Jordan & Egypt Info #2

I consolidated the information I received from Joyce Welch into a 14 page MSWord document and sent it to those who requested my earlier info. If anyone else wants this info, send me a forum msg.

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Comments

  • Hi AlanS, I just sent you my email, if you have a chance to send me the info.
    Thank you so much.

  • Did you get my e-mail to send me a copy as well?

  • Mil, alidor30- check your Forum message folders (little envelope at top right of this screen)- I sent everything to both of you that way, so I wouldn't need to worry about exceeding my ISP's email size capacity.

  • Alan S. ~~. Could you please send me the information also. I hadn't been online lately so just saw your information message. Thank you.
    Barbara T.~~

  • BarbaraT
    3:48PM
    Alan S. ~~. Could you please send me the information also. I hadn't been online lately so just saw your information message. Thank you.

    Will do.

  • Hi Alan. Could you please send me your doc. We leave Dec 11 for the Jordan and Egypt trip. Do you need my email? Thanks Sue

  • Alan - if still available - I, too, would love to see this information. Thanks much - Barb

  • AlanS - Resident Professor for all things Egypt and Jordan, and now a Marketing Rep as well. Tauck needs to add a link to their home page next to the Contact Us link, called Contact AlanS. You're the Man Alan!!! :D:D

  • edited October 16

    That's what happens when you have 3 years to plan a trip. You overanalyze. :)

  • Vsue
    8:39AM
    Hi Alan. Could you please send me your doc. We leave Dec 11 for the Jordan and Egypt trip. Do you need my email? Thanks Sue

    Barb T
    8:52AM
    Alan - if still available - I, too, would love to see this information. Thanks much - Barb

    Sue, Barb,

    I just sent you PM's so check your folder (little envelope icon in upper right. FYI, when you open the second doc you'll see why I don't send via email- it is a large file due to images and my ISP would reject the email.

  • AlanS
    you'll see why I don't send via email- it is a large file due to images and my ISP would reject the email.

    Sounds like you need a new ISP or time to upgrade that overheating 1200 baud modem :) . Seriously, there's always google drive, dropbox, etc. for large files..

  • BKMD
    10:55AM edited 10:55AM
    That's what happens when you have 3 years to plan a trip. You overanalyze.

    I don't know about that, but it will have been over three years since we first booked (before it went live on the website- I got a tip ;) )

    It is not so much over-analyzing as it is staying interested and engaged (we still have 149 days to go), refining my plans, etc. Some folks do no planning- they have a TA book the trip, book air, pack, and go. I'm at the other end of the spectrum (the extreme?). I like to get a feel for the area and what we will see. I also like to add a few things where possible, to maximize available time.

    In some cases there won't be time or the opportunity, but at least I will be ready, if it works out, e.g. After arriving in Aswan or after the flight back from Abu Simbel, I would like to make a stop (be dropped off) at the ancient quarry and site of the unfinished obelisk if time and opportunity allow. That means I must research timing- when will we arrive in town? (the quarry park closes at 4:00 pm in the winter) and how far is it from the Old Cataract Hotel (only 1.2 km) so we can decide if we want to walk back to the hotel or arrange (with the hotel?) for a Taxi. We are on a small group departure so after we return from Abu Simbel we go to the boat instead of the hotel. Again depending on docking location we'll either walk or take a taxi. The coordinates Oberoi sent me for the Oberoi Philea dock were in the middle of the Nile!! So . . . . further research is needed. :D

  • Alan, I’d love a copy of your document. I leave in 43 days!
    I’m re-reading The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, by Toby Wilkinson. I highly recommend it. I read it in 2019 and am enjoying it more than the first time.

  • Alan, if you don't make it to the unfinished obelisk, you won't have missed much. I thought it was much ado about nothing.

