Diamond in the rough – Sharm el Sheikh

Happy new month Travellers. I wanted to talk today about that special person that nurtured my love for travelling. My beautiful sister, Bolanle. At the age of 16, she took me on my first trip to Toronto, Canada (just the 2 of us). Unfortunately, pictures weren’t so big back then so I hardly have anything to show and will therefore not be the focus of this months’ blog.

Instead, I’ll share with you our experience to Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. I remember it was my sisters’ birthday and I treated her to Egypt as a thank you for being a wonderful sis. At that age, cheap was best! And I’d booked for us to stay in a 3* hotel in Ama Sina (not too far from Naama Bay – the main place you want to be if you do Sharm el Sheikh). Upon arrival, I literally remember making my sister cry as it really was not up to standard or as the pictures portrayed! I felt awful, but being relatively a child and broke, we had no choice but to stay!! After our first night, we are so glad we did! It was Egyptian themed family run hotel (not the typical swanky British hotels we’d been used to). The service was brilliant; they really catered for us (probably because we were 2 young mixed race girls!). I remember our towels daily would be displayed on our bed in a swan or love or some great design. It was one of the best experiences we ended up having, despite that first shock on arrival! Very glad we couldn’t afford to move unless we wouldn’t have experienced that hospitality.

Egypt is an amazing place; so much culture and fun activities to do. First day, we befriended a tour operator who helped us through our whole trip. At one point, I’m pretty sure someone asked to give us many camels to buy my sister!

We loved Egypt so much that we went back again with a group of us this time and that trip was in itself absolutely amazing and different. As you will have seen from last months’ blog, I was actually due to go back last year but circumstances didn’t allow, but it’s still on the to-do list as I want my hubby to experience it. Yes, that’s how much we loved Sharm el Sheikh!!

So, what’s so beautiful about this country? This is just a snapshot:

–          See the pyramids, one of the seven wonders of the world. It is a wonderful sight. Along with the sphinx (it is a fairly long trip to Cairo from Sharm el Sheikh but it’s worth the trip. If you can afford to do so, you can catch a flight rather than bus to save on time)

–          Visit the many museums (i.e., Tutankhamun) – being a history major, I was in my element in this country

–          Climb Mount Sanai, overnight, to see the sunrise when you reach the top (it’s not an easy climb, and it’s actually dangerous! As we found out when daylight came and we realised there were no barriers, one wrong step and we would have been over the mountain, dead!)

–          Swim with dolphins if you want (I was too broke at this point in my life to try this there!, but when we went as a group the second time, some of our party did it)

–          Ride camels

–          Snorkel in the red sea. This is simply spectacular.

–          Enjoy the markets. If you like bartering, Egypt is the place for you. I’m rubbish at this, but thankfully I had my older sister to talk the talk!

–          Relax and enjoy the life. My sister and I don’t smoke, but in Naama Bay, sitting on the low comfy sofa’s, we certainly got giddy from inhaling others’ smoke! The lifestyle is just so relaxed and fun, with the beach at your doorstep, the sun always shining; what’s not to like

–          Enjoy the nightlife. We like to shake a leg or 2 and finding locals who can show you the best spots and join you too was very fun.

As a female, be prepared to have people constantly talking to you (many people thought we were Spanish or even Egyptian. But hey, when you’re mix, people can think you’re anything!). As long as you stay polite but smart, you’re perfectly fine

So, for those who were considering Egypt but unsure due to the climate at the moment, I’d say don’t cross it off your list just yet. It is a fabulous place; and like I said, I hope to go back there soon. My main reason, apart from wanting the hubby to enjoy it, is because I want to do the biblical tour to Bethlehem, Jerusalem & Nazareth (I will one day cross this off my bucket list – I hope).

So this months’ blog is in dedication to Miss Bolanle. Thanks for getting me hooked to our travelling lifestyle and may we have many more travels!

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