ISAC - Independent Schools Adventure Cruises
Cairo

PORT SAID, Egypt

Friday 1st November arrive 0700 depart 2200



The city was founded in 1859 taking its name from Said Pasha, who signed the Suez Canal Agreement with Ferdinand de Lesseps. It lies at the northern end of the Canal one of the wonders of the modern world. Today this bustling industrial city, lying at the north-eastern edge of the vast Nile Delta, is home to over half a million people.

*EXCURSION: Full day Cairo and the Pyramids included tour

In a convoy of luxury, air-conditioned coaches, we leave the duty-free zone of Port Said through the Customs check-point and head south towards Ismailia. The new dual-carriageway passes through reclaimed desert and swamplands fishing and saltpans to the right, primitive farming to the left. Latine-sailed fishing boats in the lakes and vast container ships on the canal appear to float above sand dunes and date palms. We take the modern by-pass to skirt Ismailia and then head south-westwards across the desert towards Cairo. We approach the Citadel of Saladin and the spectacular Mosque of Mohammed Ali, through the unforgettable "City of the Dead", the medieval necropolis. Then to the heart of Cairo to visit the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities to wonder at the magnificent treasures of Pharaoh Tutankhamun discovered earlier last century by Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings. We see them: death mask, gold covered coffins, jewels, thrones, weapons and chariots .... all in remarkable condition. Beyond Cairo lies Giza, where stands the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World, the Pyramids, tombs of the Pharaohs who ruled over Egypt 4,500 years ago. The Pyramid of Cheops rises to the height of a forty-storey block of flats and is constructed from two and a half million blocks of dressed stone. Down in the valley sits the Sphinx, guardian of this mortuary complex. Here, on the edge of the Sahara, there will be time perhaps to ride a camel, to visit a papyrus factory or bazaar. The return journey from Cairo will be across the desert direct to Port Said, where you may be able to do some last minute bargaining with the canal bank traders before re-embarking.
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