Ain Sukhna

30 Jul

Shaun and I had a three day weekend last weekend because Sunday was Egypt’s National day. So, we spent the long weekend in Ain Sukhna, in a villa on the beach of the Red Sea. (sounds so fancy, right?) The villa is owned by the Aussie embassy, and each of the diplomats there take turns using it on weekends. Our lovely friend, Erny, invited us and several others to stay there with her.

But, before we could get to the bliss of the sea, we needed to stock up on groceries. So, we stopped at Carrefour on the way. Carrefour is a giant grocery store kind of like the grocery part of Super Wal-Mart. I will forever more refer to it fondly as Hell on Earth. Since folks are gearing up for Ramadan around here, the place was so crowded, it was like trying to do grocery shopping on in a Toys-R-Us on Black Friday. But less organized. When we first arrived, there was a huge stampede to get to the freshly stocked dates in the produce section. I have no idea why the dates were so precious considering they are hanging off every palm tree you see. At one point, I got stuck in a massive maze of shopping carts and people as I was trying to bring some yogurt over to the cart. I literally had to push my way through all the people like I was trying to get to the bar in a crowded club. After that nightmare, I gave up and just stood next to the cart while the rest of the people I was with went and grabbed stuff and brought it back to me. I was standing in between a mountain of Ramen Noodles and a coffee sample stand. The Ramen Mountain must have been in the way during the date-rush because there were ripped open bags and crunched up noodles all over the floor mixing in with the spilled coffee samples. I am telling you – the place was awful. But, it was worth the headache because we ended up with lots of groceries with which to make delicious meals all weekend.

Once we arrived at the villa, the weekend of relaxation, food, and drinking began. And it was awesome! The beach there is very beautiful with the mountains of the Sinai as the backdrop. If the oil refinery and tankers weren’t there, it would have been postcard perfect. But, that is Egypt for you.

View from the villa the first morning

Beach + Mountains (+ oil refinery)

ultimate frisby on the beach

My favorite highlights from the week:

  • drinking bloody marys for breakfast every morning
  • eating gourmet meals on the patio with a white bed sheet doubling as a table cloth
  • playing flip cup and going through about 600LE worth of beer in less than an hour
  • dance party on the lawn
  • drinking beers and conversing in the Red sea in the late afternoon sun

It was a great weekend with a great group of people. Sadly, many of them are leaving Cairo in the coming weeks. 😦 That is one part of life abroad that is difficult. People are always coming and going at different times.

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