Pictures from Egypt and Jordan

Following the Footsteps of Moses and Jesus

A Pilgrimage to Holy Sites in Egypt and Jordan

Led by:

The Rev. Jim Nixon
St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church
Marietta, Georgia

March 13 – 24, 2009

Trip map

DAY 1, Friday, March 13, 2009 - Depart the U.S. from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  Dinner on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2: Saturday, March 14, 2009 - We will arrive in Cairo this afternoon and meet our driver and guide and board our motor coach for the transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.  We will overnight in Cairo. BLD

DAY 3: Sunday, March 15, 2009 - Today we will visit the amazing Museum of Egyptian Antiquities with its Tutankhamen Collection.  We continue on to Old Cairo to see the Church of Abu Sraga, built to commemorate the Flight of the Christ Child to Egypt.  We will see the Ben Ezra Synagogue and the Mar Mosque.  We will visit the Church of St. George, a modern building sitting over a Roman tower, where priests wrap heavy chains around the heads and waists of believers while they chant prayers in the memory of St. George by the Romans.  Passing the Citadel and the Sultan Ahassan Mosque, we will end the day with a visit to the Khan el Khalili Bazaar.  Dinner and overnight Cairo. BLD

DAY 4: Monday, March 16, 2009 - This morning we will see the famous Pyramids of Giza and enter the Cheops Pyramid.  We continue on to the famous Sphinx, carved out of a single block of rock.  From there we will drive to the ancient capital of the Pharaohs, Memphis, and see the exotic decorations with which it is adorned.  We will continue on to Sakkara, probably one of the earliest Pharonic sites and see the Step Pyramids.  Dinner and overnight Cairo. BLD

DAY 5: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - We begin our journey into the desert from Cairo to St. Catherine’s with our coach and driver.  We will stop along the way for lunch and then continue through the breathtaking desert scenery to the foot of Mt. Sinai where we will have dinner and overnight BLD

DAY 6: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - Early morning climb to the top of Mt. Sinai (for those who wish, there will be camels available to ride) which commemorates the spot where Moses received the Ten Commandments.  Once we reach the summit, we will celebrate Holy Eucharist.  We will descend the mountain after sunrise and explore the 5th century St. Catherine’s Monastery, commissioned by the Byzantine emperor Justinian in AD 530 to protect those of Greek Orthodox faith.  It is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited monastery in the world. Inside the monastery, we will see the Church of the Transfiguration (now called the Church of St. Catherine) where some of the rarest icons in the world are displayed along with the relics of St. Catherine.  Just outside the church is Moses’ Well where Moses is said to have met his wife Zipporah.  There will be some free time this afternoon to relax and enjoy the desert experience.  We will have dinner and overnight at the Sino Plaza Hotel at St. Catherine’s. BLD

DAY 7: Thursday, March 19, 2009 - We will have an early wake up call to continue to Nuweba where we will board the fast ferry to Aqaba and then continue on to Petra for dinner and overnight.  We will be traveling through Wadi Rum, known for its spectacular desert landscape as we approach the area of Petra.  A late afternoon visit to Petra during the sunset hours may allow you to see this ancient city in the rich light of sunset.  Dinner and overnight Petra. BLD

DAY 8: Friday, March 20, 2009 - A day to explore the Red Rose City of Petra which some historians equate with Sela, a town in which the Israelites had a famous victory over the local Edomites.  We will have the choice to walk to the site or to take a carriage ride through the dramatic “siq” or canyon.  We will see the Treasury, carved in pink stone, and continue past the Roman Theatre, the Corinthian Tomb and Palace Tomb.  As we continue we see the theatre, the Roman Soldier Tomb, the Columbarium and much more as we make our way to the High Place of Sacrifice located at the top of Jabal Mount.  The High Place of Sacrifice is considered to be the oldest major cultic facility in Petra.  We visit the museum and, for those who take the 60 minute walk to the Monastery, they will be rewarded with the best sites in Petra. BLD

DAY 9: Saturday, March 21, 2009 - We depart Petra and drive north along the Kings Highway to Kerak where we will visit the impressive Crusader Castle.  We will enjoy lunch in Kerak.  Now on to Mt. Nebo where Moses viewed the Promised Land and see the Jordan Valley, Jericho and the Judean Hills beyond.  We continue on to Madaba to see the remains of the mosaic map of the Middle East and Jerusalem. The Madaba Mosaic Map is a unique piece of art made in the 6th century A.D. as a decoration for the pavement of a church in the town of Madaba.  At that time Madaba was part of the so called Provincia Arabia, and was inhabited by Aramaic speaking Christians descendant from the ancient biblical people of the Moabites.  The mosaic was discovered accidentally about one hundred years ago (in 1897) while constructing a new church for the Greek-Orthodox Arab community, which was then settling on the very ruins of the ancient town of Madaba.  We continue to Amman for our dinner and overnight. BLD BLD

DAY 10: Sunday, March 22, 2009 - This morning we will drive to Ajlun Castle, perched on a high peak some 20 minutes drive west of Jerash, in whose province Jesus drove the demon legion into the “Gerasene swine”.  Visible from all directions, the castle was originally built in 1184 by a cousin of the great Arab leader Salahdin and was used as a base in his successful campaign to drive the Crusaders from Jordan.  We will visit Jerash, a close second to Petra on the list of favorite destinations in Jordan.  The ancient city boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years and fantastic ruins from the Christian era. We will visit Pella, magnificently set in a fold of the hills that rise from the Jordan Valley 78 km north of AmmanPella, known in Arabic as Tabaqat Fahl, is one of the most ancient sites in Jordan and a favorite of archaeologists because it is so exceptionally rich in antiquities.  This evocative site is where the early Church leaders established themselves after being driven out of Jerusalem.  Driving through the Jordan River Valley, we will return to Amman for our overnight. BLD

Day 11: Monday, March 23, 2009 - This morning we will visit the site where archaeological evidence is mounting that John baptized Jesus on the eastern side of the Jordan River at Bethany Beyond the Jordan.  We will renew our baptismal vows at this peaceful site. Returning to Amman we will visit the site where David had Uriah, the Hittite, killed in a siege of the Citadel.  Here we will see the excavated ruins of previous Roman, Byzantine and Islamic civilizations.  This afternoon there will be free time to explore Amman as we prepare to leave for home.  We will have dinner and overnight in Amman. BLD

DAY 12: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - Early morning departure from Amman, Jordan to the United States arriving back in Atlanta this afternoon. BL

Price: $2,899.00.  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Priced with air from Atlanta, GA.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement $599.00.

Final payments due December 1, 2008

Cancellation Penalties
◊ May 1 - October 1, 2008 - $100 per person per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ October 2 - November 30, 2008 - $300 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After December 1, 2008: NO REFUND

An application for travel insurance will be included with the receipt for your deposit.  We strongly recommend that you seriously consider this coverage.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, S Snack

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.

This pilgrimage involves moderate physical activity, including the ability to walk a mile or two at a time, to climb a modest number of stairs, and to be “on one’s feet” for an hour or two at a time.