This forum has been very informative the last month or so. I thought I’d ask again, who else is gong. I’m getting very excited! 34 days and counting!
We’re going in February 2022. Will be anxious to hear about your trip!!
Fran, unfortunately, if past experience is any indicator, too few Tauck travelers visit or participate in the forums, even in this age of social media. Some folks only visit to ask a few questions and once answered never return. Also, for security and other reasons, a number of people do not like to reveal their dates of travel.
Hopefully, someone on your departure will reach out to you.
Let us know if things have changed or are different than mil experienced on her tour. Have a great trip!!
(141 days til J&E )
p.s. GEM Update: Yesterday, an Egypt Today press release about Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli's remarks about the good relations between Egypt and France, included this statement, "With the 'near inauguration' of the Grand Egyptian Egyptian Museum, Madbouli hoped that more French tourists would come to the country to visit the museum as well as the other tourist attractions." Unfortunately, the release did not further define "near inauguration."
Thanks Alan. Today Tauck told me that the Ben Ezra Synagogue closed without notice and that's why it's no longer on the itinerary. Tauck mentioned there are renovations - bummer. I'm sad about that. I'm sure the trip will be fabulous anyway - would have loved to seen the Synagogue, The Solar Boat Museum AND the new GEM. At least all the pyramids are open!
I will definitely make comments after my trip. I think its going to be a very small group.
fran - Maybe google and Viator are wrong, but it looks to be open:https://www.viator.com/en-IE/Cairo-attractions/Ben-Ezra-Synagogue/d782-a19674/4
The wiki says this, "Egypt's Jewish community is at the end of a dramatic decline, from about 80,000 people in the 1920s to less than a dozen of Egyptian ancestry now residing in Cairo. Accordingly, the Ben Ezra Synagogue functions now as a tourist attraction and museum, rather than as a functioning congregation."
Also, Egypt is developing a park and doing major work in Fustat where Ben Ezra and the Greek Orthodox Church and Coptic "The Hanging Church" are located.https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2021/08/egypt-make-oldest-islamic-capital-africa-open-museum
Maybe construction has temporarily limited access to the synagogue.
Most of us who practice our faith are well aware of our history, particularly in Egypt, and certainly do not need a "wiki" search...copy...paste tutorial. I would never profess to be an expert on the religion of others and I certainly would never feel compelled to lecture you on yours. Nonetheless, enjoy your trip. I know how much it means to you.
Back to the snark, maybe? What is wrong with you?
Hi Alan, Thanks so much for the link to that fascinating article. The Ben Ezra Synagogue has an ancient and amazing history. It has been a museum for long time and from what I understand has a beautiful sanctuary and interior. Wherever I travel I enjoy visiting old synagogues and learning it’s history. There was a treasure trove of old documents, Torah scrolls etc, found in a storage closet some dating back to the Middle Ages and older. All that said, perhaps I’ll get back to Egypt when the GEM is open and this park has been constructed. In the meantime I’m happy you sent this article as to why the museum is closed-sounds like this area has an amazing future.
After the trip, I’ll let you know how I spent my free time in Cairo. There’s so much to see.
I am Jewish. I found Alan’s post helpful and positive. In my opinion there was absolutely not one thing inappropriate with that post. Thank you Alan for always being willing to help anyone on this forum.
I agree that the post was not inappropriate. Perhaps I should have clarified that point. I merely do not find any benefit in reading copy and pastes from web sites on virtually every thread. For those who find that beneficial, that's great.
Referring to me as "the snark" is terribly immature, inappropriate and offensive, especially after I offered well wishes. So be it. I will not respond since I think we all need a break.
Alan, in grad school we defined that as Quit and Eat Dinner.
The links people put on the forum are really useful f you are interested in the subject.If not, then there is no need to open them.
Hi - just a quick hello from the beautiful Zahra, where we are on the Jewels of the Nile trip. It has been a dream come true. Loved the Marriott Mena hotel. Wonderful location and great staff and service. Every day has been a wonderful adventure. Fran - our itinerary does state that we will be visiting the Synagogue.
