Picture Gallery 77

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Oct Nov 2011

A view of the Sinai Peninsula. I loved looking out the window on the flights down and back.

No shortage of sand in Sharm El Sheikh!

Eileen & Max stayed in the bungalow that you see on the right (conveniently close to the pool). Max's uncle Anders had a separate one nearby.

The pool area in early morning. It was more run-down than last year. Lots of bugs in the worn-out carpet (yuck). We spent more time at the beach, though it was quieter at the pool.

Eileen and Max head for the beach.

The path down to the beach.

Our beach.

Here you can get an idea of "our" hotel and beach. Anders took this picture from the other side of the bay. The green-topped umbrellas belonged to our hotel. Cool mountains in the background, huh?

Sharm is one of the best places in the world for snorkeling, and we took advantage of it. The Red Sea is so salty that you float right on top, and there beautiful areas of coral, teeming with fish and other creatures, right along the shore. As Anders said, it was like swimming in an aquarium.

Anders had a nice blue bathing suit that the fish were attracted to. He always had a school of curious sargeant major fish trailing after him. There was one rather alarming morning when this menacing-looking moray eel was swimming around the reef where we were snorkeling. At one point this one was swimming straight for Anders (attracted by his blue swim trunks?) and was only a few feet away. Crud! Anders was doing his best to swim backwards.... Fortunately it veered away.
This eel was about 150cm (5 feet) long and very muscular. I read later that eels are not dangerous if you don't provoke them, but they certainly inspire respect when you are face-to-face with them!

Here's a stingray that we saw. Large and very elegant!

These smaller blue spotted stingrays are more common. I saw about six of them.

Max took his first diving course. He really enjoyed it. Here he's getting fitted out for his first dive.

Those flippers can be a little tricky to get on when you have a heavy tank strapped to your back.

Checking out the equipment....

And he's off! (Closely watched by his Swedish instructor, Fredrik, of course.)

Max saw many beautiful sights in Naama Bay. This is fire coral with white damsel fish.
(The picture was taken by the diving outfit, Sinai Divers, not Max.)

This brownmarbled grouper hangs out in the reef in Naama Bay. They call him George.

Max on the beach.

I was glad to see that Max still enjoys building sand castles and digging holes.

The restaurant where we had breakfast at 7 a.m. every morning and dinner at 6 p.m. every evening.
We were in bed by 9 every night! The heat and sun were exhausting.

One night we hired a guide to drive us out into the desert, away from all the lights, where we could take a good look at the stars. It was neat to see a night sky that is completely different from our own.
We also saw a Bedouin disco (!) built into the side of a mountain way out in the middle of nowhere. The road we took wasn't even registered on Anders' GPS. On the way back we had a look at this beautiful mosque, as well as the local church. And we got an earful of our guide's opinions about Bedouins. J