Tom and Joan's Trip to Egypt and Jordan - 2007

Our guides were Medhat El Nakib in Egypt and Rabi Haddad in Jordan and they were fabulous!  In Egypt, we saw the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza; the Egyptian Museum in Cairo; the Step Pyramid at Saqqara; the Egyptian Museum; Aswan and the Philae Temple; the fantastic temple at Abu Simbal; Luxor and the Valley of the Kings and Queens, Luxor and Karnak temples and a fabulous balloon ride over the valley; and a 4 day cruise down the Nile on a 32 passenger boat.  Then we were on to Jordan where we visited the old Greek and Roman city of Philadelphia in Amman; swam in the Dead Sea; visited the Roman city of Jerash and of course, the fabulous city of Petra. 

 The Sphinx and Great Pyramids at Giza

On the left is the Step Pyramid of Djoser, built in 2800 BC.  It is the oldest pyramid in Egypt.  To the right is Abu Simbal, built by Rhameses II for him and his Queen, Nefertari.  It was to be flooded by the Aswan High Dam until UNESCO funded a complete removal and replacement up the hillside from where it originally stood and above the lake level.

To the left is the ship we took down the Nile, the Hapi II.  We stayed on it for 4 nights.  One night, we had a party on the boat where we all dressed up in Galabeyas, the traditional Egyptian garment.  Here's the "sheik" and his harem.  Too bad my eyes were closed.

To the left is Luxor Temple at dusk.  On the right are Lawrence and Florence of Arabia, riding their camels in the desert.

The balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings taken from our balloon.  The temple below was built by Rhameses III.  The Valley of the Kings is just beyond those hills in the background.

We went on to Jordan, where we visited the Dead Sea and got to swim (or actually float) in it.  It is the lowest point on the earth and is fed by the Jordan River.  Since it has no outlet, the water evaporates and concentrates the salt content, which makes it impossible to sink!  Across the sea in the haze is Israel and on top of those hills is Jerusalem.

The last big stop in Jordan was Petra.  You go through this narrow gorge, called the Siq for over a mile until you see this large shimmering object at the outlet of the canyon.  You step out to see......

The fantastic "Treasury" in Petra in Jordan.  It actually is a mausoleum built right into the sandstone cliffs by the Nabateans, a people who lived there in the 5th to 1st Centuries BC.  In fact, many people believe that the Three Kings were actually Nabateans, since they were the main source of Frankincense and Myrrh in that time.  If you're wondering where you may have seen this before, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade had a scene filmed here.