Wednesday, 2010-01-06

Slack like an Egyptian

So, we’re back after two weeks of all-inclusive at the Grand Makadi hotel near Hurghada on the Egyptian Red Sea. It’s been an awesome trip, very nice for the entire family (my parents, my sister and her partner + 2 kids, and us five).

Grand Makadi

Of course, we’ve been cocooned in a resort environment nearly the entire time but the Red Sea area is basically devoid of cultural artifacts[1] anyway, seemingly consisting entirely of sand, speculative construction, and half-naked Russians.

The sea is amazingly clear though, and we had some good snorkeling right outside the hotel (hotel placement is largely guided by the quality of the beach and reef). I managed to catch a glimpse of two dolphins fifteen meters from me while I was snorkeling.

Cairo

We made a trip to Cairo to get the authentic tourist experience by the Pyramids (I swear people have been offering camel rides there since the Greeks). The visit to the Egyptian Museum was interesting, too. While most people decry the grave-robbing of the Pharaonic tombs, you can’t help thinking that all that gold was more useful in the general economy than locked up in the ground. I also suspect that later Pharaoh ripped off their predecessor’s tombs to construct their own.

Photo-wise it was very much a holiday-snap affair, with the Sigma 18-50 crapzoom getting a lot of use. Taking pics of the pyramids that aren’t carbon copies of tens of thousand others it really hard, and underwater photography isn’t my thing — too expensive and you need scuba equipment to do it properly anyway.

All in all it was an awesome vacation!

[1] if you discount the nearby ancient monasteries, founded there precisely because it was so remote.