Trip to Egypt : Review.

It has been a while since my last update, and it is what you have been waiting for, my review of my vacation.  Unfortunately when I posted my article about my departure from the UK to Egypt for my vacation, I had hoped that my hotel would have access to the Internet to allow me to keep you guys updated on what it is like to visit Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

The hotel did have the option to use the Internet, but it was extremely expensive to use and felt it was worth holding off until I returned home.  This post is going to be extremely long, apologies for this, but it will give you an idea of what Egypt was like and what activities are available for you to do whilst you are there.

There are some really great photographs for you to enjoy, so please continue to read.

The Flight

Type of Plane: Boeing 757-200

Length of Flight: 5 hrs 10 mins

Destination: Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Currency: Egyptian Pound (L.E.)

Here is a small article I wrote while I was flying out to Egypt:

Cruising Happily at 35,000 Feet at 535 mph… Is there anyone out there?

As I look out across the vastness of the cloudy skies, about an hour and a half in to my flight to Egypt, wishing I had paid more attention to check-in and gotten myself an aisle seat, not easily getting access to my bag over head… Wait what was that? Oh it was just another plane… man that was close… only joking!

I have to resort to writing my blog articles using the Notes app on the iPhone, and hope I can get access to WiFi when I land.

Children and Travel Never Mix…

Isn’t it always the way, no matter what you do when booking your vacation, you always end up being seated by a young family with children kicking the back of your seat.

Don’t get me wrong I love children (couldn’t manage a whole one mind you!) and hope to have a family of my own some day in the not so distant future.  It just seems to be every time I travel by Plane, Trains or Automobiles, I always end up with the one child who is not content with traveling and becomes restless – I never say anything though.

In Flight Pictures:
(These were taken using an iPhone 4, through the plane window, so the quality is not great)

   

   

Hotel: Sol Sharm

Let us start with where I was staying whilst in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.  I was staying in the Sol Sharm Hotel, part of the Sol Hotel Group.

The Sol Sharm Hotel had a four star rating (nothing to do with the rating stars above – that is my rating of my stay – keep reading).  There was two hotels side-by-side, the Sol Sharm and the Sol Cyrene.

First of all, I cannot fault the hotel cleanliness, facilities, food or its staff.  There is three reasons why I have decided to give it a 4 out 5 rating (not in any particular order):

  1. Access to the Internet was extremely expensive, at £5 per hour, this is much more than you would pay back in the UK or even the US.  It is not a deal-breaker that the hotel had to have access to the Internet and maybe some would be happy to pay this amount, but I felt it was too much to pay so the hotel lost half a star of rating.
  2. The hotel was simply too far from anything, the hotel was simply surrounded by a building site.  Egypt has gone through a revolution and a removal of government and this has hit them hard, there was many half built/finished homes and hotels littered around the landscape, and despite the hotel being in close proximity to the beach and great facilities for those holiday makers only requiring a sunbathing vacation, for some, including me, meant it required taxi rides to the nearest shopping or area offering activities.  I cannot very well blame the hotel owners for what was surrounding the hotel, but I thought it was worth a mention so the hotel lost a half of a star of rating for this reason.
  3. I had discovered that there was a problem with the toilet bowl, it appeared to move when you sat on it, I had discussed this problem with the hotel reception and they had told me someone would be there momentarily to repair it.  When I had returned to the room later that day, it appeared that they had been to repair it, but the next day, it was still the same – a small thing but it lost them half a star.

Hang on, hang on!!! I hear you say, that is one and half stars of rating lost, that doesn’t add up, the hotel should only have three and half stars… well the hotel redeemed itself on the last day.  I was returning home on February 26th, with a 17:00 flight.  Check-out from the hotel was 12:00pm which meant that you had to vacate the room, and the hotel being an all-inclusive resort, meant that the receptionist removed the blue-band from my wrist.  Normally this would mean that although I can still take advantage of the hotels facilities, like the pool and beach, it meant that I would not be able to get drinks or food.  Lunch is normally served at 13:00 and it was a long wait until I was going to get picked up for transfer to the airport.  The hotel however, still allowed me to get lunch which was really nice of them, so they get another half star of rating for that.

