Swimming in the Red Sea

Winter slides into summer, the water is warmer and I enjoy watching the fish glide and search for food only metres from the beach, and diving into the deeper blue.

slideshow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeswB7cOc3g&feature=youtu.be

Posted in Animals, Red Sea, Sharm el Sheikh, video - links to short videos | 3 Comments

Christmas with a difference

I will write more here soon about this Christmas season, which has been very different for me compared to previous Christmas times in Egypt. Sharm el Sheikh is such an international community, that Christmas is much more celebrated here than it was in Siwa or Nuweiba.

For now, I hope you enjoy this video.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas season, whether you celebrate or not, I wish you the spirit of Peace and time with your loved ones.

This beautiful song is being performed by some of my Italian students in the school concert this week, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

The photographs are some of the places I love here in Egypt, and that bring me peace and happiness and remind me how blessed I am.

A Natale Puoi sung by Roberta Bonanno


Posted in Religion / Spirituality, Slideshows, Special Events | 5 Comments

Rain and rainbows (and snow in Egypt!)

Winter is here. Yesterday, Friday 13th, Cairo had snow for the first time in 112 years, Alexandria had snow, St Catherine’s, which is not far from here in the Sinai Mountains, had snow, and Sharm had icy winds, rain and a magnificent double rainbow.

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I miss rain and it was only light, though steady, not enough to get soaked, so I went for a walk to enjoy the freshness, rugged up against the cold and desert wind.
I was walking to Naama Bay when the rainbows appeared, reaching across the city and ending out in the Sea. I met some Sharm visitors who had stopped by the roadside to pose with the rainbow. One of the women took it as a sign of hope – “Egypt” she said to me, smiling and pointing at it. “Inshallah”, I replied.

I wanted to race up to the cliff top, because I imagine the view of the rainbow from there would be wonderful, but I expected it would disappear before I got there (20 minutes bus and then walk). It stayed for an hour, but anyway I have only my phone camera and could not do justice to the beauty of this sight.

In Naama Bay the divers were still diving, workers were sweeping puddled rain from the paths, and the few tourists, mostly Russians, looked very confused “Isn’t Egypt supposed to be warmer than Europe?” They were wandering around in odd combinations of summer weight pants and dresses topped with probably the only warm coat they brought with them, and some were in stores buying whatever warmer clothes and shoes they could find.

The rain was not going to stop some Egyptian men from enjoying their shisha outside in the cafes.

NOTE: snow in Cairo photo is not mine – photographer unknown, this is doing the rounds on Facebook. If you are the photographer please let me know and I will add a credit here.

Posted in Cairo, Sharm el Sheikh, Slideshows, Special Events | Leave a comment

Winter begins – Red Sea sunsets

Cold nights are back, and clouds. Sharm sunrises, late afternoons and sunsets are even more beautiful than they are in summer, with the light playing through the clouds.

Too cold to swim after dark now, instead it is time for a coffee on the cliff side at Farsha cafe, and sea dreaming.

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views from the cliff and from my walk home. Unfortunately poor quality as my camera is out of action and I am now using only the 2MP camera of my mobile, but you can get the idea.

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Weddings with a Difference

I have been off the blog, but the writing does not stop …

I am delighted to have 3 articles in the new issue of Magnificent magazine (Egypt)
It is now online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/184857196/wedding-issue-2013

You can read the entire issue online or download it as a pdf to read later. Hard copies of the magazine are available from the usual outlets in Cairo and Alexandria, and anyone outside those cities can order copies from me.

It is the Weddings issue, but there are articles to interest everyone. The theme was Weddings With A Difference.

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My stories:
Weddings Against The Odds pages 84 – 85
Hot Spots – Destinations Wedding and Honeymoon pages 26 – 29
Doing It Differently pages 36 – 39

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A new chapter, in Sharm

I have not posted for a long time. I moved permanently from Nuweiba to Sharm el Sheikh six weeks ago, and had no time or inclination for blogging. As followers of Siwa Soul know, I have been a regular visitor to Sharm and I had many short stays here during the last year and a half since I moved from Siwa to the Red Sea and Sinai. These included many wonderful experiences such as trips to Ras Mohammed and Tiran Island. But as with living anywhere compared to being a visitor, making my life here is proving to be a very different experience.

Sharm el Sheikh, view from the cliff (2)

My work hours so far have been long, but with Eid celebrations this week I have some days off to enjoy some of the things I liked about visiting, especially swimming at Ras Katy. I am living further away from the beach than I would like, too far to walk so I take a minibus there, but initial accommodation will not be forever and I hope in a few months to find a place in Hadaba close to the beach. I walk to work now with a view most of the way of Tiran Island and the sun sparkling on the water, which keeps me positive when other things about Sharm get me down. More on those things in a future post…

At the moment I just hope I continue to have work here. Tourism continues to be slow because of the political situation and events throughout Egypt, so I feel fortunate to have work.

Habibi has settled into her new place now, she misses her garden and does not really like being inside all the time, but has a large window from which she watches the outside world and passing cats and dogs. When I hunt for a new place, one of the requirements will be at least a small balcony so she can have some outside time.

This week being Eid, I am missing Siwa as I have special memories of celebrating my first Eid there. Hope to visit again soon, but for now there is plenty to keep me involved and enjoying life here.

Posted in Red Sea, Sharm el Sheikh | Leave a comment

Bedouin face veils collection

Red C Villas and Apartments in Dahab (see previous post) does not have rooms decorated with the paintings on papyrus or fanciful images of pyramids and palms that you find in too many Egyptian hotels and accommodations.

Instead they have high quality photographs by a local photographer, and Bedouin face veils, each one embellished by hand and unique. The collection of one of the owners has been framed and is now shared with guests, bringing a special piece of Sinai heritage into your stay here.

More about Bedouin face veils http://handeyemagazine.com/content/face-jewels-egypt

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Posted in Bedouin, crafts, Dahab, Slideshows | Leave a comment