Day 1, Sat, Jan 8, Arrival in Cairo/Opening Circle/Welcome Dinner
Upon arrival at Cairo airport, you will be met by the Quest Travel Tour Manager who will assist you through immigration and customs and transport you to the elegant and historic five-star Mena House hotel in the shadow of the Giza pyramids. You've heard about them all your life and seen pictures and videos of them, but nothing can prepare you for the feeling of awe you will experience at your first sight of these magnificent structures!
Take time to rest and relax at the hotel before our group gathers for our early evening Opening Circle which will allow us to set our intentions for ourselves and to bond as a group. The circle will be followed by a lovely Welcome Dinner, our first of many meals together. (Dinner)
Day 2, Sun, Jan 9, Sphinx/Saqqara/Serapeum
We begin our transformative journey with a private pre-dawn ceremony between the paws of the fabled and mysterious ancient Sphinx. This mysterious half lion, half human sentinel has dutifully guarded the Giza Plateau for thousands of years and is said by some to guard the Akashic Records and perhaps even the original entrance to the Great Pyramid. We will hold meditation and ceremony between her giant paws to greet the first rays of the sun and connect with the Nilotic Meridian that reaches down from here to the land of the Sacred White Lions in Timbavati, South Africa. In the early morning silence, we will enjoy stunning views of the pyramids on the Giza Plateau before the chaos of the daily crowds. Without a private visit, it is impossible to get this close to the Sphinx as tourists are only allowed to view her from above the enclosure.
After a scrumptious breakfast at the Mena House, we will travel by luxury bus to Saqqara to visit the oldest pyramid, the Step Pyramid of Djoser, and its temple of sound and healing. Saqqara was designed by Imhotep, the high priest, vizier and architect to King Djoser during the third dynasty. This magnificent site includes Old Kingdom tombs whose walls are covered with the Pyramid Texts, the earliest known hieroglyphs. We will also visit the Serapeum, a mysterious underground burial area with many massive granite sarcophagi, believed to be the burial place of Apis bulls, sacred bulls in the Age of Taurus that were incarnations of the deity Ptah and also associated with Osiris.
We will return to the hotel to rest. Dinner on your own. (Breakfast, lunch)
Day 3, Mon, Jan 10 - Egyptian museum / Luxor / Afandina Boat:
We will be guided in the Egyptian Museum of Cairo by the tremendous knowledge of our incredible Egyptologist, Emil Shaker, and then have some time to ourselves to wander the rich collection and absorb the spiritual legacy of priests and priestess, kings and queens, scribes and healers. The museum holds an astounding collection of Egyptian antiquities and exhibits over 120,000 artifacts, including the stunning treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun.
After lunch, we depart for Cairo airport for our one hour flight to Luxor. We will check in to our luxurious, elegant and private dahabiya, the Afandina, our home and floating temple for the next 8 nights.
Day 4, Tues, Jan 11 - Dendera / Abydos temples
In the early morning we travel by luxury bus to Dendera, an exquisite temple dedicated to Hathor, the goddess of music, dance, love, and joy. Here you will see some of the most vividly colored and well-preserved frescoes in all of Egypt, a mysterious subterranean crypt, astrological reliefs and more. The special energies of this temple will help us connect to your inner dance with joy and open hearts.
Next, we continue north to Abydos, a temple dedicated to Osiris, said to be where his head was buried when he was dismembered by his brother Set. This temple holds the most exquisite bas relief carvings in all of Egypt and was made famous in the 1900s by Om Sety. Just behind this temple is the mysterious Osirion, a megalithic and likely much more ancient temple, which is an important power vortex said to connect on ley lines to other power places on the planet. After a rest on the Afandina, we explore the sights, sounds, and spicy aromas of the lively Luxor Market, with free time for shopping. (Breakfast, lunch box, dinner)
Day 5, Wed, Jan 12 - Luxor / West Bank / Deir el Bahari / Valley of the Kings /
Valley of the Queens / Nefertari tomb / Night Visit to Luxor Temple
A short early-morning bus ride is timed for us to arrive at sunrise to Deir el Bahari, the funerary temple of the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut, whose reign marked a time of peace and prosperity. We will connect with the energies of Hathor, as well as of Mut, the vulture goddess of purification.
Nearby is the Necropolis of Thebes, where we visit the Valley of the Queens and enjoy a special visit to Queen Nefertari's tomb, regarded as one of the most beautiful and elaborate tombs. We will then proceed to the famed Valley of Kings, where we will visit three tombs of pharaohs. Each has a different energy and character, and all are inscribed in hieroglyphs with sacred transformative texts, including the books of knowing light and dark, the book of the underworld, the book of caverns, and naming and taming the hours of the night. On the way back, we stop at the giant statues of the Colossi of Memnon, and visit a shop of traditional alabaster carving artisans. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Day 6, Thurs, Jan 13 - Karnak temple / Sail to Esna
In the morning we visit the magnificent Karnak Temple, entering along the Avenue of Sphinxes, ram-headed sphinxes that originally connected Karnak with Luxor Temple two miles away. The largest temple complex in the world, Karnak is dedicated to the ram-headed god Amun and his consort, the vulture goddess Mut, an emanation of divine mother energy. We will pay a very special visit to the chapel of Sekhmet, to honor and connect with the powerful lion-headed goddess who is a fierce warrior and profound healer. Her image has remained undisturbed on this site for over 3,000 years!
We board the Afandina to sail to Esna and cross Esna lock. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Day 7, Fri, Jan 14 - Sail to Edfu / Edfu Temple:
Sail to Edfu through the countryside.
