Egypt & Jordan

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The Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt, has long-been known as the final resting place of Egypt’s rulers, and is where famed Pharaoh Tutankhamen was unearthed in 1922. Now another remarkable discovery has been made in the valley. The Associated Press reports that Swiss and Egyptian archeologists discovered the tomb of female singer Nehmes Bastet, who may have been some what of a pop star during her time.

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From the pyramids to the Nile, an Egypt tour has an aspect of adventure and discovery unmatched by any other place on earth. But why? As Gina Davidson writes for the Scotsman, Egyptians didn't exactly do that much for modern society. The preoccupation with Romans makes sense, as they left behind legacies such as roads, viaducts and bridges that we still use today. But Egyptians, with their hieroglyphs, mummies and animal-headed gods left us fascinating artifacts for museums.

September 16, 2011

Packing Tips for a Nile Cruise

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Cruising down the Nile is the adventure of a lifetime - the route past this living museum offers hundreds of opportunities to observe the historical and cultural wonders of this ancient land. However, a surefire way to ruin the trip is to pack incorrectly or inadequately.

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Floating in the Dead Sea is a relaxing end to a journey through Egypt and Jordan. After sailing upriver on a Nile cruise and crossing the sands of the Sinai, time to relax in these rejuvenating waters is ideal for both the body and soul.

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Pilgrims once flocked to the Egyptian island of Philae, coming from all over the ancient world to worship Isis, a goddess who is commemorated with a massive temple that was re-erected from beneath the Nile River. Isis was mysterious to most who worshipped her, but was believed to have healing powers for those who sought her counsel.

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The simple temple behind the Church of St. George is a must-see in Cairo before embarking on a Nile cruise or other explorations of Egypt. The Ben Ezra Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in Egypt, located on a site that has been holy to the Jews as long as they have been in Egypt. In fact, it is said to be where Moses was found in the reeds.

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Though sites like Machu Picchu, the Great Pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge may differ from one another in several ways, they are all bound by at least one similarity — distinction as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The prestigious title reflects these locations' unique positions as arbiters of the local culture and as a commanding physical significance for the area in which it is found.

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Meals are an aspect of Egyptian culture that American travelers may be unprepared for. Learning about Egypt’s dining culture will whet any visitor’s appetite for some local fare before exploring the Pyramids or relaxing on a Nile cruise.

While Egyptians are generally very enthusiastic about food and meals, their formal meals are structured differently than the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner format of the West.

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Before he took over an International Expeditions' Director of Product Development, Bill Robison spent years coordinating travel to Egypt. So he had this great tip to share regarding your souvenirs and things to keep handy on our Wings Over the Nile journey.

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The carved city of Petra offers delights for those interested in travel to historic places, but it was highlighted for its value in art history last summer when British conservation specialists discovered an "exceptional" painting on a cave wall.

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