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Tours of Alexandra Egypt

Alexandria

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 although it is actually only 225 km. from Cairo.
Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria became the capital of Graeco-Roman Egypt, its status as a beacon of culture symbolized by Pharos, the legendary lighthouse that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The setting for the stormy relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Alexandria was also the center of learning in the ancient world. But ancient Alexandria declined, and when Napoleon landed, he found a sparsely populated fishing village.
From the 19th century Alexandria took a new role, as a focus for Egypt’s commercial and maritime expansion. This Alexandria has been immortalized by writers such as E-M- Forster and Cavafy. Generations of immigrants from Greece, Italy and the Levant settled here and made the city synonymous with commerce, cosmopolitanism and bohemian culture.
Alexandria is a city to explore at random. It’s as important to enjoy the atmosphere as it is to see the sights

The Graeco-Roman Museum

Houses many collections of rare Roman relics and coins- about 40 thousand pieces, from the 3rd century B.C. to the 7th century A.D. The most important being the “Tanafra” statues.

Pompeii’s Pillar

This is a granite pillar, over 25 meters high, and built amidst the ruins of the Serapium in 297 A.D., in honour of Emperor Diocletian.
The Catacombs of Kom al-Shqafa
This is the largest Roman cemetery. It is of three levels and cut in the rock to a depth of 100 feet. Dating to the beginning of the 2nd century A.D., it is a blend of Pharaonic and Roman art.

The Tombs of Al-Anfushi

These Limestone tombs, dating from about 250 B.C. are decorated with pictures of Egyptian gods and daily life.

The Museum Of Fine Arts

Houses collections of sculptures, paintings and architectural works. Exhibitions by contemporary foreign and Egyptian artists are often held there.

The Montazah Palace Gardens

Acres of formal gardens and a beautiful beach make Montazah the foremost city pleasure grounds. Montazah Palace, a grand structure built in a mixture of Turkish and Florentine styles, is now a great statehouse.

The Mosque of Mursi Abul Abbas

Situated in Al-Anfushi, this Andalusian-style mosque is the largest in the city. It has four domes and a very tall minaret.

The Roman Theatre

At Kom Al-Dekka, near the Graeco-Roman Museum, the theatre is considered unique in Egypt for it has 12 semi-circular marble tiers and the theatre is in good condition.

Al-Shatby Necropolis

Built along lines of the old Greek houses, it comprises a doorway, corridor and two chambers; it dates back to the 3rd century B.C. and lies north of Saint Mark’s College.

The Library of Alexandria

The newest attraction is the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a modern revival of the ancient library. The round, sloped building is partly submerged in water, and inscriptions from various civilizations are carved into its granite walls. The library is a centre for culture, science and research.

Fortress of QaitBey,

An impressive 15th-century fortress (under renovation). It’s on the site where the Great Lighthouse (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) once stood.
N.B: All of Alexandria’s main attractions can be done in one day, so the guests can go by train in the morning and come back to Cairo by train in the evening, unless they want to do diving or spend a lot of time on the beach. In this case we can find them accommodation.

El- Alamein: (the site of one of the most decisive battles of WWII) – 60 km. from Alexandria.

Day visit to the coastal village of El Alamein. Visit the War Museum and War Cemeteries.

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Tours of Cairo

Cairo

We can offer tours in Cairo too. Our driver and guide will meet you from your plane or train or hotel and take you round all Cairo has to offer.

Cairo

Cairo has always been attracting travellers, dating back over 10 centuries ago to the time of the Mamluks. However, the beautiful, hectic, crowded, surprising, enchanting (and every other cool sounding adjective) city of Cairo is still in the eyes of the Egyptians, the City Victorious, known officially as al-Qahirah or simply “Masr”, the name for Egypt as a whole.
Cairo is one of the world’s largest urban areas and offers many sites to visit. Almost every Egyptian Pyramid, such as the Great Pyramids of Giza on the very edge of the city. There are also ancient temples, tombs, gorgeous Christian churches, magnificent Muslim monuments, and of course, the Egyptian Antiquities Museum all either within or nearby to the city.
As long as you’re willing to loosen your senses and lose yourself to this majestic city, you can discover the sweetness of Cairo; the cosiness of small cafes and the pleasure of strolling along narrow streets. It would be impossible to accurately describe Cairo fairly; it is truly one of a kind.
Cairo, Egypt is an amazing city full of life and movement, and it is that way almost 24 hours a day, with the noisy honking of horns, children playing in the streets and merchants selling their wears and services.
When you arrive, our partner in Cairo, Waleed Mohammed of Kairo Eyes can arrange the following trips.