After a leisurely breakfast, we come ashore and go by horse cart to the Temple of Horus in Edfu, one of the most beautifully preserved temples in Egypt, an imposing structure with a vast courtyard leading to towering carved columns and painted ceilings. The side chambers include a healing chamber, a temple with ancient aromatherapy recipes, and singers' rooms. Horus, the hawk-headed son of Isis and Osiris, can endow you with higher vision. Horus' left eye represents the lunar, intuitive, feminine energy. His right eye is connected to the solar, masculine energy of outer action. In the synergy of this temple, we can balance Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine energies within ourselves, and thus contribute to balance in the outer world. In the words of Hermes Trismegistus, also known as the Egyptian god of wisdom and writing, Thoth: “As within, so without.” (Overnight on Afandina; Breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Day 8, Sat, Jan 15 - Sailing, Relaxation Day
At last, a day of rest and integration as we sail the entire day to Aswan through the timeless countryside of Upper Egypt. We will stop to visit an Egyptian village where some of the Afandina's crew live and experience a heart to heart connection with the Egyptian people. Back aboard the Afandina, we will have time to Circle, to journal, and to process. You will be free to enjoy doing healing work on each other and/or to experiment with sacred sounds, chants, and dance. Be spontaneous! We may even get to swim in the Nile, as some of us may have in ancient times. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Day 9, Sun, Jan 16 - Sail to Kom Ombo / Aswan / Soheil / Nubian village
In the morning, we sail to Kom Ombo, the only temple in Egypt dedicated to two gods. Poised between the edge of the river and the encroaching desert sand, this dramatic temple is dedicated to two Neters, or deities—Sobek, the crocodile god of strength, fortitude, fertility and rebirth, and Horus, the hawk-headed son of Isis and Osiris. This is a place to reconcile the duality of light and dark. One of the temple's most powerful places is the Seat of Neutrality, situated on the exact centerline between the halves of the temple dedicated to Horus/Sobek and Light/Dark. In ancient times, powerful initiations took place here involving Crocodiles, testing initiates to overcome fear/shadow.
The rest of the day we relax and integrate as we sail to Aswan. Upon arrival, we will travel by small boat to visit Soheil Island, a place marking the mythical source of the Nile. In ancient times, Pharaohs made pilgramage to this place to ask the mighty Nile for a good flood for the people and the crops. Ancient hieroglyphic “graffiti” can still be seen here from their visits. We will do a ceremony to honor the Water Element and the goddess Anuket, personification of the Nile as the nourisher of the land and crops. Free evening in Aswan to explore the Nubian village, a colorful Bohemian village of the Nubian people. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Day 10, Mon, Jan 17 - Philae / Temple of Isis
In reverence, in the soft hush of the pre-dawn darkness with the stars twinkling overhead, we will take a small boat to visit the goddess Isis at her beautiful island Temple at Philae. We will have the entire island and temple to ourselves for a 2-hour private ceremony. As we gather around the ancient altar stone in the holy of holies, we will connect to our own Divine Feminine and the energy of Mother Isis' pure love and healing energy. Together we will watch the sun rise over the Nile River. Emil will then guide us through the temple where some say that Jesus, Mother Mary, and Mary Magdalene studied the Isis Mysteries. This temple reflects the fusion of three great civilizations – Egyptian, Greek and Roman. In a feat of modern engineering, this temple complex was dismantled and rebuilt on a different island in the 1960s to save it from being flooded by the Aswan Dam.
We return to the Afandina to relax, integrate and have a final sharing circle on the boat. This evening we are treated to special dinner followed by a dance party! (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Day 11, Tues, Jan 18 - Aswan / Cairo / Great Pyramid:
After an early breakfast we fly back to Cairo and check in to the Mena House hotel.
We settle in and prepare for our very special evening, when we will enter into the heart of the Great Pyramid for a private 2-hour visit into the King's chamber. In this sacred sound healing chamber, together we will co-create a ceremony of initiation and fulfillment of sacred intention, opening ourselves to the Great Mystery, without expectation. (Breakfast, lunch)
Day 12, Wed, Jan 19 - Dahshur / Red Pyramid / Bent Pyramid / Closing circle / Farewell dinner
Today we visit the Dahshur area, where the White, Black, Red, and Bent Pyramids are situated. Because this area was closed for over 25 years and only recently opened to visitors, we will perhaps feel very different flavors of energy as we connect with these less-visited pyramids. The Red and Bent pyramids hold incredible acoustics and we will have an opportunity to explore one or both of them. We will have a late lunch at a typical Egyptian countryside restaurant. On our way back to the hotel, we will visit a famous Papyrus institute where we can see how papyrus is made.
We will also have the opportunity to visit a perfumery and learn from a master perfumer with great knowledge of the spiritual and physical healing properties of essential oils.
Day 13, Thurs, Jan 20 - Final Departure
Depending on your time of departure, Quest Travel will escort you to the airport in the early morning, or after breakfast, for your departure home. (Breakfast)
This itinerary is subject to change due to reasons beyond our control.
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Finally, we enjoy the sweetness and completion of our Closing Circle, followed by our Farewell Dinner at the sunken Hookah pit table at the Mena House, where we share our Egyptian experiences along with a lot of laughter. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)
After dinner we pay a night visit to the Temple of Luxor, called the Temple of Man by Egyptologist R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz, and explore its sacred geometry, which corresponds to the human body. The outer temples represent the feet and as we journey inwards, we reach the inner temple that represents the head. Tuning into the energies of the temple with our higher senses can allow us to access personal healing, physical and spiritual, and the divine codes embodied in the plan of the temple. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)