Egyptians, this is a special chapter in my understanding a world. Nation, on one side crazy idiomatic and dangerous. Creating extremely hard condition to live in, for locals and for tourists as well. But on the another side, as I could experience, nation truly generous and kind. Just for me, as a foreign it wasn’t easy to cooperate and recognize real intention in the most of situations. Because even if I met good people there, it is important to remark that is a country where you have to be extra careful with your trust.

Egyptian generosity

Egyptians are truly generous, kind and open people, but you have to meet the right ones to believe me. Everywhere where I came I’ve been treated as a ‘queen’ (and I’m not talking about hotel bar! ). I’ve been nice to them so I got it back more often. They are very talkative and want to share with you the most exciting stories of theirs lives. Sometimes stories are nice and positive, but some of them are sad and honest. Wherever I came I’ve been offered by tea, water or some fruits (and just to be clear, I’m not talking about hotel – there I had of course plenty of everything). I got also lot of staff for free. I know that this was the positive side-effect of my ‘pretty European face’. {About negatives read here: Alone in Egypt vol. I}

Responsibility for woman safety

Each time when I left hotel with friend I’ve been told that I don’t have to worry about return.

<I took you out, so I’m responsible for your safety and your return back.>

And each time, I returned without any complications, after nice night with few new experience. I have to mention, that some of ‘safety procedures’ were extreme as I felt like I’m back in my childhood. It involved things like holding my hand during crossing a road or panic when I went too close to the edge of cliff. It was pointless to explain that I like to climb and was never scared from heights. Most of the time I rather closed my mouth and followed.

Another thing what took me longer time to proceed was constant calls to ensure that I’m alright. When it happend first time at 3AM I was bit mad, but after while I realized that at least there are people who will always check me if everything is OK. (One night I turn off sounds and went to sleep – in a morning I found 18 missed calls, they are very persistent. But it was a special night.)

How to find a trustful person

According to my experience, trustful person works with tourists. (But in true, in Sharm almost everyone works in tourism, so it didn’t help a lot.) Those people should understand that outside of Muslim’s countries is another world because they are used to foreign manners. So it is nice to mention some your experiences which doesn’t follow rules of Muslim religion and see a reaction. It is actually almost impossible to give you steps which you should follow to detect honesty. I believe that everyone has some tricks and hints so just try to listen to inner voice.

Anyway, what can help a bit (for women) is to start to talk about husband (or boyfriend), stay calm and concentrated and maybe arrange some meeting, where you can meet your new friend with someone else. (Even with another new friend, so you can check two at the same time .)  And the most important thing is that trustful person will give you time. He will never push you to decision making because he is not afraid that you will somehow find out the nasty true. This is understood just by few, as in Egypt – tomorrow means never.

<When Egyptian tells you 15 minutes, it means in maybe two hours. An hour means tomorrow and when he says tomorrow, you won’t see him again.>

In case of need

As I mentioned in Tips for surviving in Egypt, I can offer contacts on few trustful people who live and work in Sharm El Sheikh. The best what you can do is to fix a guide before your travels and believe me, a guide doesn’t have to be a special profession.

On the picture above with Anička is Hamdi. He is a person thanks to who I had really nice time in Egypt, not counting all bad experiences. It wasn’t so easy for me to start to trust him on the beggining, as after all what I went through it was extremely hard to start to trust anyone. But he proved himself to be honest and good friend and as Egyptian, he can fix whatever.

He is working for diving center which is connected with PADI organization, but he can do much more, than just diving courses, believe me. In case of need just write me on facebook and I can give you a contact .

Beduins

What to do in Sharm?

As I mentioned couple of times, Sharm is a touristic city so if you are tourist you will have fun there. Just, you know, tourists have to pay and Egyptian love to make money, nothing is for free. Here below you can find 4 Sharm experiences and kind of activities which you can expect.

Desert Experience

Desert is a big part of Sharm and it offers various kind of experiences. I went to catch a sunrise on motorbikes to there and visit Bedouins in tent. Trip starts at 3AM in morning and finishes after drinking sweet Bedouin tea with sunrise in background. Than you drive your motorbike back and bus takes you back to hotel.

Amazing!

But don’t forget, you are in Egypt and there is no much freedom left for you. This trip cost around 20 dollars but I got it for my birthday so I didn’t pay. Yes, the first sunrise what I’ve seen after my birthday was the one in the desert! That is an amazing memory.

There are much more options how to enjoy desert and next time I’m there I will try something else. For example dinner party with Bedouins. In this case you can try traditional food and enjoy night in desert. That sounds really cool! In any case, you should visit desert when you are in Egypt.

