April 6, 2012 – Sharm el Sheik, Egypt
Sharm el Sheik is a small resort town which has been expanded from a small fishing village into a planned resort community, very much in the manner that Cancun was built into a tourist attraction by the Mexican government. Recently, Sharm was in the headlines as the location of the villa in which Hosni Mubark was residing after the Egyptian revolution.
We had to tender today, as this ship was held over in port for some reason so we didn’t have a place to tie up. In order to make it a short trip to shore in the tender boats, the Captain held our position near the dock with our azipods, rather than anchoring further away from the dock area. When anchoring, there must be enough room to swing with wind changes without hitting anything – not necessary when held with our azipods.
We opted to take it easy today, after yesterday’s long trip, and passed on the offered tours – glass bottom boats, snorkeling, or a camel ride, and instead went into town for a little shopping. The negotiations with cab drivers are driving me wacko! They hassle with you, agree on a price and then say it was per person, not total fare. They also say that they were quoting British Pounds, not Egyptian Pounds, (10 times as much) or they change the fare upon arrival. The good news is that I have honed my negotiating skills significantly.
Sharm el Sheik is very popular with Russian tourists and it shows in the local businesses. We are used to seeing signs in the local language, with signs underneath in English – here the secondary signs are in Russian.
A brief time ashore, and then back on board. Tomorrow – the Suez Canal.