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Slovenia,
Nejc Rodošek



Travel blog from

Egypt


Sun-worship in Sharm

Despite what they all said, and their insistence it would be a “wasted journey”, we were resolute that the Pyramids would not be a stop on our travels. Sometimes it’s acceptable to have an unashamed, sun-drenched beach holiday in a country that isn’t Spain, despite the pleas of almost everyone when I disclosed the news that we would be taking a trip to Egypt. That, plus the numerous forewarnings of ‘Pharaoh’s Revenge’, the Sharm El Sheikh equivalent to the well known ‘Delhi Belly’, was inspiration enough to have a damn good time and prove everyone wrong. Late summer, five-star luxury, the ideal escape. The whole of Sharm seemed at low capacity, perhaps 40% max, and I wish I could say the same for our plane, packed full with myself and my sun-deprived cohorts onboard our budget airline flight. At least five hours is somewhat blink-and-you’ll-miss-it compared to a longer haul destination. Was it the time of year, or perhaps the political unrest in Cairo? After a few stunted conversations with some of our fellow guests (their poor English, my dreadful Español), we managed to establish that several would-be visitors actually had been put off by the turmoil in the capital. (And the same Spanish couple had been to the Pyramids, for which, luckily, the gesticulation is somewhat universal.) Having planned this trip in January, and crossed the days off my calendar like they do in the movies, I was adamant that this holiday was to go ahead. A cheeky deal, from a travel-agent friend; a fabulous hotel that I certainly couldn’t afford otherwise. Women, head to toe in black, looking morose and neglected as their high-flyer husbands answer yet another call at mealtimes. Smiling orange juice ninjas fill your glass the moment you rest it back on the table. THIRTY SIX DEGREES. Quite warm enough to make me look like I’d been swimming, without dipping a single toe into the water, unfortunately. To quote the friendly pool attendant, I “need to stay in the sun for one month” to get some colour, but fear of the ‘burn and two bottles of factor 50 meant I arrived home almost as pale, with a smattering of my childhood freckles. “Have you even been in the sun?” asked my father. We woke at 5, final day, watched the African sun rise quickly over the mountains, vibrant reds and oranges spreading through the morning mist and sparkling across the water. My companion thought it funny to sing a brief medley of hits from ‘The Lion King’. I disagreed. A scatter of boats bobbed peacefully on the jewel waters, and I knew I had to investigate the Red Sea. Utterly ocean-phobic, I attempted one dip off the jetty. Incredible sights, tropical sea-dwellers in their hundreds. If only I’d braved it on the first day, I might have built the courage to venture out and wrench my hand from the safety of the wooden dock. Secretly I’m glad for the excuse to go back

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