Two weeks before summer vacation seemed like an odd time for a weekend away, but I’m glad now that Andreas talked me into an overnight trip to the coast.
Our destination this time was Ain Sokhna. At just about two hours from Cairo, Ain Sokhna is the city’s nearest beach. The name means Hot Spring. There’s been a port here since pharaonic times but these days it’s all about the seaside resorts. We set off early Friday morning in a hired car with our travel buddies Jeff and Joy.
We stayed at place called Cancun Resort that Jeff and Andreas had been to last year with some other teachers.
The resort is situated between the beach and the highway.
When Jeff and Andreas were here last time, it was September and Ain Sokhna was still packed with Egyptian holidaymakers (the national schools don’t start until almost October); this time it was very different. Schools are still in session, plus it is Ramadan and people are mostly staying home with their extended families. The weather was gorgeous and there was hardly anyone else around.
The resort has a long garden path that leads from the hotel and pool down to the beach.
The first morning when we walked down to the beach nobody was in the water. The guard pointed out the red flag: no swimming. A little research told us that a man got his leg chewed off by a shark here last week so there was now a 15-day ocean swimming ban in effect.
That was enough to put me off, but the lure of the sea was too strong for the serious salt-water aficionados in the party.
Happily they returned from their swim with all limbs intact.
Later in the afternoon this modest lady and I had the hotel’s shark-free pool all to ourselves.
Dinner was at 7:00 sharp – we made sure to get to there on time. People who have been fasting since 3:00 am can make quick work of a buffet.
In the evening, Cancun’s “animators” (the activities directors) put on a show out in the garden. The best act was the whirling dervish.