We visited Karnak and Luxor Temples today. There has been much work done to prepare for the big opening of the Avenue of the Sphinxes, which is to take place next week, to much fanfare.
Lotusgirl Thank you for the update. ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY your tour!
Enjoy the rest of your trip!
I can feel AlanS drooling from across the country.
Lotusgirl- I know they had to re-route a few of the roads and relocate a number of houses that had encroached on the Avenue of the Sphinxes (Avenue of the Rams). That work must be done.
Since it sits on top of multiple layers of ruins from earlier periods (pharaonic, Roman, etc.) but suffered heavy fire damage in 2007 (subsequently repaired), I thought I read somewhere that there had been discussions about relocating the medieval Abou al-Haggag Mosque. The mosque sits up high, actually on ancient columns in the first court of the Luxor Temple. It is a big part of local Islamic life so I doubt it will ever be moved.
Did the guide say anything about it being moved or did you see any evidence that they were preparing to do so? Did you get a chance to look or go inside?
Enjoy! Sounds like an amazing trip
Thank you Lotusgirl! I so appreciate letting me know the Synagogue is on the itinerary!!!! How’s the weather so far? As you can imagine, I’m figuring out what to pack. So very happy your having a wonderful time.
Alan - the mosque in the temple was discussed. It is in use. We did not go in. No moving plans.
Fran - 80ish in Cairo. Sun is hot.
Much hotter as we go South.
It’s so fascinating how all these old cities were built on top of even older ruins. Alan, wait until you see Jerash. You’ll be blown away.
Thanks for keeping us updated, Lotusgirl. Makes me excited for my tour 30 days. Fran
And Jerash was optional on our I/J tour, with only about 25% going!
fran - I presume you've been to Israel. I was blown away by the amazingly well-preserved 1000 year old Crusader citadel underneath the Ottoman-era building in Acco (part of the tour). And then there's the tunnel tour in old city Jerusalem (NOT part of the tour, but a must see) which dates back over 2000 years.
Only 7 on our Israel and Jordan tour out of about 30 went to Jerash. 5 guys and 2 gals. It was incredible. The others remaining at the resort had spa treatments and relaxed at the pool. We returned early enough that we were able to swim for quite awhile before dinner.
Great photos. Hope we get to go there in March.
We find that most of the optional tours are not well attended. We have always felt they were worth it.
On my Israel and Jordan tour, Jerash wasn't presented as an optional tour; it was just what was on the schedule that day. Of course, as with any planned activity, people were free to skip it and enjoy time on their own. I will be doing the new "Jerusalem, the Red Sea and Petra" tour next year, which also goes to Jerash, but I plan to skip it and spend the day on my own in Amman. It was good to see once, but I don't need to go back.
Hi BMKD, yes I have been to Israel with Tauck and remember well the tour in Akko. It was fascinating.
I seem to recall about a third of our group went to Jerach and I felt like the other half just didn’t know what they were missing. Regardless I’ll pick to see a historical sight rather than have a spa day or shop- I can do all that when I’m home! I wish there was time to go on the tunnel tour when we were in Jerusalem. Seemed we were busy very minute.
British, which tour are you on in March? If it’s Israel I hope the country opens back up for tourism.
Now, I’m trying to figure out what I might like to do during my free afternoon in Cairo. I’ll be at the St Regis. Suggestions?
Yes, hoping Israel will open up more, it’s nearly there. Tauck changed our flights for the third time yesterday, my husband is almost ready to cancel.
It’s not Tauck, it’s the airlines. I’m on the Classic Italy tour next May and my flights were changed. I called Tauck and talked to the air department as there were connections that were added. Tauck rebooked the entire trip for me, so that I only had one stop rather than 3. It’s actually easy to get thru to them now. Don’t cancel- it’s a glorious trip. It’s just a lot of work right now! My flights to Egypt have changed several times now too.
Fran, which airline/ airlines are you flying with to Egypt?
Hi Leedvid, I live in Dallas. British Airways to London Heathrow had the best connections. My original over the water flight was with American (which was cancelled) Then it’s BA to Cairo.