Here is the tinerary ... as described by amalie_ mainly. (Participants include myself, my best friend Aaron, his wife amalie_, our friend Mark, and another friend of Aaron's)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Depart San Diego at 6:35 am.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Arrive in Istanbul at 9:55 am
Highlights of Sultanahment and Bazaar Quarter
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Highlights of Seraglio Point and Beyoglu
Tour Topkapi Palace first thing in the morning, 9 am
Possible afternoon or early evening cruise up the Bosphorus River
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Enjoy our day in Istanbul
Perhaps take a day trip out to Bursa or Iznik perhaps
If the ferries are operating we could possibly visit the Greek island of Lesvos, but don't count on it
Monday, October 19, 2009
Check-out of our hotel in the morning
Head out to Sabiha Gocken airport and take a flight out to Izmir on Pegasus Airlines
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Dedicate at least half a day to exploring Efes/Ephesus
Spend the rest of the day exploring Selcuk
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Relax in Selcuk
Perhaps spend the day exploring the southern ruins of Priene, Didyma, and/or Miletus
If the ferries are operating we may be able to visit the Greek island of Samos, but don't count on it
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Check-out of the hotel morning-ish
Take the bus to Izmir - it's about an hour and a half drive
Visit the Varan ticket office and pick up our tickets to Istanbul (around 12 Turkish lira per person which is a little less than $7 for an air-conditioned bus with breakfast service)
Explore Izmir at our leisure
Be at the Varan bus station by 11:00 pm so we can catch the overnight bus to Istanbul
Friday, October 23, 2009
Arrive in Istanbul at 6 in the morning
If we have the time we can do some last minute sightseeing
Eventually make our way to Ataturk Airport to catch the noon flight on Turkish Air to Tel Aviv, Israel
Arrive in Tel Aviv around 1:00 in the afternoon
Aviv's Uncle Amnon will be waiting for us at the airport to take us to his cousin Emy's house
Explore Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Banana Beach area
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Explore Northern Israel with Uncle Amnon
Visit Haifa and Akko
Sea of Galilee if there is enough time
Avoid Jerusalem at all costs
Return to Tel Aviv and spend the night at Emy's house
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Early in the morning Uncle Amnon will take us to Jerusalem
In the afternoon take the Egged bus from Jerusalem to Massada
Check-in to the Massada Youth Hostel
Swim in the Dead Sea
Sunset on top of Massada
Monday, October 26, 2009
Wake-up super early and take the cable car to the top of Massada to watch the sunrise
Take Egged bus 444 to Eilat
Chekc-in to the Eilat Youth and Guest Hostel
FInd a post office to pay the exit tax
Do sight-seeing around Eilat
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Wake up early in the morning and head out to the Israeli-Egyptian border at Taba and go through customs
Since we have our Egyptian visas in advance this should go smoothly
Either haggle a taxi or take the bus
First stop: Nuweiba
Second Stop: Dahab
We finally arrive in Sharm El-Sheikh
Once we get off at the bus stop we need to find a taxi that will take us to Shark's Bay
Thankfully the wonderful people of Shark's Bay sent me a map to give the taxi driver if he doesn't understand English very much
Check-in to our rooms at the Bedouin Village in Shark's Bay
Stop by the excursions desk and book desert safaris, snorkeling, trips to St. Katherine's Monastery and Mount Sinai, and all that good stuff
At 11:30 pm depart for Mt. Sinai with our Bedouin guides
Climb to the summit of Mt. Sinai and watch the sunrise
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Morning in St. Katherines, afternoon in Old Sharm/Na'ama. Aviv wants to quest for a duty free shop and found one with hilarious directions. (Have someone take you to the Camel Bar on His Majesty the King of Bahrain Street (apparently a local landmark), go straight until you see an Italian restaurant and Casino, take a left, and it's on your left past Romeo Jewelry). I think Aviv wants to go not only because it's an adventure but because we'll have only 48 hours on our arrival in Egypt to buy booze and he wants some for Halloween.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Day-trip to Petra, JORDAN!!!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Check-out of the hotel mid-morning
A hotel representative will take us to the Sharm El-Sheikh airport for only 5 euro per person (it was 4 euro but the economy forced them to raise their price by one euro)
Take the noon flight to Hurghada on Egypt Air (only a $50 ticket - more information on this later)
Arrive in Hurghada after an hour or so
A representative from our hotel may be there to pick us up but if not we'll take a taxi to the hotel
Check-in to our villa!
Visit the excursions desk to arrange sightseeing adventures!
If the hotel can't make the arrangements we want we can always arrange it ourselves because there is always Egypt's bus system!
Spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach and checking out the town
Saturday, October 31, 2009
First thing in the morning we need to make our way to Cairo
Do a little sightseeing in Cairo to pass the time
Be at the Cairo airport by 4:00 pm to pick up Tanja
Kris, you may have to pretend to be Tanja's husband for security reasons during her stay in Egypt (an unmarried woman traveling with a bunch of men can be frowned upon)
Make our way back to Hurghada
Spend the evening relaxing on the beach of the Red Sea
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Perhaps today we can go to Giza and Heliopolis to see awesome pyramids!!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Perhaps to day we can make our way to Luxor and Thebes to see the Valley of the Kings!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I'm looking into the possibility of spending some time in Alexandria. It may be virtually impossible but we shall see.
If we can't go to Alexandria we can always check out Abu Simbel!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Another awesome day in Egypt!
We can either relax in Hurghada or see some more sights!
Perhaps a trip out to Aswan or Dendara!!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
First thing in the morning we need to get ready and check-out of the hotel
Make our way to Cairo
Go straight to Cairo's airport and check in our baggage
Spend the rest of the day doing some last minute sightseeing around Cairo
If we feel adventurous we can always see the ruins at Saqqara just south of Cairo
Make it back to the airport by 10:00 pm at the very latest!!
Friday, November 6, 2009
A 12:30 in the morning we say goodbye to Egypt and fly home
Arrive in New York City and part ways on the journey home.
November 7th - 16th, 2009
While everyone else returns to their respective locations I (Kris talking now) am going to spend a week doing much less structured adventuring in the area of NYC while I'm there! Possibly crashing on Kerri and/or Dejah's couches, maybe throwing in a hostel, maybe even couchsurfing, maybe I'll rent a car and go somewhere completely different! I'm going to decide when I get there! :D