Egypt – Dahab, Sharm el-Sheikh, Alexandria & Cairo

Egypt was the final country of our Madventure Arabian overland tour. We took the Aqaba to Nuweiba ferry and it was obvious that the 2 year hiatus in international travel due to covid had taken its toll here because the immigration and customs officials appeared to be bewildered with what to do with us. It ended up taking us 16 hours to clear the Egyptian border process with what seemed to be a hodgepodge of made up rules. Our first stop in Egypt was the sleepy Bedouin town of Dahab, a hippie’s paradise and SCUBA divers’ delight with its laid back vibe and friendly locals. Dahab was exactly what the doctor ordered after that traumatic border crossing and we got our fill of good food, relaxing massages, and happy hour drinks. Madventure was continuing on to St Catherine’s Monastery and Cairo, but we opted to extend our time in Dahab to do some SCUBA diving so we grabbed all our stuff from the truck and bid farewell to those finishing up in Cairo. Our week long stay in Dahab was with Inmo Divers, a German-Egyptian run dive shop and we enjoyed the shore based diving. Sharm el-Sheikh was our next destination and we hopped on a cheap bus from Dahab to Sharm. Sharm el-Sheikh has a lot of charm although next time we would forego the all inclusive resort experience and stay at a simple dive hotel instead. The all inclusive resorts appear to cater to Russian clientele and we were not big fans of the food or beverage selection. Our short liveaboard on the Snefro Spirit was quite good and we managed to squeeze in a total of 11 dives over the 4 day trip, with the highlight undoubtedly being the SS Thislegorm wreck. Considered to be one of the top wreck dives in the world, the SS Thislegorm was fascinating to explore and we enjoyed our multiples dives through the cargo holds. Our last night in Sharm el-Sheikh was at Naama Bay and we vowed to return here for some more diving in the future. Lesson learned not to dive in January because winter diving in the Red Sea is a bit too cold for us! From Sharm el-Sheikh, we caught a cheap flight to Cairo and stayed at a hotel overlooking the pyramids. Alexandria is a short 3 hour drive from Cairo so we hired a taxi driver for a full day tour and really enjoyed what ancient Alexandria had to offer. Back in Cairo, we explored the Coptic quarter of Old Cairo as well as the excellent Cairo Citadel. And just like that, our 83 day Arabia Overland trip came to an end as we organized covid tests to fly back to the US. Both of us really enjoyed our time in the Middle East and could not have asked for a better Madventure experience. Truly the adventure of a lifetime!