Red Sea Experience

I love sea and I think I’m not the only one here. Floating on waves of warm salty water full of life under blue sky that is an idyll, right? Sharm is full of Red Sea experiences. You can go for trip with boat, when captain will show you the most beautiful (in the moment available) corals and the crew consists of many snorkeling instructors, who can teach you how to snorkel if you didn’t before. Those trips with boat cost around 25 dollars and it is all day trip with lunch on the deck.

Scuba Diving

As I mentioned in vol. I – Sharm is mostly famous because of diving possibilities. Everywhere in Sharm you will run into diving centers, scuba instructors, owners of boats and everyone will be highly interested in you if you mention your passion for diving. My recommendation is to choose the one, which works with PADI organization, so you can use your certification anywhere in the world.

I did Open Water Diver course which allows me to go into 18 meters under water. Course costs around 300 dollars but prices for PADI are same everywhere in the world. Course consisted from one day at school, diving training in swimming pool and two days diving in the sea. I should go for one more dive in the sea from boat but you shouldn’t dive 24 hours before flight, so I choose to chill. Of course, after all of that you have to pass your exam.

It is super important to trust your instructor as you depend on each other under water. Yasser, the man on the picture above is really great. He knows what he is doing as he works as diving instructor for almost 20 years. I can offer contact on him as well ;). I hope that next time when I’m in Egypt I will manage to come for a dinner as I promised.

Recreational Diving

If you are interested in diving, but not sure about course, you can try one of diving trips with boat. You will get basic instruction and dive to deep of 6 meters with instructor all the time by your side. This was the first what I did, to see if I’m really ready for diving course. Those trips cost around 40 dollars if I remember well and after 15 minutes is over.

Chilling near by sea

If diving and snorkeling is not really your cup of tea, I’m sure that you will enjoy even chilling near by sea on nice beach. Each hotel has own private beach, but there are also public ones and can be even more interesting. Thanks to diving course I have seen Shark Bay beach with view on famous Tiran island.  (You can see a bit of Tiran on the photo where I’m standing in diving suit).

Night life experience

Sharm was truly alive during nights. Each day I’ve been asked plenty of times, what am I doing in the night. My honest answer was SLEEPING as I was super exhausted from extremely hot weather, sick of Egyptian mentality and in true scared to leave a hotel. But options are endless and Sharm was truly beautiful under night sky.

Night clubs

There are various kinds of night clubs, so if you are club person, you will enjoy yourself a lot. I went to Hard-rock caffe to experience this part of Egypt. It was super crowded just as it should be I suppose. I’m not really a person who enjoys herself at night club so I did it once, and it was enough. Entry and one drink cost around 15 dollars. There you won’t find Egyptian prices. But you will find plenty of Egyptian men.

Caffes with sea view

What was truly beautiful were caffes and bars near by sea. There are many, everywhere around Sharm but I wouldn’t find them by myself. But truly, sitting on terrace with view on night sky and sea below, drinking strong tea and smoking shisha, wouldn’t you try?

Very famous one is called Farsha (caffe in mountain) and offers reassuring calm atmosphere. It is beautiful place and you really shouldn’t miss a chance to go there.

Or other places with sea view

What I love to do is simply just to sit near by sea, listen to waves and breathe salty air. There are those places where you can do that, but in Egypt I would recommend you better to find a nice caffe and enjoy yourself there. As than you don’t have to be extra careful who is walking behind you. But if you really love simplicity, than the best is to ask your Egyptian friend (guide) to take you to such a places. But it is highly possible that he will not understand, why on the Earth you would prefer to sit on cliff, if just next to you is beautiful caffe (thank you Mori ).

Shopping Experience

I want to make this short and simple. Yes, you can do plenty of shopping in Sharm. You can buy whatever there. From bedding, through clothes, to souvenirs. (You can even buy robotic cats which are dancing I’m not kidding.) Famous places for shopping are Old Market, Soho Square or Naama Bay. I described in Alone in Egypt vol. I condition for shopping at Old Market. I’ve heard from other tourists, that at Soho Square they are forbid to yell at walking customers, as it is big shopping mall. So maybe it would be worthy to go there if you are interested into European shopping style, but I suppose that you won’t catch atmosphere of Old Market. 

Some extra tips on the end:

*Try to visit Egypt in other time of the year than summer – weather is super hot and you will be exhausted enough even to walk.

*Take euros or dollars, you will make them more happy than with Egyptian pounds. And don’t pay with coins, they can’t change coins in bank.

*Price negotiation is very welcome.

*Take repellent – there are plenty of mosquitoes.

*Thermos will keep your water cold.

*Things will be more easy for you if you have an Egyptian number.

*I have to mention it again, DON’T GO ALONE.

*And read Tips for surviving in Egypt

Look at my legs and take repellent!

Thank you for reading dear friends Have a lovely rest of summer and don’t forget to shine

Vicky

 

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