October 2021 Egypt has over 7,000 years of recorded history… almost as timeless as the annual flood of the Nile. We are finally going! Not only the Pyramids but the Upper Nile and Nile Delta as well. All pictures courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, to be updated as we get our own!
Egypt has one of the earliest human civilizations. In about 3150 BC – over 5,000 years ago – King Menes united separate civilizations that had developed all along the Nile. His kingdom became series of dynasties that ruled the region for nearly three millennia. Imagine, this civilization was 3000 years old to the ancient Greeks and Romans, farther from their day than they are from us. Having visited the northern Mediterranean, we saw how Egypt profoundly influenced ancient Greece and Rome. Egyptian gods became part of the Greek/Roman pantheon, and Egyptian art and fashion came alive in the sculpture that Greece and Rome left behind.
Is Egypt Safe?
The Arab Spring brought down the Egyptian government in 2011, with turmoil following. Now the country is stable, and tourism is increasing again, and tourist areas are safe. Areas around the borders and the Sinai are far less so. We won’t be going there.
To be prudent, we hired a private guide. Given the exchange rate, it was surprisingly affordable and less expensive than cruises and large group tours in other countries. After extensive research, we selected High End Journeys, which have excellent reviews. One of the co-founders, Ramez, spent time teaching Egyptian history in Topeka, Kansas, just 30 minutes from where we grew up! Our guides will be with us throughout the journey.
We have a jam-packed itinerary, with several less traveled and fantastic stops. First, we will visit Cairo, with its Egyptian Museum, Pyramids, and Sphinx. Then on to Alexandria with the Library and Roman Catacombs before heading to the Upper Nile. Finally, we will see Luxor, Valley of the Kings and Queens, Abu Simbel, and the Nubian Kingdoms’ history. We will cruise the Nile for four nights along the way.
Oh, Jordan Too
Remember “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?” The ancient temple in that movie is Petra, Jordan, a phenomenal Nabataean city from around the 1st century BC. After Egypt, we will extend our trip to Jordan to see this fantasy in the desert.
We will also visit Wadi Rum, a great valley in the desert, famous from T. E. Lawrence’s memoir Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Most of us are more familiar with Peter O’Tool’s epic movie version, “Lawrence of Arabia.” We will stay in a luxury “camp” and ponder the same desert stars at night.
Finally, we will travel to see Jesus’s baptism site on the River Jordan and the Dead Sea, en route to Amman Jordan and our journey’s end.
Journey Map and Itinerary
Below you can find the map of our planned journey with key stops, as well as a PDF of our itinerary from High End Journeys. Our Egypt and Jordan adventure will introduce us to a very different culture than our trips to Europe. So we will take a deep breath and begin. This will be a fantastic journey!
For more about this journey, check out our related Travel Bytes coming soon!