Egypt and Jordan
Welcome to present day Cairo and ancient Egypt! After our luggage is collected, we’re taken by motor coach through modern day Cairo, making our way to a beautiful and relaxing lunch along the Nile River. Following lunch, we’re off to the magnificent Cairo museum to explore the wonders of ancient Egypt. The exhibits of the museum’s displays span the entirety of Egypt’s ancient history, and it’s here that we begin to learn and understand why God brought His people to this land. Our day concludes with a delicious buffet supper at the wonderful Le Meridian Pyramids Hotel.
The Pyramids, Where Stone Touches Sky. After breakfast, we make our way to the iconic Great Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx, all constructed during ancient Egypt’s Old Kingdom period. There, we’ll explore not only how these ancient wonders were constructed but, even more importantly, why? After our Pyramid experience, we make our way to Cairo airport and board a private charter jet. We’ll fly to ancient Thebes, modern day Luxor, where we’re taken to the beautiful Nile River Palace for a good meal and well-earned sleep.
Ancient Thebes: The Center of Power. We enter the world of the New Kingdom, that period when most scholars agree God, through Moses, led His people out of Egypt in the great Exodus. We will walk through the ancient and wonderfully preserved temples of Luxor and Karnack. Again, our lunch will be along the Nile on quaint Banana Island. That afternoon, we board the beautiful Sonesta Star Goddess Nile Cruise ship and settle into our suites. Following our evening gourmet supper, you’ll have the chance to disembark and spend the evening exploring beautiful Luxor.
Ancient Thebes: Let My People Go! Today, we find ourselves on the west bank of the Nile River, visiting Dier El Medina, the village where the craftsmen lived who designed, dug, and decorated the great tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Then, after a short ride to the Valley of the Kings, we explore the elaborate tombs of key Pharaohs. We return to the Nile River Palace for lunch, and finally re-board the Sonesta Star to cruise and enjoy the Nile River.
Meet the Gods. Today is a day of cruising and touring as we make our way south. We’ll encounter the great twin temples at Kom Ombo: the first honoring Sobeck, the crocodile-headed protector of Egypt, and the second revering Hathor, the goddess of fertility and wife of Horus. Then, a short cruise to Edfu where we disembark to visit perhaps the best-preserved temple in all of Egypt: the temple of Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis and protector of Pharaoh.
The River of Life. Without the Nile there is no Egypt; we’ve sailed, celebrated, and enjoyed the Nile – the River of Life. Today, we explore and study one of Egypt’s several creator deities Khnum, whose temple rests on Elephantine Island in the center of the Nile. Next, it’s off to explore an authentic African village where we’ll encounter welcoming shop-keepers and residents. After lunch in an authentic Sudanese restaurant, we make our way to a magnificent granite quarry where the ancients mined and shaped the beautiful stone they quarried there. In the evening, we head back to our cruise ship for dinner and our last night on board.
The Reach of Power. This morning we bid farewell to our ship and crew and make our way to Aswan airport. There, we’ll board our private chartered jet and fly further south to Abu Simbal to visit the iconic temple Ramses II built to his own glory. After our visit to Abu Simbal, and lunch, we’ll fly to Aqaba, Jordan, to our waiting motor coach which will bring us to the spectacular Wadi Rum. Our Bedouin friends will a traditional supper for us called Zarb, (a roasted lamb and/or chicken feast) waiting for us. We’ll say goodnight and make our way to our personal tents where we spend the evening, “glamping” at Sun City Camp.
Wadi Rum – to Petra and on to the Land of Promise. It will be an early wake-up call for a very big day! After breakfast, we’ll climb into 4X4 Jeeps for a sunrise excursion as we experience the wonders of Wadi Rum. Then, we make our way by motor coach to the World Heritage site of Petra to study the Nabateans and see their distinctive Treasury. Finally, it’s back to the motor coach, which will take us north to our hotel: the Ramada Dead Sea Resort.
Plains of Moab & Transitions. Today is all about transitions. We’ll explore the Plains of Moab and Mt. Nebo, where we’ll consider the transition from Moses to Joshua. We’ll spend time at the baptism site of Jesus and Machaerus, a Herodian fortress. At Machaerus, we’ll study the transition from John the Baptist to Jesus. Along the way, we’ll visit one of the most famous and extensive mosaic shops in all of Jordan. In the evening we’ll head back to the Ramada for a Dead Sea swim (or float J).
The Ends of the Earth. After breakfast, we say goodbye to the Ramada and its gracious staff and make our way north to the Decapolis city of Jerash. Arguably the most remarkably preserved and extensively reconstructed Greco-Roman city in the entire Middle East. It is at Jerash that we gain a sense of the power and world view Jesus and his disciples lovingly confronted and did so to the glory of God. We’ll enjoy Jordanian Grill for lunch and then bid farewell as some of our group make their way to the Geneva Hotel in Amman to overnight and prepare for their flight home the following day. Others who have signed on for the Israel extension make their way further north crossing at the Sheikh Hussein Border enter into the Galilee. A short drive north by motor coach to Kibbutz Ein Gev, a delicious Israeli dinner and then enjoy a sunset swim Sea of Galilee all before our night’s rest. All the while pondering: “This is the Galilee, where Jesus walked, taught and lived!”
Making Disciples. What can we say – the next few days promise to be full as we explore the villages, towns, and cities of the Galilee. These places mentioned in our Bibles, are where Jesus called his disciples, taught crowds, and healed the broken. We make our way finally to the southern end of the Dead Sea, to the beautiful Daniel Hotel.
The Judah Wilderness. Though the Bible contains two testaments, it is one book, and today we visit locations which span both testaments. We visit Masada, that great refuge for David, that magnificent palace of Herod the Great, and the location of that final climactic battle of the first Jewish Revolt. Then on to En Gedi, a revitalizing oasis in the arid wilderness, then to Qumran, the site of the 20th century greatest archeological find: the Dead Sea Scrolls. Our day concludes as we motor coach up to the ancient city of Jerusalem and the Dan Hotel.
Jerusalem! Of our time in Israel this day promises to be the fullest. We hope to visit as many highlights this ancient city has to offer. We certainly will walk the Mount of Olives down to the Old City, then along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the church which marks the traditional site of Christ’s crucifixion and burial. We’ll walk on the Old City, visiting all four of its quarters and finishing at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s most honored sites. Then on the bus and our ride back to Jordan, crossing at Allenby Bridge. The staff at the Geneva Hotel in Amman will be waiting for us with beautiful rooms and a splendid supper. We’ll spend our final evening packing and preparing for our journey home having been deepened and sensing shalom having come to more appreciate our God and His leading of our continuing journey of faith.