Anyways, I am jumping ahead of myself, the UK is currently having an unusually mild winter at the moment, but the temperatures are still half that of Egypt at this time of the year.

The hotel is almost directly on the coast line of the Red Sea, which means that it can get very windy at times even around the pool.  Despite having warm temperatures, the pool was extremely cold and I only used it a handful of times.  Only a handful of guests could be seen getting in the pool, and immediately getting out.

My room over looked the pool area, and got the sun all morning, and as it was sheltered from the wind, the balcony was extremely warm to sit in from 7am in the morning.

This the view from my hotel room.

We have, especially in the UK, have come accustomed to the new rules about smoking in public places and are required to exit a building if we wish to have a smoke.  Egypt on the other hand have a very different approach, as long as you are not directly underneath a No Smoking sign in places such as the airport, you are permitted to smoke almost anywhere.  Smoking was allowed in the reception area, around the pool area, but fortunately was not allowed in the dinning room.

The staff were extremely helpful, polite and were happy to assist you with anything you needed.  The hotel grounds, buildings, pool and pool side are kept extremely well and clean.  I must have counted twenty times this one member of staff cleaned the floor of the reception area in a space of an hour.

I am sure the hotel can accommodate those guests who are prepared to pay the prices for drinks, food and facilities, but I was staying as an All-Inclusive Guest, which meant that I had to wear a blue wrist-band.  This allowed you to get drinks and food almost any time you wanted.

  • Breakfast was from 07:00 through 10:00
  • Lunch was from 13:00 through 15:00
  • Dinner was from 18:30 through 21:30 (winter) / 19:00 through 22:00 (summer)

Snacks and drinks were always available between these times, from the poolside bar.  They had a tent which had food for you to help yourself to any time you wanted.

The hotel shared it’s access to a private beach with the hotel next door, here you could also get food and drinks throughout the day.  The beach had deck-chairs and sun shades available free of charge.  You could also play volleyball, and various water sports at an extra cost.

There is also two piers on which you can walk out to deeper water (I would say was approximately 3 meters deep) – this is where I did my first bit of snorkeling on the trip.

I also tried my hand at underwater photography with my new Kodak EasyShare Sport Camera that I will do a review of in another post (I think this post is getting long enough).

The water around the beach area was approximately 21 – 25 degrees, which can get a little cold after a little while.  It is advisable to have a rash-vest or t-shirt on, not just for protection from the sun, it also provided extra warmth, as well as extra buoyancy.  The water was extremely salty too, which probably helped with the buoyancy.

I will also be doing a review of my new fins that I used for the first time while I was away.

One last thing to say about the hotel – Whenever you return to your room, and the staff have been in to clean it, you are presented with a different sculpture made out of your bath towels left on your bed.  Some of them are very interesting and creative, I think one of them is supposed to be a crocodile.  Check out some of the creations that were left for me:

   

Weather

Egypt is only considered to have two seasons as opposed to the usual four, and in February it is still considered their winter, but you can expect temperature in the region of 21 to 30 degrees.

If you were to visit Egypt in the months of August / September you can expect temperatures in excess of 40 degrees.
Find more about Weather in Sharm El Sheikh, EG

Shopping

Shopping in Egypt is as you would expect, comes with the added hassles of been invited to view items in the store at every one you pass by.  The store owners were always very polite, but were eager for you to go inside their store.  There is also the added problem of haggling over price, and if you are anything like me, and no good at, it was hard to know if you are getting the best price.

It was advised that you should offer a 1/3rd of the price they offer an item for and work up from there, and on many occasions you would get it for a fraction of what they were asking.