Egyptian Museum

More than 100,000 antiquities from almost every period of ancient Egyptian history are housed in the Egyptian Museum. With so much to see, trying to get around everything in one go is liable to induce Pharaonic fatigue. Without doubt, the exhibit that outshines everything else is the treasure of the young New Kingdom pharaoh Tutankhamen – don’t miss the astonishing solid-gold death mask.

Giza Pyramids

The Pyramids at Giza are the best known of the ancient pyramids. Part of a massive necropolis attached to the ancient capital of Memphis, their wonder lies in their age and in the twin mysteries of how they were built and what for. The key sites to visit are Giza, closest to Cairo, as well as Abu Sir, Memphis, Saqqara and Dashur.

Islamic Cairo

World Heritage-listed Islamic Cairo is the old medieval metropolis, stretching from the northern walls and gates of Al-Qahira down to Fustat in the south. Unchanged over the centuries, the neighbourhood is a maze of narrow, twisting alleyways lined with splendid mosques and medieval facades. Vans compete for right of way with donkeys and carts, and boys with impossibly laden barrows. Remember to dress appropriately if you’re planning to take in some mosques, and take your shoes off before entering prayer halls. Most mosques are closed to visitors during prayer times.

The Citadel

Home to Egypt’s rulers for 700 years, the impressive fortifications offer a superb panorama of the city. The nearby Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan is the finest piece of Mamluk architecture in Cairo, while the Madrassa and Mausoleum of Qalaun is one of the most lavishly decorated Mamluk interiors. The Northern Cemetery, where the city’s homeless squat cheek to jowl with the city’s dead, buried in their mausoleums. It is home to the Mosque of Qaitbey, whose exquisitely carved dome is a must-see.

Museum of Islamic Art

Has one of the world’s finest collections of Islamic applied art. James Bond fans may recognise the Orientalist fantasy Gayer-Anderson Museum, the only fully furnished medieval house in the city, from The Spy Who Loved Me.

The Pharaonic Village Reconstruction of Ancient Glory

It is a village built entirely in the ancient style, inhabited by some 300 people living in the Ancient Egyptian atmosphere and practicing all agricultural and industrial activities with the same tools and implements used in Ancient Egypt. The village covers 150,000 m2 at Ya’aqoob Island, Giza, only a few miles from downtown Cairo. The village teems with hundreds of birds and animals known in ancient times, some of which are now completely extinct. It is surrounded by 5000 trees tall enough to screen adjacent vestiges of modern life, making a visitor feel as if gone back 5000 years in history. Transportation through the village is carried out through navigable canals by means of floating amphitheatres. Fantastic for kids ******

Cairo Tower

Built during the presidency of Gamal Abdel Nasser, this 187m-high slender tower on an island in the Nile offers spectacular views of Cairo. Its concrete lattice work with a fluted lotus flower finial is unique. It has fantastic panoramic views of Cairo from the top.

Whirling Dervishes

The Whirling Dervishes, a Sufi sect founded in Turkey, extol music and dance as a way to shred their earthly ties and give themselves wholly to God; for voyeurs like you, their form of worship will be a dazzling – and dizzying – spectacle.

Floating Restaurants

Floating restaurants – such as The Nile Pharaoh and Golden Pharaoh, a mock-pharaonic barge bedecked in scarab friezes and golden lotus flowers – provide a refreshing if somewhat kitschy way to view the Nile. They have also belly dancing parties at night.

Bazaars

Cairo’s famous bazaars live up to their billing – they’re overflowing with brass and copper goods, jewellery, rugs, hand-crafted musical instruments, and spices; and even for non-shoppers, the haggling and frantic peddling are sights in themselves.

Old Cairo

Once known as Babylon, this ancient part of Cairo predates the coming of Islam and is the seat of the Coptic Christian community. The area’s heartland is a small, tightly walled compound known as Coptic Cairo. Once hosting more than 20 churches within less than a square kilometre, this number is now down to five. It remains a haven of tranquillity. Pick of the crop is the Coptic Museum, which houses Coptic art from Graeco-Roman times to the Islamic era. Also worth a visit are the Al-Muallaqa (Hanging Church) and St Sergius church, on whose site the Holy Family are reputed to have sought shelter in a cave during their Flight into Egypt.

Dashur & Abu Sir

Some 20km (12.4mi) south of Saqqara, Dashur is an impressive field of 4th- and 12th-dynasty pyramids. There were originally 11 pyramids at the site, although only the Bent and Red Pyramids remain intact. Access is variable, we can advise on this.
Memphis and Saqqara (Step Pyramid). The oldest Stone Building in history.
There isn’t much left of the former Pharaonic capital of Memphis, 24km (15mi) south of Cairo, although the museum contains a fairly impressive statue of Ramses II. The real reason for heading out here is to see the pyramids, temples and tombs strewn around Saqqara, the heart of Memphis’ ancient necropolis, 3km (1.8mi) away from the former capital

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Egyptian Housing Tour

From Pharaoh to Hassan Fathy to modern times

Here we explore the various houses local Egyptians lived in. Starting with the workers at Deir el Medina, the workman’s village. Then to the mud brick village created by Hassan Fathy to the more recent relocation of the locals to new Gurna.

