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Sekeds and the Geometry of the Egyptian Pyramids.

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Mid-winter solstice at Queen Hatshepsut's Mortuary temple

The Osirion and the Flower of Life

The Astronomical Alignment of Egyptian Temples.

Blog Diary 2007

Mid-Winter Solstice Celebration Holiday 2024

Hatshepsut temple

A fabulous holiday in Luxor visiting many ancient sites culminating in celebrating the mid-winter solstice at the magnificent temple of Queen Hatshepsut. We will also visit the Osirion in Abydos.

8th- 23rd December 2024:
Click here for details


Sacred Egypt

Winter Solstice Trip

A 16 day trip exploring some of the most significant sacred sites of Ancient Egypt in the Upper and Lower Nile Valley

led by David Furlong and run in conjunction with Eagle Travel

Sunday 8 December - Monday 23 December 2024

Day 1 - 8 December
Start of Trips 1 and 2
Depart home and fly to Cairo. From the airport we will be transferred to the Barcello Pyramids hotel. Before dinner there will be an Introduction to the trip and the sights we will be seeing in Lower Egypt.
Day 2 - 9 December After breakfast we will visit the new Egyptian museum, close to the Giza pyramids.
Afternoon free for different optional excursions, such as Coptic Cairo, horse riding in the desert or afternoon tea at Mena House Oberoi.
Day 3 - 10 December Morning visit to Sakkara, about 15 km to the south to see the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, While there we will visit the beautiful tomb of Mereruka, the Pyramid of Teti I and the Serapeum, where the sacred bulls of Apis were buried.
Day 4 - 11 December Visit the Giza plateau to visit the Great Pyramid of king Khufu. We will also see the pyramid of king Menkaure, the Sphinx and the Valley Temple of king Khafre. Son-et-Lumiere in the evening.
Day 5 - 12 December
Finish of Trip 2.
Trips 1 & 2 checkout of hotel and depart to Cairo International airport. Trip 1 flight to Luxor airport, Trip 2 return home.
Day 5 - 12 December
Trip 1 continues
Start Trip 3
Trip 1 transfer Luxor airport to hotel. Trip 3 arrivals and transfer to hotel.. Check into the Aracan Eatabe Luxor hotel. In the late afternoon we will visit to Luxor Museum, with its many exquisite artefacts, including the beautifully crafted statues known as the "cache" of Luxor.
Day 6 - 13 December Early morning start of overland visit to the magnificent cult temple of Seti I at Abydos, dedicated to the god Osiris. Here in this beautiful temple there are many enigmatic scenes including the famous "helicopter" hieroglyph. We will also see the strange structure at the rear of the temple known as the Osirion, which has drawn on one of its columns the "Flower of Life Symbol".

From Abydos we will travel to visit the temple of Hathor at Denderah built in Ptolemaic times. This temple has many astronomical depictions including the famous zodiac. This was one of the great healing temples of Egypt and is aligned to the stars of Ursa Major.

Day 7 - 14 December Start Trip 4 Optional early morning balloon flight. Transfer to Nile M/S Solaris 1 cruise boat. Arrival of participants from Trip 4. Evening visit to beautiful Luxor Temple, built by a succession of great kings from the 18th and 19th dynasties.
Day 8 - 15 December Visit the West Bank of the Nile including the Colossi of Memnon, which marks the start of the temple of Amenhotep III. We will then visit the Valley of the Kings, with its many tombs nestled under the 'Holy Mountain' of Thebes. From the Valley of Kings we will travel a short distance to visit the mortuary temple of Seti I at Qurna. This small peaceful temple is aligned to the southern lunar 'standstill'. Finally after lunch we will visit the great temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu. This temple has many beautiful carved scenes and the ceiling star map.
Day 9 - 16 December Sail to Edfu to visit to the magnificent temple of Horus, the best preserved in all of Egypt. In the myths Horus was married to Hathor and every year the priests travelled with their cult statues of the god and goddess between the two temples of Edfu and Denderah, celebrating a "divine" marriage. We too can feel into the unification of the two parts of our being, the yin and the yang, the masculine and the feminine.

