Why there ?
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View from the Balcony
Excursion to Cairo
Excursion to the Monastery of St. Catherine and to Mount Moses
In the Sinai Mountains
Walking down to the Monastery
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Sharm el Sheikh
The first all arranged Journey of my Life
If you use to travel around on your own in South America or China,
it is a strange feeling to be book a prefabricated journey,
with people only from your own region sitting in a chartered aeroplane,
clapping hands when landing smack, at the airport somebody waiting
to explain the way through passport check and customs,
and finally there is even waiting a bus to take you to the prebooked hotel.
But it was simply a good opportunity.
My girl friend from Kiev was visiting me again, so that leisure was on.
Instead of hanging around in february in Stuttgart,
I preferred to accept the suggestion of the girls of the travel agency
"Reisefieber" ( = travel fever ). They told me:
"We just have so good offers to Egypt !"
And it was nearly a little bit crazy what we received for our 370 Euros each:
the flight, the transfer to the hotel, 7 nights at a good hotel, breakfast and supper.
is beside of Hurghada on the continent side one of the well known destinations
of mass tourism in the Red Sea.
It located at the south top of the Sinai peninsula and became known in Europe,
first of all, by the peace talks between Israel and Egypt.
What does such a place offer to a traveller?
Possibly not so much to a real traveller.
The sights are quickly visited and there will be hardly
much of grown life or any native who does not work in the tourism business.
But to the holiday-maker, nevertheless, a lot !!!
For instance a high recreational value (because it is simply not possible
to put any stress to yourself) and certainly sun, beach and seaside.
"Seaside" is the big headword for most visitors.
Every diving fan knows the Red Sea. Even those who are afraid of water can admire
fish swarms of different colors swimming around their legs after some steps
into the water.
Once the old Sharm el Sheikh was an unimportant fishers' place.
Still today it is pretty uninteresting. Tourists only use to go there
to explore the jewelry shops. Interestingly enough the salesmen mostly
started conversation to us in Russian, even if we hadn't talked anything before.
About half way between old Sharm el Sheikh and the new airport,
not long ago a pure military airport, the dropped a tourism area
to the desert grounds around the Na'ama Bay. The old Sharm el Sheikh,
the Na'ama Bay and the airport are about 7 kms away each.
All new hotel areas were erupted spacious in a kind of neoarabic style.
There are there no buildings with more than 3 floors.
I felt strange about the streets. Even if they go through the middle of
nothing, left and right at least 2 kms of desert, there is always a
green center strip with blossoming shrubs. They must be watered
every night. The Egyptians fetch this water from hundreds of kilometers away.
There is one disadvantage compared to Hurghada. For excursions to places
like Luxor you need an aeroplane. In january 2002, such arrangements were
offered for approx. 250 Euros. Within our single week there was not enough time
to visit both Cairo and Luxor.
Destination number one is the Monastery of St Catherine.
In the southern part of the Sinai peninsula there are large granite mountains.
Once here 400 monks had been living. Today only 25 are left, 20 of them from Greece.
The monastery is located between the both highest mountains of Sinai,
St.Catherine's Mountain, 2.642 ms, and Mount Sinai, 2.285 ms.
The Mount Sinai is said to be the place, were Moses received 10 holy laws from
god's hands. Therefore, this mountain is called mostly Dshebel Musa or just
Mountain of Moses.
In the midst of this area the Monastery of St Catherine is located.
Already in the fourth century many Christians of the first years combined
walking on biblical paths with their search for self finding by the solitude
of the desert and settled down as hermits at this place.
In the sixth century the monastery complex was established
on instigation of emperor Justinan with 15 meter high walls
at the place, where God should have spoken to Moses through the
Anyway it seems to be great to watch
from the Moses' pike.
But all this is not so easy and anywhow handicaped people should stay away
or use the offers for camel riding.
Therefore, excursions are offered so that they collect people from
their hotels about at 11 p.m. by a bus, that will reach at the Monastery
of St Catherine about at 2.30 a.m.. From there the groups walk with
flashlights on a zigzag way gene Moses' pike. The last part of the walk are
the upper 700 "steps"
of a pilgrim's way. This way altogether consists of 3700 steps,
or whatever they use to call steps in the granite mountains. That
way was built by a monk because of a vow.
With tight march our way may be done in 2½ hours.
On the top it is pretty cold. From the beduines you may buy hot tea and coffea and lend
If you start descending after 1 or 2 hours, you arrive well in time for the
opening of the monastery at 9 a.m.,
to visit it, before arrival of a mass of buses.
A couple of years ago the Americans finished the tunnel through the Suez Canal.
They agreed to do this in the Camp David Treaties. Since then Sharm el Sheikh
is 510 street kilometers from Cairo away. So the buses which start collecting
their passengers between 1 and 2 am from the hotels on the Na'ama Bay will
arrive at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo after some long breaks
at 9 am in the morning.
When you admire the grave treasures of the unimportant, early died
Tut-ench-Amun, you may ask yourself where are
the treasures of all the other pharaones. Most of them possibly were already stolen
and melted in ancient times.
The museum is really most interesting, but after 2 or 3 hours were stoned.
Our way continued out to the pyramides of Gize.
You are lucky the sun will shine through the smog. We were not lucky.
18 million Cairoans leave their traces. After lunch we visited a bazar
and at 5 pm the bus already started for the way back.
Visitors of this page since 02/23/2002