Many of the stores selling paintings and pictures of Egyptian locations and Kings and Queens of the past, would offer you their business card which was a bookmark of your star-sign and your name written in Arabic like the one below:

From the Sol Sharm Hotel you have two options for shopping, you can head in to the next village which is about ten minutes by taxi or an hour walking, here you have a less hassle shopping experience, there is a good selection of stores to view and purchase souvenirs.

Your second option is to go to Soho Square shopping complex which is security controlled, which means you get a hassle-free shopping experience.  Again, it is approximately ten minutes by taxi and should cost about 120 L.E (approximately £12.00) return.  Again, there is a good selection of shops to choose from.  There is coffee shops, bars, an Ice Rink, Bowling and if you are there in the evening, you will see a dancing fountain, and activities for the children.  There is even a place to make the British feel right at home, the Queen Vic a British pub, I didn’t visit this pub, but I would suspect the prices for imported beers and wines would be quite expensive.

I found that if you were not purchasing items either made in Egypt or easily available in Egypt, imported brands from the UK, and America were extremely pricey.

Examples:

  • Bottle Water – Local about 1.5 L.E (15p) imported 15 L.E (£1.50)
  • Can Drinks – Local about 3 L.E (30p) imported 15 L.E (£1.50)
  • Chips – Local about 6 L.E (60p) imported 20 L.E (£2.00)

Some photographs from my shopping experiences:

  

Excursions / Activities

My vacation was through tour operator Thomas Cook and they had a number of excursions available to undertake.  When I had first done my research in to what excursions and facilities were available in the resort where I was staying, it was suggested that using a company called ‘Charm of Sharm’ as they were quite reasonable in terms of cost.  I had unfortunately forgotten to print off their contact details, and I was unsure of where they were located, so I was unable to get in touch with them.

My rep however, informed me that she had never heard of this company and was unable to offer any form of assistance to me in getting the necessary details to book the trips.  After living in the area for over two years, it was advisable to book my excursions through her.  I wasn’t sure if she was simply wanting me to do this as it meant that the company would get the money or she was telling the truth.  She had advised us in the initial welcome meeting that a number of trips had been cancelled because of the possibilities of trouble in certain areas, for example: Discover Petra Excursion.  We were also advised against using taxi’s that were not part of the hotel.

This of course meant that the activities I wished to do whilst on vacation in Egypt were more expensive than I had first thought, so I would make sure you bring enough British Pounds with you to cover unexpected expenses.

If you do happen to go with Thomas Cook, they will accept British Pounds (Pound Sterling) as payment but NOT Scottish Notes.

Some of the excursions that were available from the Thomas Cook Representative were as follows (prices are based on, when I was there and are all in Pounds Sterling and for an adult):

  • Discover Cairo by Flight – approximately £175.00
  • Discover Luxor by Flight – approximately £185.00
  • Boat and Snorkeling Trip to Ras Mohamed – approximately £44.00
  • Boat and Snorkeling Trip to Tiran Island – approximately £40.00
  • Desert Quads – approximately £26.00

I did three of the excursions from the list above:

  1. Desert Quads
  2. Discover Cairo by Flight
  3. Boat and Snorkeling Trip to Ras Mohamed

Desert Quads

As I previously mentioned I had planned to book my excursions through a company known as ‘Charm of Sharm’ and one such excursion was the Quad Bike trip up into the Sinai Mountains.  Their trip consisted of either a Sun-rise or Sun-set trip into the desert which for a photographer was an ideal opportunity for some great photographs.

However, as I booked my trip through the Thomas Cook representative, there was only two trips available, a morning and afternoon trip.  Selecting the afternoon trip in the hope that it would be of a similar itinerary… it wasn’t and although it was fun to have a bit of a scramble on a quad bike I was disappointed with the outcome of the trip.

As with the hotel, I cannot fault the organization of the trip, and the safety considerations as well as the politeness and helpfulness of the staff.