Sail to Kom Ombo, to visit the Ptolemaic temple dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek and to Horus. Overnight in Aswan.
Day 10 - 17 December Optional early morning flight to Abu Simbel to see the magnificent rock cut temples of Ramses II and his wife Nefertari. This complex was raised from the valley floor when the Aswan High Dam was erected.

Afternoon Felucca sail to Elephantine Island where we will visit the temple Khnum one of the early dynastic creator gods, and part of the divine triad of Khnum, Satis and their daughter Anuket.
Day 11 - 18 December Early morning visit to the temple of Isis on the island of Philae. This temple was saved from destruction when the Aswan dam was built. This is a beautiful Ptolemaic temple, which holds some of the last inscriptions of the ancient hieroglyphic language. En route back we will visit the ancient quarries of Aswan and the high dam. Transfer to the Tolip Aswan Hotel. Evening visit to the old Souk market.
Day 12 - 19 December In the morning we will cross the Nile to visit to the early Christian Monastery of St. Simeon, where we can sense something of the life of the early Christian fathers. The ride from the Nile to the monastery will be by camel.
Afternoon optional visit to the Nubian Village, to see how people live close to the Nile.
Day 13 - 20 December After breakfast and travel overland back to Luxor. En route we will visit the temple of Horus again. The temple is aligned in a N-S axis and our noon arrival will allow us to experience something of the way the midday sunlight enters the temple. We will also vivit the Ptolemaic temple of Khnum at Esna. On arrival back in Luxor we will, check into the Aracan Eatabe Hotel.
Day 14 - 21 December Early morning sunrise visit to magnificent Karnak temple dedicated to the god Amun and his consort Mut. This temple is aligned to the mid-winter sunrise and we will have the first opportunity of having a sense of this phenomenon in the 'holy of holies' in the temple. We will also visit a subsidiary temple dedicated to Ptah, Sekhmet and Nefertum that houses the powerful statue of the goddess Sekhmet and the very interesting open air museum.
Day 15 - 22 December Early morning sunrise visit to Deir el Bahari (Hatshepsut temple), which is one of the most magnificent temples in the whole of Egypt. We aim to arrive early to experience the alignment of the winter solstice sun, through a 'light box' into the inner sanctuary of Amun at the centre of the temple.

After visiting this temple we will visit the Valley of the Queens to see the beautiful tomb of Queen Nefertari, (if open), plus one other tomb.

Day 16 - 23 December Check out of hotel and return flight to either Cairo or back home.

Photos of Egypt

Luxor Temple in the evening Abydos Temple
Hatshepsut's temple in the morning light Medinet Habu temple from the air
Solstice sunrise at the Karnak temple Sphinx avenue at Karnak
Sunset over the Nile Hieroglyps from the barque shrine of Sesostris I

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For further information please write to:
David Furlong or Frida Maria Myrtles, Como Road, Malvern Worcs WR14 2TH
Tel: +44 (0)1684-569105 or +44 (0)777-978-9047
Email: David Furlong

A felucca on the Nile
Felucca on the Nile

Temple of Hathor at Denderah
Denderah Temple - dedicated to the goddess Hathor

Temple of Queen Hatshepsute
Hatshepsut's temple at Deir El Bahri

Statue of Horus
The statue of Hours from the Edfu temple

Temple of RamsesIII
Carving of Goddess Hathor from the temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu.

Akhenaten from the Luxor Museum
King Akhenaten from the Luxor museum

Obelisk from the Karnak temple
Hatshepsut's obelisk from the Karnak temple

King Tutmosis III
King Tutmosis III from the Luxor Museum

The goddess Sekhmet from the temple of Ptah in the Karnak temple complex

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