  • Hi Mil and others. I’m curious about how much cash you traveled with. I understand from Tauck we are not walking thru the Kahn market (COVID). Is that true? How did you spend your half day free after visiting Coptic Cairo. I want to see The Ben Ezra Synagogue. Was that on your walk? Also, on the Jewels trip, the full Itinerary page talks about “a behind the scenes tour” of the new GEM. When I asked Tauck about it she could find no reference to it. I’m anxious to receive the digital green book which arrives one month before departure. Hopefully it will give me a more complete picture of what’s included in the tour. I know there’s been changes from my original booking in March of 2020.
    Also, did you tour the solar boat museum? Is the boat still there? I read it has been moved to the GEM.

  • edited October 20

    MCD
    8:02AM
    Alan, if you don't make it to the unfinished obelisk, you won't have missed much. I thought it was much ado about nothing.

    I'm sure you are correct, but I'm interested in all things mechanical,and construction related, etc. where there is a history that goes along with it. Since it is right there, why not? I also like to squeeze as much out of a tour as possible. Also, I'm the kind of person that never tires of seeing another castle, ruin, etc. :D

    This quarry, due to the granite found there, was one of the sources of other obelisks and stone for statues, etc., etc. throughout Egypt. It is just mind boggling to try to imagine how on earth they could cut it out of solid granite with the primitive tools of the day, extract it, move it to a boat/barge in the river, and transport it to Luxor or farther north. There were as many as 20 quarries in the Aswan area. I haven't been able to identify the specific one, but the colossus of Ramses II which stands in the atrium of the GEM came from an Aswan quarry! The large Fatimid cemetery adjacent to the site of the unfinished obelisk sits on top of a quarry!

    Here is a link to a really excellent, fully illustrated article about the ancient quarries of Aswan: https://www.ngu.no/upload/Publikasjoner/Special publication/SP12_s87-98.pdf

    I know this will likely be impossible, but I would also like to see the tombs of nobles and the ongoing digs at Qubbet el-Hawa which is not far from the northern tip of Elephantine Island on the west bank of the Nile in Aswan (a few of the rock-cut tombs are open to tourists.) I believe we pass fairly close (5 mi.) to it on our land excursion to the Monastery of St. Simeon. If we depart Aswan for Kom Ombo during daylight we should be able to easily see it from the boat.

    I would also like to see (from the boat) the sandstone quarries and adjacent temples and tombs of nobles at Gebel el-Silsila which is on the west bank just north of Kom Ombo. We should pass right by and be able to see it as we sail from Kom Ombo to Edfu. While ancient quarries can be found elsewhere along the Nile this one is significant. Many of the sandstone blocks used in buildings at Luxor and by Akhenaten in his new capital at Amarna were quarried here. Almost all of Ancient Egypt's great temples such as Karnak, Luxor, Ramesses III's Medinet Habu, Kom Ombo, and the Ramesseum derived their sandstone from here.

    Recent discoveries and the ongoing digs at both sites have been featured in the Nat Geo series "Hidden Treasures of Egypt" which first aired last year. New episodes aired this year.

    A portion of Gebel el-Silsila temples, tombs and quarry:

  • edited October 17

    franlovestravel
    10:29AM
    . . . Also, on the Jewels trip, the full Itinerary page talks about “a behind the scenes tour” of the new GEM. When I asked Tauck about it she could find no reference to it. . . . . Also, did you tour the solar boat museum? Is the boat still there? I read it has been moved to the GEM.

    Fran, I can answer for mil- the behind the scenes tours (which were quite expensive - $250 p/p(?)) were discontinued in Sept (?) 2020 because, even though the groups were small they got in the way of construction. The tour was also mainly of the restoration labs.

    The solar boat was moved to a location near the GEM last month and probably can not be seen. The timbers from a second boat (there were two boat pits and the second boat was left buried and never assembled). The assembled boat will part of the GEM. Also, the pieces of second boat which had deteriorated significantly will undergo preservation and restoration and the boat will be reconstructed over the next few years- GEM visitors will be able to watch the painstaking progress. The "solar boat museum," the ugly building at the base of the pyramid of Khufu that housed the completed boat, is empty and scheduled to be torn down.

