Friday, October 2, 2009
Pre-Trip (Tuesday, Oct.6)
Continental flight (#CO485 and #CO96) departs Portland at 7:40am arrives in Berlin, at 8:05am Oct. 7. Our flight to Cairo leaves on the 8th so we will stay with Thomas the night of the 7th.
Day 1 • Departure (Wednesday, Oct. 8)
Flight on KLM (#1830 and #533) from Berlin (lv 5:40pm) to Cairo, arrives at 1am, Oct. 9
Day 2 • Cairo (Thursday, Oct. 9)
We arrive in the land of the Pharaohs, Jacob, Joseph and Israel during the famine! Upon arrival at the airport we meet our guide and are immediately transported into Cairo, the capital of Egypt. We transfer to our hotel to settle in and start soaking up the atmosphere of this exciting city.
Day 3 • Alexandria (Friday, Oct. 10)
Breakfast and then a day tour to the ancient seaport of Alexandria where we will see the Greco-Roman culture in Egypt. The second largest city in Egypt, Alexandria, known as "The Pearl of the Mediterranean", has an atmosphere that is more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern ; its ambience and cultural heritage distance it from the rest of the country. First stop is the Fort at Quit Bay which will be followed with a visit to the ancient Catacombs of Kom and Pompay's Pillar. Before returning to Cairo we will relax with the breath-taking views of the Montaza Palaces.
Day 4 • Coptic Cairo, Hanging Church and Alabaster Mosque (Sunday, Oct. 11)
We begin our sightseeing with a visit to the Hanging Church - the most famous Coptic church in Cairo. The Hanging Church was named so as it was built by the Nile River over the Roman Gate of Babylon. During a walking tour, our guide will point out that this section of the old city was definitely the route taken by Abraham, Joseph, Moses and the family of Jesus - an inspiring thought. Next we visit the beautiful Alabaster Mosque of Muhammad Ali to better understand Moslem religious practices. Completed in 1848, the Ottoman-style Muhammad Ali Mosque is the most noticeable in all of Cairo and has dominated the skyline for the past 150 years. A stop will be made at the papyrus factory store, where we see the process of creating lovely Egyptian art pictures.
Day 5 • Memphis, Sakkara, Joseph's Storehouses (Monday, Oct. 12)
We enjoy a day of touring in and around Cairo with a short bus ride to Memphis. Founded around 3,100 BC, Memphis is the legendary city of Menes, the King who united Upper and Lower Egypt. From a Biblical perspective, Memphis is most likely where Abraham lied to Pharaoh about his wife Sarah being his sister and where Joseph served as second in command. While in Memphis we will view a very large and well-preserved statue of Ramses II. Next is Sakkara, which is one of the most extensive archaeological sites in Egypt! Sakkara is dominated by the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, dating back to 2700 BC. It is one of the oldest stone structures in the world! Following an interesting stop to see how local Egyptian carpets are made, a short drive to the south finds us in Faiyum, the region created by the divinely inspired wisdom of Joseph. Here you will find ancient storehouses and a man-made lake created by a canal, who's construction was ordered by Joseph. It was this lake that provided irrigation for a desert land and supplied the food needed to survive his prophesied seven year famine.
Day 6 • Transfer to Luxor, Nile Cruise (Tuesday, Oct. 13)
Early this morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Luxor, where we check in to our 5-Star river cruise. We then set off to visit the Valley of the Kings (where many ancient pharaohs were buried) and the famous Temple of Hatshepsut, the princess who perhaps pulled baby Moses out of the Nile River. We visit a courtyard that was likely to be frequented by Moses during his days of princely training. Time will be allowed for those who wish to visit one of Luxor's famous perfume factory stores. We re-embark for lunch, enjoy the sundeck and pool before an evening tour of the famous Temple of Luxor, which was founded in the reign of Amenhotep III, grandson of the pharaoh of the Exodus. Nile Cruise Boat
Day 7 • Karnak, Esna to Edfu (Wednesday, Oct. 14)
After breakfast, visits include the Temple of Karnak (temple of the New Kingdom period) and the East Bank of the Nile. It was during this period that the bondage and Exodus occurred. Karnak second to Giza’s Pyramids, is one of Egypt’s most important Pharaonic sites. We board our ship for lunch and continue sailing towards Edfu, having dinner as we cross through the Esna lock. Overnight on board.
Day 8 • Edfu, Kom Ombo, Aswan (Thursday, Oct. 15)
This morning after breakfast we visit Edfu, the location of one of the best preserved Egyptian Temples. This site was initially developed 1000 years before Abraham came to Egypt! Lunch and sailing to Kom Ombo, where we visit the remains of Kom Ombo Temple, situated on the riverside. Unlike most, this temple is dedicated to two gods - the crocodile god of Sebek and the solar god of war, Horus the Great. Overnight on board.
