Tuesday, March 24, 2015

a few days in dahab (part 1)

Last Tuesday, J and I said farewell to the city for a few days. We successfully escaped to one of our favorite places in Dahab. It was a much needed break from the hazy sepia'd rush of Cairo.

Dahab is a small bedouin town on the coast of the southern Sinai Peninsula. This area is world-renowned for windsurfing, as well as diving. It's a fairly quiet area--the town along the coast is laid back with little shops and various food options. For the locals, the majority of their money comes from tourism, so everyone wants you to eat at their restaurant or buy something at their shop. You get used to the hustle(and, as I learned, you don't have to stop and listen/negotiate with every single person calling to you). My experiences in town have always been positive and wonderful(and delicious).

The flight from here to Sharm el-Sheikh is under one hour--a quick up-down in the sky and to the ground. The airport still boasted remnants from the Egypt's Economic Development Conference that ended just days prior(a conference aimed at boosting Egypt's economy). This gathering included government leaders/businessmen from over 100 different countries. The conference's tagline, "Egypt The Future," were still on display throughout the terminal. There was an evident sprucing up around us--roads and signs repainted, new sculptures erected, and tiny Egyptian flags hung from every solar powered streetlight along the way. If important people are coming and potentially investing in you, then you better look good right? Right.

Sharm el-Sheikh's airport roof looks like a circus tent

For the first time, our 40ish minute drive from the airport to Dahab included a police escort. Part of it may have been left over security precautions from the conference. Most of it I'm sure is because of all the trouble in the Northern Sinai.

what most if not all of the scenery looks like from Sharm to Dahab

I love the drive to Dahab. Every single time I'm on that road I feel my heart swell ten times its size. The mountains are overwhelmingly beautiful. I am endlessly humbled by nature. Quietly I tried to take in the mountains, the desert terrain, the random batch of camels chilling below sparse power line. A small handful of buildings, wherein someone must live and experience this sight every single day. At some point I looked at J and shook my head, saying "the earth is incredible." They were the only words I could muster.

This was our view out of the back door. Before dinner, we sat here on the porch and read quietly as the wind died down for the day. Our bungalow was in a row a little ways back from the shore, offering a bit more privacy:

The water is incredible here. Unreal shades of blue. The darker parts are mostly reef, and it is a federal offense to destroy, damage, or remove any of it. The shoreline itself is very rocky, so it's pretty tough to enter the water from anywhere but the dock(giving the reef a little extra protection).

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