WANTED: MIDDLE EAST TRAVEL EXPERTS

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Jun 1st, 2003, 02:55 AM
  #1
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WANTED: MIDDLE EAST TRAVEL EXPERTS

As a requirement in my daughter's geography class, they have to plan a Middle East trip for 12 people (students and adults) for 10 days. The tour must include at least 6 countries (at least 3 historical sites, 3 sacred sites and 3 geographical sites which means natural and not man-made). Budget is $4000 per person (all transportation within the region and meals, entrance fees, etc.) Also, the trip must start and end in Tel Aviv. Suggestions on the countries and itinerary are appreciated. Thanks very much.
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Jun 1st, 2003, 05:14 PM
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That is a lot of countries. Well here goes something. Just a few to get you started.Get a taxi which takes a number of people) to Jerusalem
Historical sites: Western Wall, See Jerusalem. Tower of David, dome of the Rock.
Jerusalem is holy city to three religions. Follow the path of Christ.


While in Jerusalem, go south to the Dead Sea (near Masada),(Natural site)salt water sea below sea level where you cannot sink but rather float on the surface due to the amount of salt.
Nearby is Masada-site of siege of the Maccabees where they committed suicide rather than give in.Also near there is the oasis kibbutz of Ein Geddi.Close by is the site where the dead Sea scrolls were found in a cave.

After spending some time in Jerusalem go north to Sea of Galilee ( lots of sites there) relevant to Jews and Christians. Visit Golan Heights.

Cross over to Jordan, visit Jerash, Jordan (well preserved Roman ruins)
Petra, Jordan, (after visiting Jerash). Can count as both a historical site and natural site. Incredible carvings of the canyon walls. Beautiful pink and red striated rock.
After visiting Petra, leave via the southern border crossing ( I forget its name)and go to Eilat and then across to Egypt.Visit the Sphinx and Pyramids.

Fly to Istanbul, Turkey. so many historical sites. Also it is one city which is in both Europe and Asia.Take a boat up the Bosphorus and pass under the bridge connecting Europe and Asia.

That is a start.
Now I have to go and help my own kid with his project.


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Jun 2nd, 2003, 01:00 AM
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Now I understand, the wonder of teachers who apparently think flights come like city buses - one of my former colleagues took 2 days to go from Beirut to Istanbul -she had to go via Morocco. Tel Aviv requirements totally knocks out Lebanon - you will not be exactly welcome with that stamp in your passport. I strongly suspect Syria will also be rather unwelcoming.
For Cairo aside from Pyramids and Sphinx, there is Coptic area - very relaxing for Cairo (pedestrianised) and full of history, Citadel for Saladin history and Egyptian Museum - to see how underpaid security guards spend their time - playing on game boys and allowing graffiti to be scrawled on monuments in the middle of the Museum by both moronic locals and tourists. The Nile for geography as longest river. Agree with Istanbul suggestion, but depends on Middle East defn - some have it in, others do not. Saint Sophia, the Bosphorus itself - geographic boundaray between Asia and Europe, the markets.
Dubai - could the Burj el Arab as the self-publicised 1st 7 star hotel qualifyas modern historical site - or as the only hotel for which you pay to have a look at reception ($60 I think?)- sacred maybe for devotion to wealth?
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Jun 2nd, 2003, 02:33 AM
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Since you are using the $4000 figure I am assuming these kids are under US passport?

First thing to budget would be a duplicate passport as travelling with the Isreali stamp could be prohibitive.

Keep in mind the Turkish visa is now $100. I believe Egypt visa is $40 and so on. These kids will be tied to the internet checking various embassy sites.

Good luck!
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Jun 2nd, 2003, 05:23 AM
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sandi
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Queenie - Thanks for reminding Fate re price of Turkish VISA, it was only $20 when we were there, and has been going up rather quickly to now $100.
There's also fee for Jordanian VISA but it's good for about 5 years.
As to the Israel VISA, they do not have to stamp your passport, just request a "transit visa stamp" slip paper inserted into passport and returned when you depart.
Not sure of VISA costs of other countries.
 
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Jun 2nd, 2003, 05:54 PM
  #6
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Thank you everyone for the insights and info provided. This helps a lot.
Again thanks and best regards to you all.
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