I was picked up at 13:30 on the afternoon of February 21st, 2012 and after stopping off at other hotels to collect other people, we were taken to a small village at the edge of the desert where we were provided with a helmet (which many in Egypt, do not wear helmets when riding motorcycles), helped with donning our scarves and shown to our quad bike.  You were shown how the bike works, and then a photographer came down the line and took a photograph of you in your gear, which would cost you 100 L.E. (approximately £10) to purchase if you so wished.

Here is me looking so stupid in my helmet.

Once everyone was ready to leave, the leader takes the whole group around the in-ground off-road course, to give those who have never ridden a quad bike before a chance to see how they handle off-road and in desert conditions, and then we were off.  First riding along the road for a short distance before driving directly into the desert.

All along the route, there is a beat-up pick-up truck driving along side you filming you, which is also available for purchase from them on DVD for about 200 L.E. (approximately £20).

The desert is extremely bumpy with ruts all in the wrong direction, and if any of you who have ridden a quad bike before, will know that with that kind of terrain it can very uncomfortable at slow speeds.  We were not allowed to leave the line of the group or overtake the bike in front.  Many of us were trying to leave a big enough gap between the bike in front, and let it rip whilst standing up to smooth out the ride.  This was also the only way you could get some fun out of the trip and be a bit more comfortable.

We then stopped off at a traditional Egyptian Bedouin camp for a taste of Bedouin Tea and view their souvenirs.  Bedouin tea is made from tea leaf with sugar, and desert herbs of habuck and marmaraya. This gives it a distinctive flavour, habuck tastes a little like the herb Sage. It is customary as soon as a guest arrives to get the tea on the fire, whilst sharing stories and news.

From here we get on the bikes again and ride around the desert once again before returning back to the center.

Here are some more photographs for you to view:

 

   

Discover Cairo by Flight

The one thing I will say about this trip to start off, is you certainly get good value for money on this trip.  You may first off think £175.00 is quite a lot to pay for an excursion when on holiday, but when you read what I am about to write you will soon learn what you are getting is well worth it.

This trip is probably not for the ones amongst us that do not like been woken up extremely early in the middle of the night. I am one of those people.

Start 04:45am (05:00 Egyptian Time)

I had to wake up at about 04:00am to be ready for collection by our tour guide at 04:45am (as I have said before, don’t expect Egyptians to be on time, and in this case he was 15 minutes late picking me up).

The hotel provided me with a Breakfast box, which contained various items, such as bread rolls, fruit and a drink.

Thomas Cook operator use a company known as ‘Blue Sky’, and I have to say I was impressed with their efficiency in getting things done.

Mohamed (another thing you have to learn about Egypt, is that everyone is called Mohamed) was our tour guide for the day.  After picking up other people from their hotels, we headed straight for the airport, and with Mohamed’s help with a voucher, we collected our boarding cards and proceeded through security, and awaited our flight.

Previous to attending this trip, I had learned that the temperature for the day was going to be 29 degrees celsius, so I was prepared for a day of extreme heat.  What I didn’t expect, when we flew over, on approach to Cario airport the smog layer covering the entire city.

This meant that the day turned out to be quite a comfortable temperature, despite having a rain shower at one point.

Our first port of call was to be the Egyptian Museum.

Egyptian Museum

Important Information – They do not allow photography inside the Egyptian Museum and require you to surrender your camera (including mobile telephones) to your tour guide who will lock them away in the safe.  They will be returned to you again when you exit the museum.

The museum curators had discovered that, allowing people to use camera’s equipped with flash was damaging the colors of the artifacts, and at first attempted to say you can use your camera’s but you must not use flash, this still did not discourage people from using the flash, and therefore banned all forms of camera.

I think this really is a shame, because there is some really nice artifacts that would be nice to take away a photograph of it to remember what you saw.

The one thing I do not understand about museums, is that, something as important as Egyptian history, it would have been better to remove the items found in the various locations, place them in protective casings to preserve them for future generations, and return them to where they were found, which I think would be of more significance when visiting these locations.  Now the items have been removed from locations such as the Pyramids, these are now empty and it is hard to imagine what it was like with the items in place.