 

For some background reading try this article  about the Hassan Fathy village. this one about Deir el Medina and this one about new Gourna

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Grandfather, Father, Son temple tour

Grandfather, father, son

This compares and contrasts the difference and similarities between the mortuary temples of Seti I, Ramses II and Merenptah. Jane Akshar has written the following article on the temples based on her popular book.

On the West Bank in Luxor many of the New Kingdom pharaohs built their mortuary temples. These would be vehicles both for the worship of the King after he died and became a God and additionally they were cult temples. They were used for events like the Feast of the Valley. Thereby ensuring continuity of worship at the temple, for many hundreds of years.

It is interesting to contrast the styles of the various pharaohs and the condition of the temples today. For this very personal and subjective analysis I have chosen the mortuary temples of Seti I, Rameses II and Merenptah. The nice thing about these three temples is that they have few visitors. After trying to view Hatshepsut’s temple with its hoards of chattering tourists following the harassed tour guides with their umbrellas and clip boards. It is pleasant to be in a different tour of Egypt, to stand in the quiet and be the only tourist admiring the site.

I love the temple of Seti I; it is one of my favourite sites. You get a picture of a very religious man from this temple. Anxious to adore the Gods as much as possible. A filial man who honoured his own father within the complex, providing him with the mortuary temple Rameses I did not have time to build himself. The current site has recently been superbly restored and is a total joy to visit. With clear signs and the temple layout provided on a clear map, this temple is now one of the most interesting for the discerning visitor. You enter from the side; the entrance pylon being ruined now and the door way bricked up. However standing in the remains of the gateway and looking along the axis it is easy to get a picture of the complex. The temple palace to the side has also been restored and I love to take people to the site of the window of appearances. Children especially love to pretend to be pharaoh and award collars of gold and golden flies to the plebs (parents) below. It is hard not be moved as you stand there and imagine the triumphant general and long serving civil servant getting their rewards from the king.

Passing through the second courtyard the restoration team have planted up the avenue. It gives it the feel of ancient Deir el Bahri with its potential of shady groves. The enclosed part of the temple has many, many chapels dedicated to the various Gods and carries most of the surviving decoration. But here is no boastful general with an army of spin doctors decorating an ego centric mortuary temple but relief after relief is of Seti adoring the Gods. Much of this relief work in the inner parts of the temple is in raised relief and very reminiscent of his work at Abydos. . There is a walk way round the boundary wall and having gone through the temple your return to the exit along this wall. The view of the outside of the temple is exactly the same as the inside relief after relief of Seti worshiping the Gods.

The overall impression is of a pious man who took his religious duties seriously. There are no battle scenes, no prisoners about to have their heads bashed in. I find it a very peaceful temple.

Moving on to his son’s mortuary temple, the Ramasseum. Firstly I have to confess a dislike for Rameses II which does colour my view. I mean the guy wouldn’t know artistic merit if it hit him in the face. Yes he knew big and yes he knew quantity. Quality however was not his strong point; his big give away is the use of incised relief everywhere. Raised relief takes a lot longer and Ramses couldn’t be bothered with that. Let’s get it up and covered with decoration as soon as possible. Having said that I do like the temple. Actually having said all the things about the wonderful restoration work at Seti I temple I actually like the Ramasseum for its deserted, unkempt look. The first courtyard consists of sand and tall clumps of grass, much of the temple and statuary is ruined. It has a peculiar charm of its own with the graffiti of ancient visitors including that of Belzoni. I like to stand in the deserted first courtyard and recite Shelley’s poem. Especially the lines
“Nothing besides remains. Round the decay
Of the Colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

The fallen statue of Rameses is without doubt a truly impressive piece of engineering. I am particularly impressed with the way the nemes head cloth is shown by getting the granite to be in smooth and matt stripes. When you think about the tools available to them at this time it is amazing what they achieved.

The wall decoration is of course the battle of Kadesh; it is a bit like the emperors new clothes to see the scenes. You know he didn’t win but you are carried away by his version of events. The other thing in abundance is pictures of his children. Well he did have a lot of them but they are everywhere. Finally in the innermost rooms we get some religious scenes but mostly it is Rameses that dominates the reliefs in this temple. The colour is spectacular and I can never tire of looking up at the column capitals and admiring the rich and colourful designs. I can’t understand why this temple has fallen out of favour as a place to visit.

