Sunday, April 27, 2008

Charming Sharm

After the madness of Cairo, a relax in Sharm el Skeikh (or 'Charming Sharm' as they called it) was definitely needed.

Sharm is a very strange place. Think of an endless desert with mountains and sand dunes and terrains and rocky bits, and then out of nowhere is the bluest sea you've ever seen, even from the plane, surrounded by reefs. Then add a couple of hundred (thousand?) white resort buildings in various formations with artificially cultivated bits of green, but still surrounded by an overwhelming desert at every point that hadn't been developed.

One of the most amazing things about being in Sharm was to take in the sight of the desert meeting the sea. I've been trying to dig out a pic that captures what an amazing contrast it was, but I don't have one, so try and imagine the one above and the one below combined together and you should just about have it!

The Patong Beach of Sharm was a place called Naama Bay, except obviously without the strip clubs! While it had enormous numbers of sheesa bars and lots to do, but it was a bit seedy for our liking and the Egyptian men that we had only just shaken off after Cairo were back in force. We ended up only going in there once and it didn't take much for us to get that drained feeling again and flee back to the resort.

In fact, in our effort to relax, we didn't get up to too much of anything. This was easy because our resort was all inclusive, including alcohol (although there wasn't much to it; it all seemed very watered down). The resort was nice enough although a little out of date - the singer in the bar was still churning out Backstreet Boys hits from the early 90's and things were falling apart a bit. But it had all the essentials so we couldn't complain.

One thing we did manage to get up to was a bit of snorkeling (Sharm is famous for its diving, but I was too wimpy/lazy for that). One day we went out on a lovely trip round various reefs, swam around in crystal blue water and feasted on a delicious food. Perfection!

So yes, a relaxing end to the madness of Cairo and Egypt in general. It was a lovely escape from it all, but it wasn't too hard to get back on the plane to somewhere more familiar...


Anonymous said...

Hi Penny,

An interesting history attached to Sharm. How beautiful the sea looks and so inviting!We found we were harassed a bit in Morocco even in the late 70s.A tough society. Am looking forward to the next blog on Crete! Love Mumx

Anonymous said...

Hi Penny,
Lucky you being able to spend even a few days basking beside such a deep blue sea. Pity so many of these places are spoilt outside the resorts and that must affect the local shopkeepers. Glad to hear the snorkelling was good - was it better that Noumea? Maybe next time you go somewhere like that, you could take a desert safari trip by camel! Or maybe 4WD would be better.
Love Dadxxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Pen,

Love the head piece in the your egypt photo's! All looks like you are having a lot of fun and doing tonnes of travel. Dan is taking me for a romantic weekend to the Blue Mountains but that is about it for travel for me.

Have fun with Mum and Dad. Take care of them for me. I'll write you a proper email soon. xoxoxoxox

Anonymous said...

I sit here at the computer, with my jumper and trackies on, listening to the sound of rain pelting the window...and I despise you.

Haha only joking, just a bit of jealosy creeping in there. It's not even actually raining here but it sounds more melodramatic that way. It looks like you found quite a nice spot to relax there! I love a good resort where you can just lie around all day and feel content in the knowledge that you achieved absolutely nothing.

Good to hear you had a good time. Say hi to the folks for me!

Love Jeremy xx