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WELCOME TO CAIRO

Rising from the shimmering desert heat, Cairo is an intoxicating blend of cultures, history and peoples, which has fascinated travelers from earliest times. Much has been written and said about this incredible city, but to experience it for oneself is to take home everlasting memories. During the day, there is the tantalizing choice of what to visit first - the Pyramids standing on the edge of the desert, the huge collections of the Egyptian Museum, the markets and bazaars of the Khan El Khalili or the many mosques and churches which are found everywhere in the city. In the evening, the choice is no less difficult, between the Sound & Light show at the Giza Pyramids, dining in style whilst cruising on the River Nile, or watching a traditional folklore show in one of the splendid deluxe hotels of the city.

 

EXCURSIONS FROM CAIRO

    

    

CAIRO HOTELS

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Sphinx - Tour Cairo- Tour 1 : The Pyramids and the Sphinx (Half Day)

The three pyramids of Giza, Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus are the last remaining of "The 7 wonders of the ancient world!" 4500 years old and still standing majestically on a desert plateau. Cheops, the largest of them stands 140 m tall. It took 100,000 workers 30 years to build the pyramid that would serve as the burial tomb for the King. The outer casing has long since disappeared, used as it was by different rulers to build their own monuments. However, nothing can take away the sense of awe and wonder of this incredible symbol of the power of ancient Egypt.

"I remember seeing them for the first time on a bright moonlit night, all of a sudden we saw the shadow of something indescribably huge, rising from the sands above us… I felt so small," wrote a traveler. The Sphinx, lying at the foot of the Pyramid of Chephren, was carved to have the body of a lion with a human head. No matter how familiar you think you are with the pyramids and their size, they still take your breath away.

 

Tour Cairo- Tour 2 : Solar Boat (2 hours)

The discovery of the solar boat, in a pit behind Cheop's pyramids is in itself a fascinating story. A road was being made to transport tourists. It was while digging that they came across a limestone slab 1.5m thick, which happened to be the airtight lid for a pit. Inside the pit was found a remarkably preserved solar boat that Cheops might have been taken in, on his last journey along the river Nile, to his burial chamber within the pyramids. The oars and even the ropes that were used to bind the boat together (no nails were used) seem as good as new. Made of cedarwood from Lebanon, archaeologists wonder how they remained untouched for 4000 years by vandals and termites, alike. Of the two covered cabins on the deck, one might have been for Cheops himself while the other would have been for the captain of the crew

 

Egyptian Museum - Tour Cairo- Tour 3 : Egyptian Museum (Half Day)

If the bust of Queen Nefertari in the Egyptian museum in Berlin seems awesome, you should see what the Antiquities Museum in Cairo has within it. This museum can proudly claim to be the single largest collection in the world – not less than 100,000 treasures belonging to Pharaohs! The building itself is a 100 years old, and was intended to put an end to Egyptian antiquities being carted out of the country by tomb raiders. There are so many things to see that by the time you get to the second floor, it is afternoon; your legs ache and you are starved. Therefore, head for the Tutankhamun's room first. Unlike the other tombs, the boy King's tomb was found with most of his treasures intact because it lay hidden below yet another tomb. Robbers didn't know of it's existence, until Howard Carter stumbled upon it. Displayed in the museum is everything that was found in the tomb, including the 22-pound solid gold burial mask and a six feet long, solid gold case (worth a princely sum) in which lay the body of the King, and then to the mummies' rooms.. as you enter the dimly lit room with the muslin wrapped bodies of Pharaohs and Queens in deep slumber, people talking in whispers as though not to wake the sleeping, you sense an eerie feeling, quite indescribable.

