Saturday, March 28, 2009

Egypt BENT Pyramid to Open to Tourists

TRAVELERS to Egypt will soon be able to explore the inner chambers of the 4,500-year-old "Bent" Pyramid, known for its oddly-shaped profile, Egypt's antiquities chief said yesterday.

The increased access to the pyramid as well as others in the area is part of an Egyptian effort in cooperation with the United Nations to develop the pyramid complex in a sustainable fashion, while preserving the environment and the antiquities.

Egypt's chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass said the 100-meter pyramid outside the village of Dashur, 80 kilometers south of Cairo, will be opened for the first time to tourists within the next "month or two."

"This is going to be an adventure, and this is happening now," said Hawass.

Dashur's Bent Pyramid is famous for its irregular profile. The sides rise at a steep angle, then halfway up the massive structure they abruptly taper off at a more shallow approach to the pyramid's apex.

Archaeologists believe the pyramid's builders changed their minds while constructing it out of fear it might collapse because the sides were too steep.

The nearby Red Pyramid, also built by 4th-dynasty founder Pharoah Sneferu, is already accessible to visitors. Hawass said several other nearby pyramids, including one with an underground labyrinth from the Middle Kingdom, would also be opened in the next year.
(read full story)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Planning a trip to Egypt, Greece, or London...?

If so you will most likely visit the major archaeological sites and museums that are amidst the controversy over ancient treasures discussed in Sharon Waxman’s book Loot, The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World.

Anyone who has traveled to Greece, Egypt, Turkey or any country with a rich ancient past has heard the words
"...and the original is now at the British Museum.." or the Louvre, or the Berlin Museum, etc. The issue of who has the right to ancient treasures of the world was brought back into the public spot light with the 2002 Athens Olympics. Greece took the Olympics as an opportunity bring publicity to their request for the return the Parthenon Marbles (or Elgin Marbles as the British Museum refers to them). But the Marbles still sit in London. And the famed bust of the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti (on book cover to left) sits not in her homeland, but in Berlin.

Hear interview with Sharon Waxman on NPR.

Visit Sharon Waxman’s blog about her travels as she researched her book, a must read for travelers and museum goers!

Women-only Grace O'Malley tour to Ireland!

2009 Grace O’Malley tour of Ireland!
September 1-10, 2009
Early booking Special: $2379.00*
Dublin extension: $675

We have great special guests joining our women's Ireland adventure including best-selling author Anne Chambers and author/archaeologist Michael Gibbons. The itinerary takes us to the beautiful west coast of Ireland to places and castles associated with Grace O’Malley (Granuaile). For accommodations we have chosen quaint family run bed and breakfasts with lots of Irish warmth. So tell a friend and join us on an exciting adventure to the Emerald Island!

Itinerary online:

*Price is based on double occupancy for reservations received by May 1, 2009.
We do have a limited number of single rooms; if  traveling solo you may want to consider sharing a room with a fellow traveler to save the cost of the single supplement: $400.

The pace of the tour is leisurely, with time to explore on one’s own; and the group size is limited to 12 women or less.

The tour includes nine nights accommodations at traditional Irish B&Bs; hearty Irish breakfast daily, three group dinners, and one lunch; transfers as per itinerary; all tours in the itinerary are privately guided by local specialists and include admission fees; and the tour is fully escorted by a wanderwoman tour director for the duration of the tour to attend to details so that you can enjoy the adventure!

Tour highlights:
Burren walk; Dolman tomb; tour of “Grace O’Malley country” with Anne Chambers including Murrisk Abbey, the Famine Memorial. Rockfleet Castel and the Westport House; Clare Island walking tour; Connamera tour with Michael Gibbons including Omey Island, visit Ballynahinch castle, and Roundstone; optional hike up Croagh Patrick and more!

Also you will be provided with suggested packing and reading lists and recommendations for restaurants and optional activities.

The price does NOT include airfare to Ireland, but right now round trip airfare from the east coast of the USA is approximately $600..including taxes!
Note: as always with the airlines…this price is subject to change

I hope you are able to join us!

Live, laugh & travel!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What is the best time of year to visit Greece?

Greece has something to offer year around, but for the first time visitor to Greece early summer and early fall are best.

May to June the climate is perfect, not too hot, but warm and sunny. This time of year is also the most beautiful. With many flowers in bloom in early summer even the usually dry dusty places, such as the small island of Delos, are a live with color.

In July and August the hordes of tourists arrive. In the islands among the hordes are vacationing Greeks from the main land. Prices are inflated and options are limited. And the summer heat can be unbearable. So avoid these moths if possible.

By mid Sept and into Oct the crowds dissipate and prices fall. I especially love Greece during the first half of October, the hoteliers and shopkeepers have made their money for the season and now they are relaxed and enjoying local life. You never know what wonderful local event you might stumble upon!

The only down side of travel in early summer and early fall is the ferries start running less frequently to some of the smaller islands and the number of flights decrease.

Kalo taxidi (happy travels)!