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November - December 2008: Middle East (Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt) (498 photos)

Egypt: Sinai Mountain / Sharm-El-Sheikh


Day 8
Today we travelled from Jordan to Egypt. Fact is that one could quickly get there on land, however in order to do with one has to pass a strip of Israeli territory (Port Eilat on the Red Sea) Some of the people had gotten sick the previous day, and now had to reserve strategically better seats in the front of the bus. On the way, we got to see a sandstorm. From our vantage point on the ship, we were able to see four different countries at once: Saudia Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Egypt. Each of these wanted access to the Red Sea, so that if it weren’t for the borders dividing the countires one could easily pass through all four within twenty minutes. We were lucky enough to see dolphins here, however it didn’t seem appropriate to rush for cameras to depict this during mass, so unfortunately there is no photographic evidence of this. We managed to make it to the city before Mt. Sinai just before nightfall. There was no internet, however I went into town where I located a small internet café. By this point I was used to their computers, always at a state easily ready for the dump – however still better than nothing. The long trips and constant lack of sleep here made themselves known. If it weren’t for the constant demand to check my e-mail, I might have been able to set aside more time for such personal purposes. Because of this, I resigned from the visit to the Sinaj Mountain that night, choosing instead to get a long night of sleep and take a morning jog the next dawn.

Day 9
Today we arrived in Sharm El-Sheikh, where we were given a one-day break. On the way we got to view the beautiful sight of Synaj from the mountains. Sharm El-Sheikh is the largest tourist centre in all of Egypt. It is picturesquely set by the Red Sea – one of the largest coral reefs in the world. Here, there are many resorts and hotels. The desert’s borders actually approach the sea itself, so all of the industrialistic buildings are crowded around this same meeting point. In the evening we managed to organize a small gathering around two bottles of wine. For the first time, I tried smoking a local pipe – not bad, under the condition that you keep some reasonable limits.

Day 10
Sharm El-Sheikh and the flight to Luxor. Today we set out on a boat to attempt snorkeling. Only two of us from the group had ever dived (after our trip to Puerto Rico my eagerness for it, however, vanished…) so I, along with everyone else, were content with snorkeling. It took us over an hour to find a free ship which we could take to a suitable snorkeling ground. By the time we arrived at the first of these places, at least another hour had passed. By the journey’s conclusion, however, easily half the people on the ship returned with green faces and lacking the breakfast they had consumed earlier that day. Oddly enough, I was not part of this unhappy group. We snorkeled mainly in two places, each no more that a few meters from shore. I’m not sure why the boat was necessary at all, killing so much time waiting for and sailing with it when we easily could have arrived in the same places from the beach, particularly considering our hotel had one of the nicest beaches. Still, we managed to fit some swimming into our trip, and the snorkeling was easily just as good as it had been in Hawaii or anyplace in the Caribbeans. It’s only a pity we couldn’t have stayed there a day or two longer. In the evening we had our flight to Kairu, from where we took a connecting flight to Luxor. We ended up arriving in our hotel well after midnight. It was much too late for everyone, especially considering that we had to leave it several short hours later for two full days of visiting.




Nuweiba - Egypt


Vie of Aqaba Bay


Vie of Aqaba Bay


One of tourist resorts on the coast of Sinai


Sunset at Sinai


On the Red Sea beach in Sinai


Our hotel in Sinai


Mass on Sinai, near St.Catherines monastery


Bottle of wine in Sharm El-Sheikh


Locals with whole families went snorkling (seriously here just lining-up to the boat !!!)


Snorkling and scuba-diving in Sharm El-Sheikh


Coming back after snorkling in Sharm El-Sheikh


Stone desert in Jordan


The boat trip on Aqaba Bay was way too looooong


The boat trip on Aqaba Bay was way too looooong


At the top of Sinai Mountain


At the top of Sinai Mountain


Mass on Sinai, near St.Catherines monastery


Nearby St.Catherine's monastery


St.Catherine's monastery


St.Catherine's monastery


St.Catherine's monastery


Emptyness in Sinai - only mountains, rocks and sand


A small party in Sharm El-Sheikh


A small party in Sharm El-Sheikh


The waiter shows us how to smoke shisha


A small party in Sharm El-Sheikh


Near our hotel - waiting for snorkling trip


The group is ready for snorkling (they did not know yet that most of them will get sea-sick)


Snorkling and scuba-diving in Sharm-El-Sheikh


Our priest was ready since the very beginning


Pity that no one else wanted to join me


Back at the hotel


Our hotel at Sharm El-Sheikh


The airport in Sharm El-Sheikh

Sand storm in Jordan


Jordanian coast in Aqaba


The mass on the ship at Red Sea (from Jordan to Egypt)


Nuweiba - Egypt


Internet Cafe in Sinai


Sinai coast - tourist signs are mostly in Russian, not English


At the top of Sinai Mountain


Jerry claimbing to the summit of Sinai Mountain


There were some clothes rectrictions at the St.Catherine's monastery. People with short could not enter and had to cover their knees.


These, who claimbed Mt.Sinai at night had to take some a short nap in the bus on the way to Sharm El-Sheikh


Short stop for the lunch in Dahab


Souvenirs stored in Dahab


Smoking shisha


Konrad discover what smoking is about


Maciek could not stop it...


Konrad in my flippers


The equipment is ready


On the boat


Sea-sickness effected most of our group


Driving thru Sharm El-Sheikh


In 2005 there was a terrorist bomb attach in Sharm el-Sheikh killing at least 88 people and wounding 200


Changing airplane in Cairo and long night conversations of Poles...

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