"" Writer's Wanderings: Egypt - Sharm el Sheikh

Friday, April 15, 2011

Egypt - Sharm el Sheikh

Our second stop in Egypt was at Sharm el Sheikh another resort area on the Red Sea located on the Sinai Peninsula. Sharm el Sheikh is also noted for its five star resorts along Na’ama Beach and scuba diving. Again, we opted for a day at the beach rather than a day long excursion to St. Catherine’s Monastery where it is said Moses saw the burning bush.

This time, we were escorted to a Marriott Hotel. Again the accommodations were very nice but the beach was not as nice as the previous day. There seemed to be a lot of trash in the water and it was jellyfish season. I was glad we’d ventured into the Red Sea waters the previous day.

Once we were settled on loungers under an umbrella, our guide rounded us up for a glass bottom boat ride. I’ve taken these before and usually they are not that great for those of us who are used to scuba diving. This one was quite different. The reefs were close enough to the viewing windows to see quite clearly and the water was crystalline. While viewing this way makes everything appear more blue than it really is, there was still a lot of color to be seen especially when the sun shone on the corals.

And there was an abundance of marine life—parrot fish, butterfly fish, triggers, and even a couple of sting rays among a myriad of others both big and small.

Back on shore, we lounged a bit and then enjoyed another buffet meal in the hotel before moving to a couple of lounge chairs near the pool. Okay, it’s a tough life but someone has to live it.

The pool water was very cold but refreshing. And again we were impressed with the hospitality of the Egyptians. No matter what their job at the hotel from repairmen to hotel manager, we were greeted with hellos and welcomes.

As we waited for our tour bus for the short ride back to our ship, we were delighted at the sight of some young men riding camels down the street amid the traffic. I wondered if they were some of the Bedouins who live traditionally just a bit further inland. Later we passed them resting in the center of a traffic roundabout. It was a nice grouping but unfortunately we were past them before my camera was ready to shoot.

After dinner, we watched the sun set over the Sinai Mountains as our ship sailed away from port and headed for the next day’s destination, the Suez Canal.

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