Robby putting on our Egyptian license plate; Nuweiba Saying goodbye to the Aqaba to Nuweiba ferry after the longest border crossing ever Welcome to Dahab sign Dahab is a quaint Egyptian village on the Sinai Peninsula with an eclectic fusion of Bedouin and Rasta culture. We loved the artsy vibe there Artwork at Fayrouz Dahab Restaurant A treasure trove of trinkets, lamps and jewelry for sale at Why Not One of the many cute restaurants located on the Dahab waterfront Kids clothes for sale; Dahab Street art; Dahab Mural painted on a wall in Dahab Wall mural; Dahab The relaxed waterfront vibe in laid back Dahab We loved the artwork that filled every restaurant with bold and bright colors in Dahab Mural of Princess Diana; Dahab Artwork at a youth hostel in Dahab Camel on a beach just south of Dahab A pair of diagonal butterflyfish Clownfish Clearfin lionfish Starry pufferfish Goats belonging to the local Bedouin families search the streets of Dahab looking for free food Tourists riding camels near Dahab Dirt path leading to the Blue Hole, a submarine sinkhole located north of Dahab Divemaster Ali giving us a dive briefing of the Blue Hole A yellow eyed black cat; Blue Hole Lionfish Porcupine pufferfish surrounded by sea goldies Marine betta (comet) fish Bluespotted ray Octopus Starry pufferfish Bedouin boy gets a kiss from his camel Green sea turtle Yellow boxfish Spotted snake eel School of barracuda Spotted sharpnose puffer Porcupine pufferfish Robby at the Canyon dive site; Dahab School of striped catfish Glasseye snapper fish Black tang Lizardfish Broomtail wrasse Having dinner at Leanne and Ryan's place; Red C Villas Dolphin mural; Dahab Our home in Dahab for the week; Inmo Divers Robby on a balcony at Inmo Divers hotel Group dinner with Leanne, Ryan, Renee and Hugo; Shark Restaurant Wall mural; Dahab A town of only 15,000 inhabitants, Dahab is a relaxed change of pace from the rest of Egypt Butcher shop; Dahab Goats wandering the streets of Dahab Dahab street scene Hippie vibes in Dahab Red C Villas The rocky coastline of Dahab where SCUBA diving is shore based Ryan and Robby hiking the hills behind Dahab View of pretty Dahab from a lookout point Sunset over Dahab bay Goodbye Dahab, hello Sharm El-Sheikh! Becky taking advantage of free drinks at our all inclusive resort, Sharm Inn Amarein Traditional outdoor eating area; Sharm Inn Amarein View of our hotel at night Frescoes of all the children of the world welcome at the Heavenly Cathedral; Sharm el-Sheikh Elaborate mural painted in the dome of the Heavenly Cathedral Mustafa Mosque; Sharm El-Sheikh Spice market in Sharm el-Sheikh old town Sahaba Mosque in the old market; Sharm el-Sheikh Herb and spice display; Sharm el-Sheikh old town Colored dried seaweed shaped into decorative balls; Sharm el-Sheikh Arabic lamps inlaid with colored glass; Sharm el-Sheikh old town market Colorful spice bazaar in the old town; Sharm el-Sheikh Fruit store in the old town; Sharm el-Sheikh Horse sculpture in the old town of Sharm el-Sheikh The friendly owner of this papyrus store displays the ancient Egyptian winged goddess Isis The beautiful Sahaba Mosque at night Robby in our cabin on the Snefro Spirit liveaboard Juvenile humphead wrasse at the Temple dive site; Sharm el Sheikh Goldenstriped soapfish Bluespotted ray with a checkerboard wrasse hovering above Clownfish Lionfish Yellowbar angelfish Checkerboard wrasse School of dusky sweepers Truck loaded with motorcycles located in one of the cargo holds of the SS Thislegorm wreck Norton 16H motorcycles at the wreck of the SS Thislegorm A resident eel on the SS Thislegorm wreck Truck on the SS Thislegorm wreck Orbicular spadefish on the SS Thislegorm Bow of the Thislegorm Bluecheek butterflyfish Clownfish on the SS Thislegorm wreck Tassled scorpionfish; SS Thislegorm A massive school of fusilier fish; SS Thislegorm Crocodilefish Steam locomotive on the SS Thistlegorm Crates of ammunition can still be seen around the SS Thislegorm Latrine section of the SS Thislegorm Heavy machine gun; SS Thislegorm Becky at the anti-aircraft gun on the stern of the SS Thislegorm A diver swimming through the wreck of the SS Thislegorm Shades of blue; Red Sea Basket stars seen on a night dive Smiling despite the thought of cold water diving. January is not the time to dive the Red Sea! Herring scad at the Dunraven wreck Diving through the Dunraven Wreck Becky reaching out for anthias reef fish; Shark Reef Green sea turtle; Shark Reef Red sea coral grouper; Shark Reef A pair of Red Sea bannerfish; Yolanda Reef Lettuce coral; Yolanda Reef Yellow-edged Lyretail Grouper; Yolanda Reef Titan triggerfish wedging itself into a crevice to sleep; Yolanda Reef SCUBA boats at the Ras Mohammad National Park Blue triggerfish blowing sand to expose invertebrates for food Giant moray eel; Ras Ghozlani Crocodilefish; Ras Ghozlani Clownfish; Ras Ghozlani A giant moray eel being cleaned by a bluestripe cleaner wrasse; Ras Ghozlani Divemasters Samuel and Alaa getting off the Snefro Spirit after our 4 day liveaboard Sunset over Naama Bay; Sharm el-Sheikh Boarding our Air Cairo flight from Sharm el-Sheikh to Cairo Welcome drinks at the rooftop bar of our hotel where we could watch the sound and light show for free; Panorama Pyramids Inn The view from our room in Cairo! Breakfast with a view; Cairo Montaza Palace; Alexandria Stanley bridge is the first bridge in Egypt to be built over the sea; Alexandria Exterior of the modern library of Alexandria, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Citadel of Qaitbay, a 15th century fortress built on the coastline of Alexandria The flag of Egypt flies proudly at the Citadel of Qaitbay View of Alexandria from the Citadel of Qaitbay Selfie at the Citadel of Qaitbay Sidi Morsi Abo Al Abass Mosque; Alexandria Handsome archictecture in the coastal city of Alexandria The historic hotel of Windsor Palace is located right on the waterfront of Alexandria Stunning architecture in the city of Alexandria Kom el-Dikka was a rich neighborhood in ancient Alexandria during the Graeco-Roman times with villas, bathhouses and a theater The auditoria (lecture halls) of Kom el-Dikka The ancient Roman Villa of the bird mosaics; Kom el-Dikka Roman amphitheater at Kom el-Dikka Cabbage for sale at a street market in Alexandria Caged pigeons for sale on the streets of Alexandria Chicken for sale; Alexandria street market Painted tomb at Kom El Shoqafa; Alexandria Ancient Roman catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa Funerary scene of Anubis mummifying a body; Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa Decorated sarcophagus inside the principal tomb chamber at the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa; Alexandria Carved lion head at the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa Carved stone detail on a sarcophagus at the Catacombs of Kom El Shuqafa Crypts in the Greek Orthodox cemetery of St George Monastery; Coptic quarter of Old Cairo Roman Fortress of Babylon Entrance to the Coptic Christian Hanging Church of old Cairo The Hanging Church is named for its location above a gatehouse of Babylon Fortress; Old Cairo Ornate facade of the Hanging Church; old Cairo Handstitched detail inside the Hanging Church Decorated arches inside the Hanging Church of Coptic Cairo Courtyard of Al-Nasir Muhammad Mosque; Salah Al Din Citadel Minbar of the Al-Nasir Muhammad Mosque Mihrab detail of the Al-Nasir Muhammad Mosque Busts outside the Egyptian National Military Museum Painting inside the Harim Palace Military Museum; Cairo Citadel Display from the Pharonic era at the National Military Museum of Egypt Boat rowing scene at the Pharonic section of the National Military Museum in Cairo Painted relief of light infantry soldiers carrying standards, battle axes and palm fronds; National Military Museum The National Military Museum is located inside the Haram Palace at the Cairo Citadel The gorgeous interior of the Haram Palace; Cairo Citadel Tanks on display outside the Egyptian National Military Museum View of Cairo from the magnificent Salah Al Din Citadel Courtyard of the Mosque of Muhammad Ali; Citadel of Salah al‑Din Interior view of the domes of the Mosque of Muhammad Ali video lightboxby v6.1

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