DAY 9: Luxor/Cairo
This morning we visit Karnak Temple, where for 2,000 years some 30 pharaohs added their own monuments and shrines. Karnak’s scale is vast. The 134 columns of the great hall create a forest of stone 70 feet high, while the towering obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut shadows the rear of the temple. The reliefs and carvings, created by some of Ancient Egypt’s finest artisans, are dramatic.
Later we explore exquisite Luxor Temple, on the banks of the Nile. The temple is guarded by massive statues of Ramses II, and has magnificent pylons, columns and statues. It has been a place of worship for millennia, as attested to by the mosque that was built atop the site. In the late afternoon, we continue to the Luxor Museum, which contains some of Egypt’s finest statuary, beautifully lit and displayed.
In the evening our aircraft waits for us, and we take our private flight to Cairo and transfer to the Mena House Hotel, located at the foot of the Pyramids. The Mena House was originally built in 1869 as a hunting lodge for the Khedive Ismail, and also accommodated guests at the opening of the Suez Canal. We've reserved rooms where you’ll have a view of the Pyramids from your balcony. The rest of the day will be free to explore the pyramids independently, shop, or relax by the pool. Dinner is at the hotel. (B,L,D)