Saturday, June 26, 2010

El Ain Soukhna

Two weeks ago we decided to go outside of our daily comfort zone and head off across this desert.

We were headed to a little "town" called el Ain Soukhna. The closest beach of the Red Sea to Cairo. So we headed off into the unknown. We were pleasantly surprised how nice the road was. It was 3 lanes each direction, and had been newly developed. I was fascinated by the monuments and pottery and general beautification that was going on out here in the middle of sandy nowhere.

I really wanted to take one of these pots home with me:

On the way we saw some military tanks that were out doing maneuvers. There were many courses with "dugouts" where they must practice firing.

We had several typical Egyptian experiences that we've just come to expect along the way.

Such as a truck headed your direction on the wrong side of the freeway:

Traffic stopped completely when someone got pulled over:

We also saw pigeon dovecotes:

I was particularly intrigued by the numerous park benches along the way. In case you want to stop and stare at, well, nothing.

Finally we arrived at our destination. The drive had been so fascinating that the actual town and beach was a total letdown. We passed by the "public" beach, and after noting it was all male except for one woman swimming in her full burqa, I decided that I didn't want to join that party.

So we drove a little farther and stopped at the "beachiest" rocky spot we could find. We were by ourselves except the people who drove by. Every single one of them honked. Thank you, thank you. The water was beautiful though. A brilliant blue. The kids had fun splashing around, we built a sand pyramid, ate pb&j and then headed back home.

One last truck coming at us on the freeway, and then we were back home safely.

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