The other concern is that, if the fighting should start again around Cario and the museum was destroyed by fire, all of that history would be lost forever.  You can see from the photograph below that the museum was in very close proximity to a building that was completely burned out during the riots.

Once we had given Mohamed our camera’s to be locked away in the safe we proceeded to enter the museum which has a lot of security on the entrance.  Once inside, Mohamed, with the help of radios took us round various parts of the museum and told us about its significance.  I learned quite a lot about the sculptures housed here, if you ever saw a standing figure, their left leg was always forward of their right, meaning they will be following their heart in to the next life.  This was also the same for those sculptures in a sitting posture, their left hand was always placed on their left knee, and their right arm with a clenched fist was across their torso protecting the heart.

We also saw a coffin, and Mohamed told us they remove four of the persons organs, and place them in four jars with them in the coffin.  The one organ which is not removed, is the persons heart, it is weighed to determine whether they will go to hell or heaven and then put back, all fluids are removed from the body before being wrapped in bandages and then placed in the coffin.

Mohamed also showed us the vairous protective coffins that Tutankhamun was placed in, in the Valley of the Kings, he also told us that the mummy of Tutankhamun is still in place at the Valley of the Kings.

After this we were given free time to allow us explore the museum further, I decided to visit the section on mummified animal remains.  There was quite a lot to see, including pet Baboons, which were so well preserved that it was hard to believe that they didn’t just die yesterday.  One Baboon was so well preserved in its’ bandages that the form and features were perfect.  Next to this was the remains of a mummified dog, the bandages has rotted away, but the dog was almost perfect, you would have thought that it was a sculpture, the fur, nails and teeth were still there.

Nile River Boat Trip

From the museum we were taken to the banks of the Nile River for a trip down the Nile in the boat you see above.  The biggest surprise was just before boarding this boat, it actually began to rain, which wasn’t expected.  Despite the captain’s taste in music, the trip was really nice.  The trip lasted about 45 minutes, after which, we docked at the back door of this restaurant:

Can’t recall the name of this restaurant, but the person you see in this photograph is our guide Mohamed.

Here are some more photographs of my trip down the Nile River:

When lunch was over we were heading for the main attraction of the day, the Pyramids, something I thought you cannot go to Egypt for the first time and not go and see.  First though, Mohamed took us to a store that sells paintings of traditional characters of Egyptian people, and hieroglyphics.  Here we were shown how Egypt use the Papyrus plant to make the paper that many of the artwork and paintings are are printed on.  I learned that the early Egyptians had used banana leaves to make their paper in the past.

Giza Pyramids

From here we headed for the Giza Pyramids, and this is what we saw as we got closer.  As you can quite imagine, as soon as the Pyramids came into view the camera’s on the coach went crazy, and Mohamed tried to stem our enthusiasm as we would soon be much closer for pictures.  I am glad I took the ones I did whilst we were in the city as it really gives an indication that Cairo was built around the Pyramids.

Mohamed gave each of us a ticket like the one you see above, which we would later use to gain access to the grounds on which the Great Sphinx stood.  As the company was of good standing, the police allowed the coach to travel right up to the viewing point.  I am going to post pictures that I took rather than just talk about it as I think they describe what it was like much better.

I would first say though that the Pyramids are of great significance and a great source of tourism to the Egyptian people, and as a result, there is a great deal of children and adults trying to sell souvenirs to tourists as you try to take photographs.

Mohamed then asked the group if there was anyone who wished to actually enter one of the Pyramids, and small group of us decided it would be a great opportunity, half expecting to visit some of the rooms where the coffins would have been.

You see, Mohamed told us that on the side of the Pyramids, there is a hole, which is not wear and tear from the thousands of years, it was deliberately put there by the builders, so the sunlight would shine through and onto the face of the coffin inside the room.

This is the ticket Mohamed presented us with, for entering the Pyramid.

