Last weekend we spent some time in a seaside resort in Sharm El Sheikh. Ali was covering a bird flu conference for work so Sebastian and I had some time on our hands to relax in the sun. As it was too bright in the midday sun, we waited until after his afternoon nap to venture out for a dip in the Red Sea. The water was about 29 degrees Celsius every day, much warmer than the pool overlooking the sea.
It was a strange place, as anyone who has ever spent time in a resort knows what a self-contained bubble it can feel like. Our hotel was located across the desert from the airport, with planeloads of tourist arriving morning and night. We felt separated from local life, if there is any in Sharm. A place which exists purely for the sake of tourists, I found it difficult to enjoy the company I was in, as most of the tourists staying at our resort weren’t too friendly.
There are so many Russian tourists in Sharm that the Egyptians working in the resort are more comfortable speaking in Russian than English. Maybe they didn’t seem friendly because we couldn’t understand each other, but I’ve never had that problem before. In my experience, a lack of understanding can sometimes lead to comedic and friendly exchanges. Despite the lack of friendly atmosphere, Sebastian was still very popular. One little girl even ventured to give him a big kiss on the mouth! Watch out girls, he’s going to be a heart breaker.
Ali worked long hours so it wasn’t until the end of our trip that we were able to enjoy some time at the beach with him. Colourful fish swam right up to the shore, in search of algae and swimming from one life coral patch to another. It was great to dip into the turquoise waters and see the rainbows of life swimming beneath me as I tread my legs to keep afloat.
Although a nice respite from busy Cairo life, it felt good to be home and back to the daily routine. There’s just something about being a tourist that gets exhausting. Maybe it’s the food, maybe it’s the other tourists, maybe it’s having a baby that needs to stick to a routine for sleeps sake, maybe it’s just life.
The Red Sea was gorgeous and I am looking forward to another visit, but one where Ali doesn’t have to work and all we have is a bungalow door between us and the sandy beach. I think Dahab will be our next destination of choice.
Photos posted to flickr in Sebastian in Sharm El Sheikh, photos of Sebastian in this set need a Guest Pass link of course.