During the last few years, and especially this last year, we’ve adapted a new lifestyle working from home and much less at the office. Slowly and gradually, we are realizing that we can actually work from almost anywhere. So, the possibility of re-entering the Sinai opened up, we packed our belongings, computers, journals, notebook and everything we needed to keep working and at the same time enjoy a different atmosphere, to feel a different mentality, to meet interesting people, to talk, listen, share opinions and knowledge with other people, see landscapes, be outdoors and breathe clean air.
All of these factors are a huge inspiration for the passion and continuation of fruitful and fine work. I will not bother you here with all the details related to border crossings in the days of Corona which is a little more complicated and longer than in days gone by. And sometimes irritating as well. But in the end, it was worth it.
Our first stop was Nuweiba along the shores of the Red Sea. Nuweiba and its environs which is almost completely under the control of the Bedouin tribes is the first stop for Israelis traveling to Sinai. Here you can find sensational places including cabins from the simplest to the most luxurious that also include air conditioning. And there’s also a roadside inn with rooms that has everything you need, including breakfast and an all-day restaurant. The beauty of Nuweiba is its absolute peace, calmness and the tranquility along the calm blue sea and a home-like atmosphere.
Israelis of all ages are drawn to Nuweiba from young people to couples and families with children and adults like us. Everyone gets together, whether at breakfast or by the sea. People connect with each other creating conversations that last into the night, or taking trips together around the area, and organizing dinners together. The atmosphere is light and cozy, like one large family that has come together for a few days.
I admit that initially I was quite apprehensive about going there because of the conditions of the rooms, bed, shower etc. But I quickly acclimatized and realized that I was still that same Anat who loved these adventures in the past and had been ready to sleep in all sorts of places and under all kinds of uncomfortable conditions. I admit that of all the places we have ever been, in Nuweiba I was able to work best. The quiet atmosphere with nowhere to go was a great inspiration for writing and working.
After Nuweiba, about an hour’s drive south along the coast we arrived at the Dahab. Dahab is also under complete control of the Bedouins. It is a bit more modern with hotels, even luxurious to Sinai standards. There is a bustling promenade with restaurants and shops. And Dahab has the best beaches in the Sinai. There is the Blue Lagoon, stunning diving reefs, and masses of tropical fish. Dahab draws droves of Israelis to it, but tourists from Europe have already discovered it and this combination makes for great evenings.
Another hour’s drive south along the coast brings you to Sharm El Sheik. Sharm, as it is known, is the pearl of the Sinai and is under the authority of Egypt. It is packed with luxury hotels, huge resorts with recreation and entertainment centers. It’s crammed with tourists mainly from Russia, and the Ukraine, but also during the Covid pandemic Germans, Swiss, and Italians. I personally am less attracted to the masses and hustle and bustle. Israelis come here, but far fewer and Sharm is also much more expensive than Dahab and for sure than Nuweiba.
For those who want to hike and enjoy nature in all its glory, you can drive about an hour from Sharm to a place called “Ras Muhammad,” which is the southernmost point or tip of the Sinai. It is without exaggeration one of the most beautiful places in the world. An amazing combination of sea and desert, sun, wind and endless expanses. Bright colors of yellow and earth contrast the sea and its endless variety of light blues.
I was there a long time ago when I was a little girl, I don’t remember the views, but I do remember what it felt like. Here too there are stunning areas for diving and with just a snorkel the views are magnificent. You don’t have to be a professional diver to enjoy it. And the great thing is that you can just stand in “shallow water” and you are right at the heart of the sea, close to the Straits of Tiran, and below you is a vast area of a variety of reef species. You lower your head into the water and you can see reefs being formed. It’s just like visiting the park Mini Israel and seeing everything in miniature. Amazing!!! In the eyes of the Egyptians, Sharm is the pearl and the most beautiful tourist site in all of Egypt.
On the way back to Israel we stayed overnight at Nuweiba and Abu Nader, our Bedouin friend, took us up the mountains to see the sunset. As you climb the mountain a bit, suddenly you can see on the one hand, the sea, and on the other the mountains and the sunset where we said goodbye to the day and to the Sinai, until next time.
Farewell – See you next time