The Holy Family trip

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Day 1:
Arrive in Cairo, be met by our staff who will assist you with clearing immigration
and customs and transfer
you to your hotel for the evening.

Day 2: Cairo - Pelusium
Today after an early breakfast we depart Cairo by air-conditioned van towards Pelusium. An ancient Egyptian city on the easternmost mouth of the Nile River.
It lies about 20 miles (32km) southeast of Port Said, in Sinai Peninsula.
One of the first resting places of the Holy Family, the city has long been destroyed, however,
today it is an active archeological dig with a first century church being restored. Pelusium is also famous as
the spot that Pompey was hanged and during crusades King Baldwin died of ptomaine poisoning.
It is rarely, if ever, visited by tourists.
It is common to find artifacts lying on the surface and it is important to remember that these are NOT souvenirs for you to take home.
Enjoy knowing the area is being saved and restored and that you are one of only a very few who have ever been there. Photos can be taken anywhere and those are the best permanent memory to bring home.
From Pelusium you will follow the trek of the Holy Family to Tel Basta (or Basta), a short distance from Zagazig, the main town in the Sharqiah Governorate, about 65 miles northeast of Cairo.
Here, Jesus caused a water spring to well up from the ground, and His presence caused idols to crumble, as foretold by the prophets of old.
You will visit the site of Belbeis (ancient Philippos) where they rested in the shade of a tree which came to be called "The Virgin Mary's Tree". Overnight in Cairo hotel.

Day 3: Cairo - Sakha
On to Sakha Town, the Coptic name of the town, 'Pekha-Issous', (vernacularized to Lysous) means, 'the foot of Jesus'; for the Holy Child's foot-print was marked, here, in bas-relief on a rock.
The rock was preserved, but hidden for centuries for fear of robbery, and only unearthed again 13 years ago.
The natural course of the Holy Family's journey from Samannoud to Sakha would have taken them through many of the towns and cities now lying in both the Governorates of Gharbia and Kafr El-Sheikh and, according to some folk traditions, through the Belqas wastelands as well.
Their trail from Sakha, is recorded in the documentation of Pope Theophilus' vision, and attested to by the Coptic practice in the Christian era.
For it was to Wadi el-Natroun (Natroun Valley) that they now came (and you will visit later), after crossing the Rosetta branch of the Nile to the western Delta and heading south into Wadi el-Natroun (then called Al Asqeet) in the Western Desert of Egypt. In the earliest decades of Christianity, the desert expanses of Wadi el-Natroun became the site of anchoritic settlement and, later, of many monasteries, in spiritual commemoration of the Holy Family's passage through the valley. Return to Cairo for overnight.

Day 4: Cairo - Matariyah & Ain Shams
Eventually, they left the desert behind them and made their way southwards, crossing the Nile to its eastern bank, and heading for Matariyah and Ain Shams (ancient Heliopolis, the site of the oldest 'Temple-university' in history called since earliest Pharaonic times, 'Oan') Setting out next towards Old Cairo, the Holy Family rested for a while in Zeitoun (the word means Olives), on their way; then proceeded along a course which traverses what are now crowded, bustling quarters of Cairo, within which the serene landmarks of an earlier Coptic heritage still stand, marking the paths the Holy Family followed. Overnight in Cairo.

Day 5: Cairo - Minya
Today we will leave Cairo by private vehicle and follow the path south to Minya and Upper Egypt. After their short, but all-too-felt, stay in Old Cairo, the Holy Family moved in a southerly direction, reaching the modern Cairo suburb of Maadi which, in earliest pharaonic times, was an outlying district of Memphis, the capital of Egypt then; and, at Maadi, they boarded a sailing boat which carried them up the Nile towards southern Egypt.
An event of miraculous importance occurred on Friday 3rd of the Coptic month of Baramhat the 12th of March 1976 AD.
A Holy Bible of unknown provenance was carried by the lapping ripples of the Nile to the bank below the Church.
It was open to the page of Isaiah 19:25 the page declaring, "Blessed be Egypt My People".
The Bible is now behind glass in the Sanctuary of the Virgin in the Church for all to see.
(While the Holy Family traveled by sailboat we will use an air-conditioned vehicle to follow their route)
When they resumed their travels, the Holy Family passed a laurel tree a stone's throw south of Gabal El-Tair, along the pathway flanking the Nile and leading from the Mountain to Nazlet Ebeid and the New Minya Bridge of today.
It is claimed that this tree bowed to Jesus Christ as He was passing. The configuration of the tree is indeed, unique:
all its branches incline downwards, trailing on the ground, then turn upwards again, covered in a cloak of green leaves.
They call the tree, Al Abed - 'The Worshipper'.
Overnight in Minya hotel.

Day 6: Minya - Dairout, Al Sharif and Qussqam
Once more crossing the Nile, back to its West Bank, the Holy Family traveled southwards to the town of Al-Ashmounein or Hermopolis Magna but it seems that they did not stay long there.
Leaving behind them the rubble of fallen idols, they continued south, for another 12 miles to Dairout Al-Sharif (which, like Al-Ashmounein, had an alternative Greek name Philes); and then to Qussqam (or Qost-Qoussia).
Overnight in Minya (B)

Day 7: Minya - Cairo
Today we return to Cairo by the first class train and overnight (B)

Day 8: Cairo - St. Catherine's -
Today we head out to St. Catherine's and Mount Sinai with a stop at Moses Springs.
(7 hours drive) Take an early rest if you wish to climb the mountain, the hike starts around 1-2am to see the sunrise on the mountain.

Day 9: St. Catherine's - Cairo
After the climb we return for breakfast and a visit to the Monastery, before heading back to Cairo for overnight ( 7 hours drive).

Day 10: Cairo -
Today we visit Coptic Cairo and the Hanging Church and walk down the road to Saint Sergius Church where Christ and the family walked and hid from Herod in the Crypt. We visit St. George's Monastery where St. George was chained. Visit the Coptic Museum. Overnight in Cairo.

Day 11/12: Cairo
No trip to Egypt would be complete without a visit to the Egyptian Museum and the King Tut exhibit, the Pyramids and time for some shopping at the Khan Khalili Bazzar.
Day 13: Cairo
Transfer to the Airport

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