Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Sha-mazing Sharm

“(Egypt) is a great place for contrasts: splendid things gleam in the dust.”― Gustave Flaubert, Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour

As the Summer holidays approach I felt it was only fitting to tell you all about my holiday to Sharm El Sheik at the end of last year. My next holiday isn't until September, so I have to live through my memories!
After much deliberation we decided on an all inclusive treat at the Iberotel Palace in Sharm (handily only 15 mins from the airport).  Unfortunately we then spent the next 6 weeks stressing about the political unrest in Egypt which was affecting travel plans for millions of people.  Luckily all went swimmingly and although a little nervous about potential trouble we arrived at the hotel to receive our welcome drink and get settled in.
The hotel was truly stunning. This post is (sadly) not sponsored, but I would honestly recommend it to anyone. Find location details etc here but we really couldn't have been luckier.  We were allocated a sizeable room right by the pool with a big veranda on which to drink our pre dinner cocktails.

Food was plentiful, hot and yummy. They even had a pasta station at dinner for fussy eaters (me) alongside the themed meals for everyone who likes a variety, and omelettes, pancakes, fruit, breads, pastries etc for breakfast.

Two minutes from our room and the pool was the private beach.  Although busy enough to create atmosphere, because of travel restrictions the complex was only about half full, meaning plenty of room for everyone and sun beds in abundance which makes every holiday happy!
As part of the included activites, there was a boat out to the coral reef for anyone too chicken to snorkel (hello that's me).  We were taken out by a wizened Egyptian man, chattering ten to the dozen on his mobile, who then treated us like royalty and made sure we all got a good view of the fish swimming past.  I'm now officially no longer a sea sickness sufferer (I hope).

In the evenings we ate our fill and then went for drinks.  As two single girls at a couples resort you might think we'd feel uncomfortable, but no, not us. We headed straight for the karaoke bar, where we proceeded to murder Christina Aguilera's 'Come on Over' after sinking a few all inclusive vodka and oranges.  
One evening we went over to the local market, where we were told 'everything is a genuine fake'.  I bought a 'mulberry' bag for about £15 after a bit of haggling. It was the only time we felt a little vulnerable as the shop keepers were desperate to get us in their shops and got a bit vocal about it. But we were all in a big group looking conspicuous so to be expected I suppose.

The weather was bonkers hot, even in late September, averaging about 38 degrees each day.  But the sun was setting by 7 so we left the pool area most days around 5pm to get ready for our evenings out.
I've been to Ras Sidr before in Egypt, to a resort, but had a bit of a rubbish time and this holiday was just perfect in every way. Now I just need to plan a way to get back there soon! 



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