The morning was beautiful to those who woke up early enough to see the glorious sunrise over the sea.
Our first stop was the Mount of Beatitudes. The grassy floor with the stone pathways made a truly tranquil place to stop and read at. Exploring the landscape we could not help but catch another glance a the shining blue sea.
We couldn’t believe the sea of buses we had to plow our way thru to find ours. We heard the other day there were 70 buses at one time trying to fit into the parking lots and lining the streets later today. It seems like Isaiah 2:2 is being fulfilled where it says “…all the nations shall flow to it…”
Our next stop was Dan where Jeroboam built the alter to the Golden Calf. The journey up to it was magnificent as the natural park was very well taken care of and clear running water made you want to take a refreshing drink on the spot. I could feel the smooth,solid, green leaves brushing against my arm and each area had something unique to it.
Next was the Abraham Gate that at one time was possibly the gate that Abraham entered to rescue Lot in Genesis 14. Seeing the sudden change in landscape was fascinating as it went slowly from tranquil and flushing green to a rocky and tan sand.
Our next stop was to the marvelous Banyas Falls. As we trecked down to the waterfall we could hear and feel it from the top all the way to the bottom. It was like hearing a marching army off in the distance and the breeze felt like it was coming from an air conditioner. We had a glimpse from time to time of the falls through the thick jungle like trees. The water flowing beside us was giving us a hopeful look at what smooth blue water we were going to see ahead. The sight when we finally arrived was like nothing i had ever seen before, a pure and almost angelic white waterfall poured into a smooth pool of blue.
After lunch in a Druze Village our next stop was The Valley of Tears where we learned about the war of 1972. We could see off in the distance the border between Israel and Syria. The tanks on the hill looked like they were still guarding the border like hallow sentinels. The sun was hot but the temperature was low and science as we all took the battlefield in fell over us but we spoke up and discussed and took photos of the closer tanks.
Our last stop was the home of Mary of Magdala which has just recently opened to the public. We saw the ruins of the oldest synagogue ever dug up dating back to the time of Jesus. We also got to see a beautiful new church they had built there. The art decorating the walls were meaningful to so many of us and the design was incredibly creative. Our great guide Father Kelly gave us great information,explanations and moving words.
Today we woke up to the bright hot sun waiting to beat down on our necks as we travel through beautiful and sandy Petra.
Our wonderful guide Omar gave us a helpful reminder “walking into Petra is one thing, but good luck walking out” he was right in multiple senses. The sight of the treasury was unbelievable and seemed like the kind of thing you would see on a movie studio with Harrison Ford cracking a whip left and right.
Now the walk back up from the monastery was a hike that made you want to pay for a camel ride back to the top no matter the price.
After a quick scare of loosing one of our group, a moment of relief and clear ice bottled water we went out for lunch and left for Amman (making a quick stop at Moses springs)
Finally we landed at our hotel at the amazing La royal resting, waiting for another exiting day.
October 5 – One more temple
After leaving our ship and packing up our luggage onto the bus we took a boat ride to see the Temple of Philae. This is reputed to be the burial ground of the god Osiris, god of the underground who often appears with a green face.
We then returned to Cairo for our last night in Egypt. We said goodbye to those flying home or onto Kenya.
October 6 was a travel day. We headed to the airport in Cairo ad flew to Amman Jordan to meet up with our guide, Omar and the 5 who flew in from the states. A good portion of the day was spent at the airport looking for lost luggage. We finally left without it and drove the 3 hours to the Movenpick Petra.
October 3 – Temples, Temples and more Temples
After breakfast we were picked up at the dock by horse drawn carriages to visit the Temple of Horus. It was built between 237 and 57 BC and reveals the god depicted as a falcon. Horus was considered to be the god of the sky ad the god of war,
We returned to our ship and set sail for Kom Ombo. There we viewed the temples dedicated to Apollo, Isis and Sobek, the crocodile headed god. The architecture is imposing and some of the original color, although over 2000 years old, is still observable on the columns. We returned to the ship for dinner and our overnight sail to Aswan.
October 2 – Visit to the Valley of the Kings
After breakfast we left the ship to visit the Valley of the Kings where the pharaohs were entombed after pyramids were no longer erected.
The temple of Queen Hatsheput is an example of more classical and less gargantuan architecture. Inside the temple are a series of reliefs telling the story of the divine birth of a female pharaoh.
After visiting the enormous structures of the Colossi of Memnon, erected about 3400 years ago,
We then returned to our boat for lunch. We set sail for Esna to cross the lock and sail to Edfu.
October 1 – Flight to Luxor
This morning after breakfast we headed to the airport for our flight to Luxor.
After our 1 hour flight we visited the Temple of Karnak
Then onto the Luxor Museum where I had hoped to see the head of the Golden Calf only to find out they had moved it to the new Museum that will not open for another couple of years. However, it was still a nice visit.
Next we checked onto our river boat the Royal Escadora for lunch and relaxation
before heading to the Luxor Temple in the evening.
September 30 – The day of Holy Sites
Today we concentrated on Old Cairo first visiting the Coptic Church of St Sergis where by tradition the Holy Family and Jesus sought shelter during their flight into Egypt
Next was the Hanging Church
Visiting the Alabaster Mosque was interesting
We ended our day with a visit to the Bazaar to bye spices or relax
I promise I didn’t inhale
Now back to the hotel to pack and get ready for our next adventure