Hello guys, I want to write more travel posts but have been bitten by the couch potato virus, thus I have been spending more time in front of my TV because of all these season finale episodes. Anyway, I figured I can go back to writing and share with you my adventure from late last year.
Let me tell you a little background about my fascination towards Egypt. It only is my most preferred country when I was in high school. I think I announced it to the entire batch that before I die, it would be amazing if I could get to see the country, said to be one of the earliest places where civilization began. Pretty amazing and daunting if you ask me.
My trip to Egypt started at the northern part, which is still part of what is categorized to be the Middle East in Asia. Primarily though, its location is in Northern Africa. So yey, that is another continent for me. Anyway, we entered through Saint Catherine by bus from Israel’s (yes, I will write about Israel too, hopefully soon) Eilat.
If you are coming in by plane, I think the most convenient (shortest route) would be to take Emirates. We flew out of Cairo through Emirates. We had one stop Cairo to Dubai (around 4-hour flight) and then Dubai to Manila (around 8 hours). The plane was pretty convenient despite flying coach. How I wish I get to fly in business class for long haul flights soon (a girl can dream). I will be more specific about this in another post. Aside from Emirates, Gulf Air and Etihad Airways are some of the options. Non-middle eastern carrier that you might want to take a look at would be Singapore Air.
Saint Catherine, Egypt
In Saint Catherine, we stayed at Morgenland Village Hotel. There are very few hotels in this area as people just stay overnight in preparation for the climb to Mt. Sinai. According to reviews, Morgenland is the best hotel in Saint Catherine, which was truth be told, if you were expecting a hotel type of accommodation, I am pretty sure you would have been deeply disappointed.
For me, aesthetic-wise, it was not bad. But the function of the furniture failed me. The beds were a bit hard and sheets were rough. It was freezing cold when I was there (I’m not kidding, I’m talking about 3c here) but no comforter was to be found. There was a noisy old heater which when turned on, converts the room to an oven. There was no middle ground. I had to sleep in thermal, jeans, socks, jacket and bonnet otherwise, it was either freeze to death or evaporate from heat.
I did not like the bathroom as well. I did not even bother to take a photo of it because it was just so horrible. The path leading to the toilet bowl was so narrow and the shower area felt like I was inside a capsule. I don’t even want to think about the drainage. I advise you not to drink the water from anywhere, for anything, even for brushing teeth. I made sure I had enough mineral water to get by.
The food was another forgettable experience. I just ate so that I won’t go hungry. The upside of this hotel frankly was the view. I was awestruck by the several mountains surrounding the area. The pool looked very inviting from the photos but since it was really freezing (obvious from my goofy bonnet), I was surprised that the water did not turn to ice.
Grand Pyramids Hotel was our home base in this North African city. From the shabby accommodation to a four star hotel, I certainly welcomed that change. It had spacious rooms. My Mom and I even ended up with a room with 3 beds (although this was because the room we were originally assigned smelled of paint). It had everything we needed so I had a really good sleep for the next few days.
The bathroom was well lit, clean and functional. It felt good to be at a really clean place to take a bath and linger to do my daily rituals.
The food was nothing spectacular or over the top but I commend Grand Pyramids for having a really wide variety. Check out the photos below.
Let me tackle on the things to do in my succeeding posts because this has gotten quite long. More photos up next!
Morgenland Village Hotel
1-2 Dar El Shefa Str, Saint Catherine, Egypt
Grand Pyramids Hotel
53, Studio Misr Road, Mariottia Pyramids Giza – Egypt
Toll-Free Reservation No.: +2 0800 100020