The Charm of Sharm

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(Last Updated On: March 16, 2019)

From the ferry terminal, we head directly into Sharm El Sheikh.

sign

From the highway, Sharm doesn’t look very different from Hurghada, with a ring of resorts spreading out from the sea’s sandy shore.

vacant land with buildings and sea in the distance

coastal development

Sharm is a slightly gaudy, over-developed, and sort of cheesy tourist trap of great magnitude. It has the look of a place on the make.

Still, it seems like a happy place, it is bright and cheery, with welcoming restaurants and bougainvillea-draped alleys.

more traditional development

pedestrian way

market area

I like it.

It seems like a fun place to relax and soak in the sunshine. And not everything here is aimed at the lowest form of western tourist either. Here and there a bit of more exotic-seeming local merchandise can be found amid the otherwise generic international tourist mix.

spice shop

spices for sale

dried lotus

I imagine myself renting a cheerful spot here, with a view of the ocean and mountains, where I could cook flavorful meals after a day spent playing in the sea or wandering about town.

Even though Sharm has had its own troubles over the years, it seems like one of those total vacation lands where thoughts about world politics or poverty or injustice recede completely, replaced by thoughts of good food, sunshine, and tropical waters. Sometimes that is exactly what is called for on vacation.

It is also a place where great seafood can be found – and that always earns a city a few points from me! We get to sample some of that seafood at Safsafa, which is located on the second floor of a shopping mall in the tourist heart of the town. (It’s that sort of town.)

Safsafa sign

Lunch is amazing.

We start with the ubiquitous, but wonderful, flat bread and condiments. Soon that is joined by a lovely soup that is a meal in and of itself. Then there is salad and then, when I am already full, heaping plates of succulent fried fish, shrimp, and calamari. It is too much, but it is so delicious.

man surrounded by food

Stuffed, we board the bus and head into Sinai’s mountains.

roadside development

Next post: The Road to St. Catherine’s

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