt to the UK and the US. See the Hand luggage restrictions at UK airports and/or the US Department of Homeland Security website for further details.
Immigration authorities may require proof that children of Egyptian fathers have their father's approval to leave Egypt before the children are allowed to depart.
Only EGP 5,000 can be brought into or taken out of Egypt at any one time. Reports have been received of travellers having problems with carrying or transferring amounts of hard currency over US$10,000 (or its equivalent) out of Egypt. Consult your financial institution and contact the nearest Egyptian Embassy orConsulate for further information.
Prior approval is required from the Ministry of Telecommunications to bring satellite phones and radio communications equipment into Egypt. Equipment brought in without prior clearance is likely to be confiscated. All foreign journalists entering Egypt for work purposes are required to obtain appropriate accreditation from the Egyptian Ministry of Information. There are severe punishments for journalists working without appropriate accreditation.
The use of drones, for any purpose, is illegal in Egypt. Drones are liable to be confiscated upon arrival in Egypt.
Vehicles may be subject to pest control measures. Comply with instructions from local officials.
A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for entry into Egypt if you have come from or transited an area where there is a risk of transmission.
Make sure your passport has at least six months validity from your planned date of return to Australia.