We all knew, from visiting the museum that the rooms would be empty.  The cost for entering the smallest of the three Pyramids is 30 L.E. (approximately £3.00) – again you are not allowed to take camera’s into the inside of the Pyramid.  You enter by a small opening about ten or so feet from the base of the Pyramid, and climb down a very steep wooden ladder which has a very low ceiling, once inside, you have to watch your head, but there is some rooms to visit where the coffins would have been kept.

The inside of the Pyramid can be very claustrophobic, and a few had decided not go any further than the steep ladder and came out, so if you do suffer from claustrophobia then I suggest not going in.

One great example of the kind of hassling you will be presented with is the young children.  One such child had latched himself onto a woman from our group trying to get her to buy one of his souvenirs, and when she didn’t, he followed her right back to our coach.  Once on the coach, Mohamed told us that these were only 5 L.E approximately 50p to buy and would be great for the children because they don’t have much.  Much of the group were not happy with this kind of hard selling, but some of us did buy one, or gave a donation.

We then drove down to the bottom of the valley, to visit the Great Sphinx.  Just inside the grounds leading up to the entrance, there is a market laid out with various sellers, selling their wares, and you are hassled as you pass through to come and look.

The sellers are also inside the grounds of the Sphinx, so expect to be asked to buy various items.  One other thing that Mohamed informed us of, is that there will be a few children in the best places to take photographs trying to tell you the best way to take the photograph and expect a tip for this service, they weren’t too bad.

The Great Sphinx sits on top of its own plinth surrounded by a deep trench, there is no safety barriers to stop you falling into this trench so be careful, but it was good to see this great icon up close.

“The Great Sphinx of Giza (Arabic: أبو الهول‎ Abū al Hūl, English: The Terrifying One), commonly referred to as the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining or couchant sphinx (a mythical creature with a lion’s body and a human head) that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt.

It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 metres (241 ft) long, 6 metres (20 ft) wide, and 20.22 m (66.34 ft) high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the pharaoh Khafra (c. 2558–2532 BC).”

Source

The nose and beard of the Great Sphinx is missing, and the article over at Wikipedia states…

The Egyptian Arab historian al-Maqrīzī, writing in the 15th century AD, attributes the loss of the nose to iconoclasm by Muhammad Sa’im al-Dahr, a Sufi Muslim from the khanqah of Sa’id al-Su’ada. In AD 1378, upon finding the Egyptian peasants making offerings to the Sphinx in the hope of increasing their harvest, Sa’im al-Dahr was so outraged that he destroyed the nose, and was hanged for vandalism. Al-Maqrīzī describes the Sphinx as the “talisman of the Nile” on which the locals believed the flood cycle depended.

There is also a story that the nose was broken off by a cannonball fired by Napoleon’s soldiers, that still lives on today. Other variants indict British troops, the Mamluks, and others. However, sketches of the Sphinx by the Dane Frederic Louis Norden, made in 1737 and published in 1755, illustrate the Sphinx already without a nose.

From the Great Sphinx we began our return to the airport, but on the way Mohamed stopped off at a store that sold the pure essences of perfumes.  Here we were giving mint tea, and the owner gave us a description of what each of the essences represent and what significance they hold.  He allowed us to sample different ones and then offered packages for sale.

This is something that I found that was the only problem with the whole day, the hard sell, which Mohamed brought the whole group to.  Of course you were under no obligation to buy any of the items, but it was something that some of us felt was not necessary.

When you think about the cost you paid for this excursion £175.00, lets take a look at what you got:

  • Collection by coach at 04:45am, with breakfast box provided by hotel.
  • Return Flight from Sharm El Sheikh to Cairo
  • Entry to the Egyptian Museum 60 L.E. (approx. £6.00)
  • Approximately 45 minute Boat Trip down the Nile River
  • Lunch Provided
  • Entry to the Pyramids 60 L.E. (approx. £6.00)

So really value for money don’t you think.