Day 9 • Aswan High Dam, Free Time, Abu Simbel Option (Friday, Oct. 16)
Our touring today is in and around the modern city of Aswan. Included will be a visit to the High Dam, built from 1960 - 1971, and a major factor in Egypt’s agricultural success. We then also spend time at Philae Temple on the Isi-Island. This complex was moved from up river due to the impending destruction upon the completion of the High Dam. This afternoon we disembark for free time to stroll through the city markets.
An optional (half day including flights) tour is also offered to Abu Simbel, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments." Our Egyptologist guide discusses the relevance of this spectacular site from Egyptian history. We will also try to put in perspective the long history of Egypt. Here we visit the massive temple of Pharaoh Rameses II, perhaps the greatest builder of temples in ancient Egypt (13th Century BC) and a second one of Queen Nafertari, Rameses's most beloved wife. Overnight on board.
Day 10 • Cairo Pyramids and Tutankhamen’s Treasures (Saturday, Oct. 17)
An early morning flight back to Cairo will allow for a full day of touring the wonders of the ancient world, some of which date back to 1000+ years prior to Abraham. We spend time at one of the seven wonders of the world- the pyramids. Cheops, with an original height of 496 feet, is the most colossal pyramid ever built. Today, we will also see the Sphinx and tour the Egyptian Museum, location of Tutankhamen's treasures and ancient remains.
Day 11 • Marah, Amalekites, Mt. Sinai (Sunday, Oct. 18)
This morning we depart Cairo with stories of the "Land of Goshen" to the north and travel the southward route of the Exodus through the Wilderness of Shur. We learn of the terrain and the history of this region en-route as we stop at Marah (Springs of Moses), the Wilderness of Sin, and further to the south, the Oasis of Feiran. For those who are able, we climb a small hill to the ruins of an ancient chapel that overlooks the palm tree valley where Israel battled with the people of Amalek. One may have his picture taken with arms raised in remembrance of God's victory as Moses' arms were held high by Aaron and Hur. Arriving in the late afternoon to the hotel at Mt. Sinai (Mt. Horeb), we have dinner and rest for our early morning activity.
Day 12 • Mt. Moses, Red Sea Crossing, Aqaba (Monday, Oct. 19)
Just into the new day, those who desire and are physically capable will depart for a memorable early morning walk up Mt. Moses. Whether you choose to ride a camel part way or not, stop at one of the stations to take in scenery along the climb to the summit (750 steps) for a sunrise to remember. Once at the top, enjoy a time of praise and then depart down the mountain for breakfast. A visit to St. Catherine's Monastery, claimed to be built around the area of Moses' Burning Bush, will be followed by a short ride to the Red Sea. A stop for lunch along the shore will provide a view of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel to the north. Gazing across the Gulf of Aqaba, we can begin to imagine the miracle of the parting of the sea. We board a ferry for a scenic crossing to Jordan and our lodging for the evening in Aqaba, Biblical Ezion Geber - the lovely seaport of King Solomon.
Day 13 • Petra (Tuesday, Oct. 20)
This morning we turn north toward the amazing mountain fortress of Petra, known to be inhabited by the Edomites - the descendents of Esau. Begin the tour with a walk through the "Siq," an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone, to the city of Petra carved out of the rose red rock. The Treasury, El Khazneh, is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity. Beyond El Khazneh we are surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra's carved and built structures. Departing Petra, we travel northward on the King's Highway through the land of the Moab where to the east we view the hilltop palace/fortress of Machaerus, the place where John the Baptist was beheaded. We overnight in Amman for this evening.
Day 14 • Mt Nebo, Mabada, Tel Aviv (Wednesday, Oct. 21)
Our morning tour begins in the town of Madaba, the biblical Medeba, 30 kilometers south of Amman. Madaba is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics and at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George we view the earliest surviving mosaic map of the Holy land. Mt. Nebo, believed to be the site of the tomb of Moses, commands a spectacular view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Study the panorama as we read the scripture of God showing Moses the "Promised Land" before He brought him home to heaven. As we travel west toward the Allenby Bridge, we view to the north the Plains of Moab, the area where the tribes of Israel camped before crossing the Jordan and picture Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the place where Jesus was baptized. Crossing back into Israel, we drive to Tel Aviv area with the remainder of the afternoon free. You may wish to take a devotional time with the sunset over the “Great Sea,” a time of prayer and thanks for the special blessings ahead, a prayer for the people of this land, and then enjoy a good night’s rest.
Day 15 • Caesarea, Megiddo and Nazareth (Thursday, Oct. 22)
After breakfast, we travel by private motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre and aqueduct, and then journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Next we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization. We drive through the area of Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we visit the Nazareth Village - a wonderful recreation of Biblical times with costumed guides. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next two nights in the Tiberias area on the Sea of Galilee.
