12 DECEMBER 2008:
Mum, Dad and I wanted a little winter escape so we headed to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. I can’t comment about the cost of a holiday in Sharm these days but back in 2008, I recall it being a great value all inclusive package deal. As this holiday was many years ago and before I started this travel blog, unfortunately I can’t provide many details but I was able to dig out a handful of photos which have triggered a few memories of my time there.
Day 1 in the coach en route to the resort, I was chatted up by the tour guide! After awkwardly telling him I was off the market, he eventually gave up but still forced a piece of paper with his number in my hand as I got off the coach.
Once settled in to our room, I realised I had lost my cute mini laptop – an Asus eeePC, a beautiful netbook which I believe was the first netbook to ever come out. I waited so long for it to be released in the UK so I was very upset to have lost it. I was then forced to call the tour guide to check if it was left on the coach. Since he then had my number and obviously knew where I was staying, he stuck to me like glue for the whole holiday, randomly turning up at the hotel, and even 8 years later he still periodically messages me! Maybe I just look like a British visa!
The weather wasn’t fantastic in December, a little chilly some days. I didn’t do any sunbathing at the resort because it wasn’t really hot enough but once we headed out for a day trip in the desert, we really felt the heat.
The tour group were taken to an area where local people were selling items of jewellery in the desert, followed by some crazy desert jeep riding. I was a bit surpised my 67 year old father didn’t have a heart attack because it was pretty intense. We then did some camel riding. Boy was that painful! My bum hurts now just thinking about it.
With regards to shopping, the shop owners are quite eager, almost aggressive at times. My Mum bought lots of things from one shop and we asked if we could leave the items there and pick them up on our way back up the street to save carrying them around everywhere. When we returned to collect them, the man got so mad with us because he had seen us go in to another shop and bought some items that he also stocks in his shop. He said it was rude for us to shop elsewhere and didn’t want our custom anymore so he would refund us for the items we had bought previously. Obviously my Mum got mad and said she could shop wherever she liked. The shop owner being somewhat taken aback by my mum’s boldness then tried to claim he had been joking. He definitely wasn’t! In the end, we said that we would like a refund and he tried to change our mind. I suspect it was a tactic to make us feel bad and buy more from him but it didn’t really work out in his favour.
Word of warning, I have heard of many people getting ill whilst in Egypt. Be extra careful – do not drink the tap water and be careful of anything that gets washed in it such as salad. I was pretty careful but I still managed to get very sick and collapsed one day. I spent 2 days of my holiday in bed which was such a shame as it was an all inclusive buffet for dinner! 😦
All in all, a nice place to visit if you want to get away from the UK winter and see some culture but I have no major desire to return. Once was enough!