Despite the various stops off to sample different wares, the whole day was enjoyable and I got to see the main things I wanted to see on this trip, and really was value for money.

I do thank Mohamed for an enjoyable day, and for the informative tour of Cairo.

Snorkeling Trip to Ras Mohamed

This is the boat we were on Moscow II


I had initially wanted to do the snorkeling trip to Tiran Island, but as this trip was only available on the day I had inquired about it (Wednesday) and the day I was flying home (Sunday), it was not possible.  Therefore, the snorkeling trip to Ras Mohamed was suggested as an alternative.  What a day I had, it was fantastic fun, and very much value for money.  The whole trip cost me £40 (approximately 400 L.E) the cost of hire for the equipment was extra.  At first thought I thought this was quite expensive for a snorkeling trip, how wrong I was.

I was collected from the hotel at 07:45 and driven to the side of a petrol/gas station where we were able to hire the snorkeling equipment if you so required it.  It was advisable to hire a wet suit despite the warmth of the day, as the water would be cold for the length of time you would be in it.

I already had much of the equipment I needed for the trip, but I decided to hire a wet suit which cost me 60 L.E. (approximately £6.00) – really not that bad for a whole day.  One thing you do need to watch however, is the store attached to the gas station was extremely expensive, I wanted to buy a can of diet coke, just one can, and he wanted me to pay 25 L.E which is about £2.50 – we don’t even pay that in the UK.

We then join others from other hotels on a larger coach, which drove us a short distance to the dock area, where we boarded a large boat called the Moscow II with …apparently… Captain Jack Sparrow as our captain:

The crazy thing was, that although I am a certified diver, boats and me do not get on well, and as a result I wasn’t feeling the best.  The whole trip was very calm, but I had decided not go in the water on the first of three stops we were going to make.  We were given a full run of the entire boat, you were allowed to go anywhere, which on some organized excursions I have been on in the past, forbid you to sit at the very tip of the bow while the boat was in motion, this was perfectly acceptable.

The captain, made three stops in all, and each stop was approximately 45 minutes in the water.  We had a professional diver at the front and rear of the group, and for those of the guests who were not considered strong swimmers or did not wish to swim along alone, were pulled through the water by the diver at the front.

Between the first and second stop, the captain had seen dolphins in the distance.  I now believe they were of the Spinner variety of dolphin that we saw.  This would be first of two sightings we saw, and each time the captain turned the boat around to catch up with them and spend about 10-15 minutes with them to allow us to take photographs.

The second stop was the first time I decided to enter the water, and it was good fun, you saw so many fish varieties.  I am sorry I am not able to name all the varieties I saw, and shown in the pictures at the bottom of this section.

After the second stop, we were treated to a full lunch, (lunch and soft drinks on board were included in the price of the trip).  We then turned and headed back to port, which on the way, we saw a pod of dolphins again and the captain turned the boat around to catch up with them, he then headed for our third and final stop, which was near a small inlet along the coast, which is where I saw a Nemo fish, which is one of the fish I so much wanted to see.  Sadly we saw no turtles, something else I would have so much loved to swim with.

Here are some photographs I took on my trip for you to enjoy, I used my Kodak easyshare Sport camera, I think the pictures have come out really well considering it is the first time I had done any form of underwater photography.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Captain Jack Sparrow, and his crew for an enjoyable day and definitely would consider going out with them again if the chance arises when I visit Sharm El Sheikh again in the future.

Thank You’s

I want to thank Ashleigh, my Thomas Cook representative for all her assistance in booking my excursions and advice on what was available to see and do whilst in Sharm El Sheikh.

I would also like to thank the staff of the Sol Sharm Hotel for their hospitality throughout my stay, and hope to stay there again in the future.

Additional Photographs

Traditional Egyptian Home

Something for the British to feel right at home.

4 thoughts on “Trip to Egypt : Review.”

    1. No problems, glad someone was game to read it, I was worried it was extremely long that no one would read it. Thanks for the comment, and I look forward to your post about Chile.

      JT

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