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08 April 2011

Hurghada

After a brief stay in a small town on the French/Swiss border, I was so happy to leave behind the frosty weather of Europe to arrive in Egypt. Upon landing at Hurghada airport, we were forced into a large bustling hall where bank and customs officials vied for our business. After purchasing a cheap shiny sticker (ie. an Egyptian visa) for my passport, we experienced an awkward taxi ride to our hotel where our taxi driver continuously argued with us over the agreed price of our lift.

It didn’t take long for us to notice the ghost town feel of this beach resort town on the Red Sea. A small number of run down, abandoned shops and loitering locals filled the streets of Hurghada, giving the place a bleak feel during this off-season. We visited some amazing beachside resorts whereby dozens of neatly placed deck chairs were left deserted. The desolate resorts, normally home to massive parties of beach-goers, were instead met by strong, eerie gusts of wind.  This didn't stop us from dipping our feet in the Red Sea and running around on one of the town's many beaches.


Notwithstanding the lack of tourists in this city, there was still an abundance of colourful and tacky tourist shops in the surrounding streets. Every time a cab drove past us it would endlessly (and hopelessly) beep at us in the hope we would hail it.


The food in this place (or Egypt in general) is amazing. In was in Hurghada where I discovered one of my new favourite meals, foul, a rich cuisine made from beans. During our night in Hurghada we ate at a strange family-owned restaurant that was decked out in Spongebob Squarepants d├ęcor.

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