Next stop on my Ancient Capitals journey – Egypt

After a wonderful visit in Athens, it was time to board our Oceania cruise ship, the Nautica for the next 11 days of our Ancient Capitals journey.  Our congenial small group is prepared for a very port intensive experience, spending eight full days ashore exploring the highlights of Alexandria, Cairo, Jerusalem, Behtlehem, Nazareth, Rhondes, Ephesus, and Istanbul.    The Nautica warmly welcomed us ‘back home’ after our extensive explorations from each port.  Our personal knowledgeable guides and their attention to detail helped us to be able to appreciate and see a great deal in each of our days ashore.

It is a truly amazing experience to follow in the footsteps of King Tut, Cleopatra, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammad, King Richard & the Crusaders, Saladin..the savior fo the Arab world, St Paul, Suleiman, the Romans, the Ottomans, the Turks, the Israelites and the Byzantines.

It is mind-boggling to see how advanced these civilizations were from 4500 years past.  From the Antiquites Museum in Cairo, the Solar Boat at the Giza pyramids, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the Acropolis in Rhodes, the Parthenon of Athens, the Terrace Houses in Ephesus, the St Sophia Basilica in Istanbul to mention only a few of teh fifty historical sites we visited.  To see their beautifully designed cities, their architecture and art…just leave one in awe at the brillance and sophistication of the times.

solar boatTut's second coffin

Upon arriving at Giza, our visit to the Pyramids, the Valley Temple, and the Sphinx did not disappoint.  We then visited a relatively new Pharaonic discovery,  the Solar Boat, housed in it’s own museum, just near the pyramids, where it was uncovered. The storage pit had been airtight and the boat was in a remarkable state of preservation, arranged in thirteen neatly piled layers, complete with ropes for rigging and pieces of matting.  This 4500 year old boat built primarily of cedar, was fully reassembled – all 1200+ pieces.  A very remarkable sight!  The Pyramid Texts clearly state that at the end of the pharaoh’s life on Earth, his soul ascends to the heavens in the solar barque to join his father Re.  And hence the vehicle.  On to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquites, where a few of the highlights include the treasures of the Tomb of Tutankhamen and the extraordinary Mummies Room with incredibly well preserved 3000-year-old faces !

To read the next installment of my Ancient Capitals Journey check out Ancient Capitals Journey – Israel

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