Day 16 • Capernaum, Dan, Caesarea Philippi and Mount of Beatitudes (Friday, Oct. 23)
Following breakfast, our morning travels take us to two valuable northern sites emphasizing the loss of God's blessing on Israel. Dan is where the children of Israel fell to the depths of pagan worship and Caesarea Philippi which is also the site of Peter’s Confession. In order to save valuable time, a box lunch will be provided. In Capernaum we will visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and Peter’s home. Then we travel on to the site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes and the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea where our guide will reenact Jesus’ famous “Sermon on the Mount.” A relaxing cruise on the Sea of Galilee with easy viewing of the nearby Golan Heights brings to life the experiences of the fishermen disciples and a conclusion to a wonderful day.
Day 17 • Jordan River Baptism Site, Beth Shean and Dead Sea (Saturday, Oct. 24)
We begin our day with a visit to the Jordan River Baptismal site. Next we travel southward to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean. During the intertestamental period, the city was renamed the "Scythopolis." Archaeologists have uncovered a huge number of ruins of the Roman/Byzantine Scythopolis. During the time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis -a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government. Following the fertile Jordan Valley southward, your guide will point out the agricultural restoration of the “Land of Milk and Honey,” the Kibbuzt system and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We pass ancient Jericho, view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world, before coming to our lodging for the evening at the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth. Spend time in the special spa and enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float before dinner.
Day 18 • Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Scrolls, Abraham's Tent (Sunday, Oct. 25)
Our day begins with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. Afterwards we proceed to Ein Gedi, "Spring of the Goat," an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. Next, we visit Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. This evening we will take part in the Genesis Land/Dinner in Abraham's Tent, where we enjoy a trip back in time: a reliving of life in the time of the Patriarchs, complete with costume, dramatic presentation, and authentic food. Our lodging for the next four nights will be in Jerusalem.
Day 19: Around Jerusalem, Bible Times, Holocaust Museum (Monday, Oct. 26)
Passing by the Protestant Cemetery, we visit the "Upper Room" just outside the Zion Gate where the disciple whom Jesus loved laid his head on His breast and where later Thomas cried, "my Lord & my God." An interesting and educational time awaits us at the Israeli Museum. Walk through collections of centuries old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem will help to prepare you for what you will experience in the following days. We conclude the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a needed reminder of what the Jews have suffered as a people.
Day 20: Jesus' Steps, the Last Days - Messianic Lecture (Tuesday, Oct. 27)
Today we walk where Jesus walked; beginning the day with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives and then the Garden of Gethsemane. How many have wished to be whisked back in time to get a glimpse of our Lord or hear His voice if only for a moment? To walk between the ancient olive trees, read the scriptures of Jesus' prayer and take time for personal reflection is important here. Next we visit the House of Caiaphas where Jesus was beaten and spit upon. See a pit where he may have been held for the evening and the ancient hillside steps he walked as he was taken to be condemned. On our way into the city we will visit the Wailing Wall and then the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel we see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders. We move on to the Judgment Hall of Pilate, hear of those who conspired against Him and are reminded of His brutal beating and humiliation. From here we will also be able to see the Pool of Bethesda, Stephen's Gate and St. Ann’s Church. This evening we enjoy a special lecture by a local believer prior to dinner, giving us a perspective of Messianic life in Israel.
Day 21: Way of Suffering, Garden Tomb, Pentecost, Bethlehem (Wednesday, Oct. 28)
While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of suffering along with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Our guide will explain the differing opinions on the route that Christ was led. The actual place of crucifixion and burial is a very interesting study. The climax of the day is the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise. This afternoon we visit the Southern Wall Excavations. This southern side of The Temple was the main entrance for the common folk, whereas the Priests and Levites had their own entrance from the higher eastern side. Parts of the giant stairs, which led to the Temple Mount from the courtyard have been unearthed along with the purification pools. From here Jesus entered the Temple Mount and drove out the vendors and money exchangers who were exploiting the people. It is also likely that this is the place that Peter stood and preached and where thousands were saved and baptized on the Day of Pentecost. We will enjoy a challenge from God’s Word and a song before an optional time this afternoon. Those who wish may stay in the city marketplace for shopping, while others may choose to spend the remainder of the day surrounding the birth of Christ, with a visit to Bethlehem.
Day 22 • To Berlin (Thursday, Oct. 29)
A 5:30am departure on KLM (#462 and #1829) from the Tel Aviv Airport for our flight to Berlin and our stay with Thomas
Nov. 4 (Wednesday)– Home
Depart Berlin at 9:35am on Continental (#CO97 and CO784) and arrive back in Portland at 9:37pm