 

Citadel Mohamed Ali - Tour Cairo- Tour 4 : Citadel and Khan El Khalili bazaar (Half Day)

The citadel was a medieval fortress built on a hill to defend Cairo against attacks from invaders. Today, the major attraction in the Citadel is the magnificent Alabaster mosque of Mohamed Ali, the Citadel's last residing ruler. Built in Ottoman style, anyone who has seen the Aya Sofya in Istanbul will not fail to notice the striking resemblance between the two. With its two slender minarets rising up towards the sky above the huge central dome and smaller half domes it is unlike any other mosque in Cairo. The bazaars of Khan El Khalili are a must if not for the shopping, for their experience. The labyrinth of narrow passageways and alleys, the men calling out to you from their shops, the smell of spices mingling with the oriental music playing in the background, the scene appears to be straight out of a movie. A place to pick up rare stones or perfumed oils or papyrus for your friends back home. Make sure you bargain, that is part of the fun.

 

Sakkara - Tour Cairo- Tour 5 : Memphis and Sakkara (Half Day)

The royal necropolis of Sakkara includes the step pyramid of Pharaoh Zoser who reigned 45 centuries ago. The step pyramid was one of the earliest forms in pyramid building, and was to be the inspiration for the pyramids of Giza. Memphis, the 5000 year old capital of Lower Egypt contains the remains of one of the biggest statues of the Pharaoh Ramses II, thought to have once stood 13m tall

 

 

Old Coptic Church - Tour Cairo- Tour 6 : Coptic Cairo (Half Day)

One of the oldest landmarks in Christendom is the Hanging Church, dating back to the 4th century AD. A passageway behind leads to a crypt in the basement of the St. Sergius church. Legend has it that this is where the Holy family rested on their flight from Herod. Continue on this path and you will come across several old churches with large courtyards and tall trees gracing them. One can easily spend a quiet afternoon strolling about in the breezy garden. Wander along the narrow winding street and you come to the Jewish synagogue of Ben Ezra, Egypt's oldest Jewish quarters dating back to the 9th century. Of the major religions existing today, three (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are represented by some of their most ancient relics in this neighbourhood of Cairo. It was in 640 AD that the Arab Muslims led by Amr Ibn El–Aas first set foot on Egyptian soil. After a disastrous battle, the country was wrenched from the hands of the Romans and was soon in the hands of the Islamic Arabs. Legend has it that when Amr set off to lay siege on Alexandria, he left his tent standing and on his return found that doves had made a nest in it. It was here that Amr built his mosque. It was to be the first mosque to be built in Egypt and the entire African continent. Erected in 642 AD., it did not serve merely as a place for worship, but also as a court for settling religious and civil disputes.

 

Sound and light show - Tour Cairo- Tour 7 : Sound and light show at the Pyramids of Giza (Evening)

If you are not going to see the sound and light show at the Karnak temple or the Abu Simbel, then don't miss the show at the pyramids! It takes you back in time to relive the days of splendor in ancient Egypt. Against this dramatic backdrop, the head of the sphinx with their dark eyeless orbs appears to be watching and following your every step. They seem even more formidable as night falls. There is nothing quite like spending a warm summer night by the pyramids, with the wind swept desert rising and falling to make endless patterns in the horizon. Stories of ancient times unfold as if they happened only yesterday. Quite fascinating, especially for children. This performance takes place every evening in different language.

 

Folklore show - Tour Cairo- Tour 8 : Egyptian Dinner and Folklore Show (Evening)

A memorable evening of authentic Egyptian cuisine and folklore performances. The famous mixed grill platter with oriental rice and salad, followed up with herbal tea and sheesha (water pipe). Sit back and enjoy the true warmth of the Egyptian culture.

 

 

 

Tour Cairo by night- Tour 9 : Dinner and Nile Cruise (Evening)

A local belly dancer and traditional oriental music will entertain you as you cruise down the river Nile and the city of Cairo lights up all around you. A dinner of some authentic Egyptian food is served during this cruise. A night to remember. What better setting to enjoy an evening panoramic view of Cairo than from the heart of the city - on the River Nile itself.

 

 

 

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