“Mummies, the Pyramids, the Nile…” these were the things lingering in my mind while travelling on the road to Egypt from Israel. But on the way, I got to witness other spectacular sights, which made the trip more exciting.
As we were travelling by bus, we got to witness the extensive Red Sea coast. It is Egypt’s fastest developing area for tourists and is best known for its warm climate year-round, for its clear azure waters with occasional reddish-brown color due to the presence of algae, Trichodesmium erythraeum, for its beach resorts and – given the presence of many species of exotic fish and coral – it’s a popular diving destination.
As we crossed the Egypt-Israel border, we had to go through security and passport checking to finally enter Egypt, through Taba. Taba, in the eastern Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, marks the location of the southern border crossing between Egypt and Israel, servicing travelers coming into Egypt. The town has grown up around the border crossing, with the popular Hilton Casino-hotel and offers basic amenities for travelers and it’s also a center for Red Sea diving.
We then made our way to the Sinai, where Mount Sinai stands tall. Mount Sinai is said to be the place where according to the Bible, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God; indeed, the Arabic name Gebel Musa means “Mount of Moses”. It’s also home to the Monastery of St. Catherine , a Greek Orthodox monastery founded in the 6th century, one of the longest-running monasteries in the world and itself at the supposed location of the Burning Bush. One can start the climb through the night to the top of Mount Sinai, 2,285 meters which includes about 750 steps. On reaching the summit you will get to watch the fantastic sunrise, the place where God appeared to Moses with the Ten Commandments.
Stay tuned next week as we travel through the Land of the Pharaohs and discover its rich history. Do send in your suggestions, articles and photographs at [email protected].