  • Just my two cents, I thought the obelisk in Luxor was a big deal especially knowing that there were 2 of them and 1 of them was gifted to France where it stands in the Place de la Concorde. How they managed to transport the obelisk to Paris back in the day is beyond me and I agree with AlanS that the history and mechanics of these things is fascinating.

  • franlovestravel Hi.
    I took $200.00 in cash, lots of $1.00 to tip those people that would let me take a picture of them in typical clothing, also for any fast buying magnets,etc. All the hotels hve ATM machines, which it's best way to get local cash.
    The GEM stoped the private visits, even paying the $250.00 that was the cost.- not happening anymore. The Gem will open by years end 2022. most likely- big celebration due to the 100th aniversary of something I'm really sure.. AlanS please google it! :)) The solar boat w, YES! has moved to a location near the GEM and cannot be seen... and no visits to any market due to Covid.
    Time in Cairo is kind of tide... traffic is really bad. so not much time to see much more, but you can always have a private guide to meet you at the last Tauck sight in this case the Coptic area and continue with them to other sites.

  • Thanks Mil. I’ll coordinate the private guide with our tour director.
    Your trip sounds divine. Thanks so much for the great notes. Your pictures are great too.
    Were there any solo travelers amongst your small group?

  • milmil
    edited October 18

    franlovestravel Hi. Yes 1 solo lady and 1 guy that ended being a solo because travel friend cancelled at he very last min. he suffered a fall.
    You can also contact the hotel and book a guide/driver with them. Email them and check their $$, I do have the info. on a private guide/driver in Jordan- totally worth doing- full day in Amman. I can provide the Whatsapp # if you need it.
    Thanks

  • mil
    October 17
    . . . . most likely- big celebration due to the 100th aniversary of something I'm really sure.. AlanS please google it! :))

    No Googling necessary- November 4, 2022 is the 100th anniversary of Howard Carter's discovery of Tut's tomb, though he and Lord Carnavon, didn't remove the intact seals, open and enter the tomb until November 26. :D

  • Thanks Mil. I’m actually on the Jewels of the Nile trip. It doesn’t seem there are many on the forum from that trip-so far. I did go to Jordan several years ago as part of the Israel-Jordan trip. I love reading your experiences as I can relive mine.
    I guess the big question is if there is anytime to plan for anything additional after the day in Coptic Cairo? Do you recall visiting the Ben Ezra Synagogue? The itinerary says we tour it, but then so is the solar museum and behind the scenes tour. I do receive my digital green book soon and perhaps it will be listed there. I can always call Tauck and ask. What’s your memory?

  • we visited 2 mosques:
    The sultan Hassan and The Rifai Mosque.

  • Franlovestravel - the digital green book for our upcoming Jewels of the Nile trip states: "A guided tour includes Roman ruins, ancient Coptic churches and the Al Rifai Mosque or the Sultan Hassan Mosque a short drive away. We'll return to our hotel for lunch and an afternoon of leisure."

  • Hi Lotusgirl. When are you going on the Jewels trip? I’ll look forward to your comments. Thanks for the information. The synagogue was originally built as a church, so I’ll find out more details well in advance. I’m Jewish and greatly interested in seeing this very significant synagogue that’s now a museum. It’s listed on the full itinerary. I haven’t received my digital green book yet.

  • Mil, thanks again for all the wonderful information. Like you I’m thrilled at the anticipation of going on this trip. But now, to see that it actually will be happening Is joy beyond belief!

  • Franlovestravel - we are on the tour that commences this Sunday, the 24th. I will post a report on the trip.

    Because the last two nights are spent at the St. Regis in Cairo, I think it may be feasible to arrange additional touring in the Coptic Cairo area, if you want to do so.

  • Lotusgirl, franslovestravel...Enjoy your trips. It's so great you are on the same tour. My JE countdown is 53 days!

  • Lotusgirl
    Have a superb trip! enjoy everything eat Yummy food and PLease, Please, Please!! tell the guys at the Boat
    Mil says HI!! I miss them
    Mill & Mom Cabin 212.
    Enjoy!!!!!!!!!

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