Sometimes a trip comes your way that is just irresistible. For those who love and study history, religion and cultures, a Heritage Journey in Time & Place, is an extraordinary adventure into Ethiopia, Egypt and Jordan. It reaches far back in time to Ethiopia as the ‘Cradle of Mankind. It explores one of the world’s gems — Lalibella, rightly acknowledged as one of the Wonders of the World for the 12th and 13th-century rock-hewn churches built during the reign of King Lalibella of the Zaghwe Dynasty. It was named New Jerusalem.
Then it’s on to Gondar, where a dozen castles were built by various emperors over 236 years. Picturesque ruins, like fairy-tale castles, dating back to the 17th century are just waiting to be seen. The castles reflect the glory of Gondarine kings and are characterized by distinctive architectural style. The other place of interest is the Fasilides Pool, where pilgrims today still take a plunge during the Timket (Epiphany) celebrations.
Travel on to Egypt for an in-depth exploration of this ancient city and all it has to offer. As you drive around Old Cairo and step onto its alleys and walkways the aura of antiquities flows over you and you area swept into the past. Yes, you routinely enter 1,000-year-old sites that are anything but routine. Feel the chill move across you and take in the slightly stale air. Enter a 5th-century Coptic Church, with a basilica built on the cave where the Holy Family stayed. Drive into the desert to Dahshour to see the Red and Bent Pyramids, the first ancient attempt at building those structures.
Savor a special night when you meet Big Five Country Manager, Farah Abouseif, who previously worked for the United Nations defending women’s rights in Egypt. She takes you for a fascinating night out in Cairo to introduce you to some everyday people who live and work here. You gain personal insight into the city and enjoy rich conversations.
Travel to the Fayoum Region to visit Lake Qarun, Tunis Village and the pyramids of Meidum and Hawara. Take in the city founded by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. and experience the Catacombs of Kom El-Shogafa, the Roman Amphitheatre, Pompey’s Pillar and finally the fabled Bibliotheca of Alexandria. There is so much more to Egypt…. Aswan, Luxor, Abu Simbel, the great Nile River. It reads like a Indiana Jones script.
Then you move onto Jordan and Amman, its capital. A fascinating city of contrasts supports a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. This desert land has overlaying landscapes from the shores of the Dead Sea to the grand sweep of Wadi Rum. Travel up Nebo’s windswept promontory, overlooking the Dead Sea, Jordan River Valley, Jericho and the distant hills of Jerusalem, Moses viewed the Holy Land of Canaan. Then encounter the gorgeous rose city of Petra, carved into the side of a canyon some 2,000 years ago.
With every step, you feel the past is present, right here. Even the breeze at your back seems to whisper in your ear… remember this and this and this.