Written by Martina Kočevar
This summer I visited Egypt for the fifth time. The country fascinates me both in terms of its rich history and contemporary life.
There is one place that especially attracts me: El Quseir, by the Red Sea.
Friendly hosts at Fanadir Hotel are my favourite choice. I get up early in the morning to watch the sunrise on the beach. The way its light spills over the horizon always fills me with energy.
I take a walk to town, where I am greeted by ever playful and polite children. There is no other place where I have ever seen so many grinning young faces. They are not at all shy. They offer to shake my hand and ask in English how I am doing. If the conversation continues, I use a few Egyptian words. They chuckle and run away.
Enriching tourist experience
Upon returning to the hotel, hearty breakfast awaits for me. This year, having been the sole guest, they prepared breakfasts just for me. The hotel manager, Mr Ibrahim Fathalla, has longed to renovate the hotel for years and offer guests a range of activities: meditation, massages, yoga, snorkelling… He would like to employ as many young people as possible in order to prevent them from falling victim to the consequences of negative globalisation.
I befriended a German couple who live in the town. We meditated on the beach and talked about how to secure the necessary funds and begin with the renovations. Ms Maria and Mr Simon found a solution and from then on things unravelled so quickly, I could barely keep up. The renovated hotel will be opened this Christmas.
The world of scuba diving
My two German friends introduced me to scuba diving. Being able to observe the underwater world, where everything is alive and in constant motion brought me newfound joy. I cannot even imagine animals on dry land displaying such vibrant colours as these fish, corals, and other creatures.
Evenings on the beach
In the evenings I frequented a café on the beach in Marina, where they served fresh mango and strawberry juice. It astounds me that Egyptians come to life in the evenings and stay awake long into the night. I could not keep up with them, as I myself am an early bird rather than a night owl. I suppose they do not need as much sleep because they enjoy sunny weather and experience no cold all year round.
Always hospitable Egyptians
A couple of evenings I was pleasantly surprised by the invitation to join some children and their mothers at their tables. We spent the evenings chatting, comparing life in Slovenia to life in Egypt. Many of the children learn English at school and are eager to practice their skills by engaging in conversation. I was lucky to be sat next to a nursery and primary school teacher. We shared our experiences of working in educational institutions.
I will surely return there.
You are also kindly invited to stay at the Fanadir Hotel, as they offer a wide variety of trips around Egypt, will take you exploring the underwater world by scuba diving or snorkelling, and lovingly prepare tasty dishes with fresh fish, fruit, and vegetables. The sea where you can take a swim is only a stone’s throw away. Visit their website to learn more here.