Going to Egypt
Marie and I had talked about going to Egypt to see the land that we had heard and read about in our Bible studies. We did not get to go during her life time. So I decided to sell some bank stock we had and use it to take Bill, Helen, Ann, and Margie, on such a trip. So I managed to sell the bank stock and arranged with Jeanette Westfall, a lady in our Church, who was a tour conductor for Sanborn Tours, Inc., 2015 S. 10th St., McAllen, TX 78503 to do this. Margie could not go because she could not leave her young son Perry, so I gave her the money to keep or to go at a later date.
Touring group, Pompey's pillar, Cairo airport
The trip was scheduled for October 6 - 17, 1995, and was close to being called off because of hurricane Opal in the Gulf of Mexico. I had boarded up the picture window, and doors, and windows, and prepared for the worst, water, food, tools, and generator were in order. It was only on the morning of the 5th that this trip became possible. Mrs. Westfall had made preparations those leaving Gulfport to travel by auto because all air flights had been cancelled from Gulfport. Truly the Good Lord spared us and made the trip possible. The trip went on the Gulfport airport as originally scheduled. All of us met at the Egyptian Airlines Office in New York City, and left for Egypt at 11 PM on the 6th arriving at Cairo, Egypt at 7 AM on the morning of the 7th.
Briefly the Itinerary was as follows:
Day 1: Oct 6th ( In flight)
Day 2: Oct 7th Cairo ( Meals in Flight) Customs and transfer to Geziram Sheraton Hotel
Day 3: Oct 8th Cairo. Met Egyptologist, and visited Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, and treasures of King Tut, and Saladin's Citadel.
Visited Coptic Church Abu Serga, where the Holy Family spent some time during their stay in Egypt.
Day 4: Oct. 9. Coptic Cairo. This day Bill and I went on a special bus to Alexandria Egypt, to see the Roman Catacombs, Pompey's Pillar, the Citadel of Alexandria, and the Coptic Museum.
Day 5: Oct 10. Cairo/Optional and Simbel/Aswan. We packed up and left Cairo at 11:15 AM and arrived at Aswan at 4:20 PM, and checked in at the Old Cataract Hotel, overlooking the Nile. The restaurant had a dome of 75 ft and could seat 200 people.
We were served tea on the terrace and listened to music of a Turkish Orchestra.
Day 7: Oct 12. We went by Bus to Aswan Dam, built by the Russians, and controlled by the Army - went by bus to see Unfinished Obelisk, and Temple of Philae, near the Dam
Day 8: Oct 13. Traveled by boat at night to to Edfu, which is now Luxor, where the Shrine of Khum is located, and was built by Ptolmey V1 (180-145 BC). That night aboard the boat we attended a "Galabeya", where we donned our Egyptian clothing and were entertained by a "Belly Dancers" and by a man doing the "Whirling Dervish."
Day 9: Oct 14. This day we were scheduled to visit four Valleys. I. Valley of the Kings, 2. Valley of the Queens, 3.Valley of the Nobles. 4. Valley of the Workers. This valley dates back to 1500 BC, and was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. Rameses 3rd , Queen Hatshepsut, and King Tut are a few of those buried there.
Day 10: Oct 15. On this day we visited the Temple Complex of Karnak, at Luxor, and in the Bible was referred to as Wasset, and Thebes. It was built by Amenhotep 3rd in the period 1391-1353 BC, enlarged by King Tut, and Alexander the Great. We left Luxor at 3:00 PM and arrived at Cairo at 7:00 PM.
Day 11: Oct 16. Today we visited the Pyramids, Memphis Museum, the Sphinx, King Tut's Tomb, and had lunch at the Mena House at the Oberi Hotel. Next we went to see the Ancient City of Memphis, built in or about 3000 BC. It was Egypt's capital during the Old Kingdom. Next we went to see the Pyramid at Giza, at Sakarra, and the pyramid of Abu Seal, the pyramid was built at the time of King Joseph in 2700 B C. After the visit to the Pyramid, I rode a camel from the Pyramid over to the Sphinx. The Sphinx was carvedduring the reign of Chephren (2529-2504 BC).
That night we all ended up at the Ramses Hilton Hotel, where we had a gala farewell dinner. We had a ring side seat there to see the Musicians, a Belly Dancer, (who wore high heels) and the men dancers who did the "Whirling Dervish."
From there we went back to the hotel to rest a few hours, and then we put our bags out at 11 PM to be ready to go to the Airport at 1:00 PM, then check through customs, and get on the plane to go to JFK in New York. The lady in the chair, was from Gulfport, and was a "Belly Dancer". She performed for the occasion. Bill and I are back against the wall in the picture. The Whirling Dervish, by men, and the Belly Dance. by women, are considered sacred by the Muslims and only Muslims may take pictures of the occasions.
The picture cost me $25.00. after the show.
Day 12: Oct 17. We were at the Airport early enough to get our baggage checked and left Cairo, by Egyptian Air Lines, at 1:30 AM we arrived back in JFK about 6:15 AM and from there to Gulfport, MS at 4:15 PM. My brother-in-law Jim Hengen was there to meet me, and took me home to greet my dog Ringo and pat him on the head. This was truly a trip "Of a Life time."