Poor old Merenptah, it must have seemed an age waiting for the throne. Firstly 12 of his older brothers had to die; he must have wondered would he also miss the chance as Rameses II went on and on. The relief as he finally mounted the throne. But he was already elderly and with life expectancy much lower than today he was taking no chances. His temple is much smaller and he reused blocks from the temple of Amenhotep III in his mortuary temple. This is not actually as bad as it seems because it is suspected that the first temple had already been partially destroyed by the flood water. So it was just a case of lifting stuff that had already fallen not actually destroying it. Although his temple is much smaller it follows a similar pattern to that of his father and grandfather.

Today it is very ruined but it has been superbly restored by the Swiss Institute. They have taken the idea of posting metal plaques with a picture of the relief and an outline of the block you are looking at. It is a terrific idea and makes even very ruined blocks come alive.

Having said that little remains of the temple but the layout is well defined by the restorers and it is not difficult to visualise the complete temples. I personally felt the quality was better than Ramses, there was use of raised relief and the decoration as a whole was less brash. All that I could see on display was religious scenes although with so much missing there well could have been a similar attempt at self glorification. But you didn’t get that impression.

The huge black granite Steele recording the existence of Israelites was truly impressive. This was reused by Merenptah and on the reverse it is inscribed by Amenhotep III. This stele records the earliest mention of the Israelites as Merenptah describes his subjection over foreign peoples.

But overall the temple is dominated by the wealth of remains from Amenhotep II. There are two underground chambers with remnants of his monumental gateway and a museum with artefacts, statuary and relief’s all with wonderful colour. For these 3 rooms alone the site would be worth visiting but with the added bonus of being a mortuary temple of a great Ramaside king the third in one family them it has much to offer the serious scholar.

So three very different temples all with their own charm

Seti I – a pious pharaoh with an eye for quality
Rameses II- untouched by the restorers, invoking a David Roberts scene
Merenptah – ruined but compensated by Amenhotep III remnants.

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Flats in Luxor – Goubli

Our most modern building with seven flats of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, deep balconies, fully fitted kitchen with granite work surfaces and lounge/dining room. These flats are the ultimate in quality and luxury, beautifully finished, fabulous 360 degree views and everything you could want on site.

Don’t want to cook, have our chef prepare a meal on our roof top restaurant or delivered direct to your flat. Want to use the internet? It’s available at Al Gezera for free. Keep the kids entertained with the large swimming pool and small children’s pool. Our reception area is a great chill out zone with a guest donated library. There is also a washing machine available for use by all guests.

Goubli is about 1 mile from the ferry, but don’t worry with our courtesy car and driver this does not mean you are isolated. It is also on a local bus route and of course any taxi will bring you from the ferry for under a dollar.

Four flats face the Nile and these are (from the ground up): Maat, Mut, Hathor and Bast. There are only 3 flats facing the hills : (from the top down they are) Sekhmet, Selket and Neith.

If you’d like to see what sort of food we can provide, here’s a short video showing you some dishes made by our chefs, Gamal and Mohammed, conveniently based in our Goubli flats.

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New guide to the Ancient Egyptian temples of Luxor

Buy Grandfather Father Son here

“But the temples are all the same! Aren’t they?”

Grandfather
Wondering what else to visit in Luxor and puzzled about the various temples. Jane Akshar unlocks the mysteries of Luxor’s Ancient Egyptian temples.

In simple, easy to understand language she shows you how to understand, appreciate and even love these historic places Giving full details of the historical background, the purpose of a temple, cult versus mortuary and structure of the temple complex.

She then delves into the very personality of three very different but related pharaohs the pious grandfather Seti, the father Ramses the Great and the son Merenptah who is linked with the Exodus. Get deep down and personal with the three greats of Egypt’s 19th Dynasty.

Grandfather, Father, Son – Unlocking the secrets of Ancient Egyptian temples. Buy it now on this website direct from the author

 

 

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Flats in Luxor – Al Gezera

Flats in Luxor has several buildings, this is our building at Al Gezera. Situated on the west bank of Luxor on the edge of the village slightly set bank from the main road.

Chill with a shisha in our garden.
Flats in Luxor - Al Gezera Garden

 

The only apartment block with a swimming pool to relax around.
Flats in Luxor - Al Gezera Swimming pool

There is a large lounge and fully equipped kitchen.
Flats in Luxor - Al Gezera Lounge

The balconies have lovely views of the Theban Hills, valley of Kings, temple of Hatshepsut and from the roof Luxor temple.
Flats in Luxor - Al Gezera Balcony
There are three double bedrooms and two bathrooms so ideal for a family or group. But we welcome couples as well.
Flats in Luxor - Al Gezera Bedroom