The evening after we arrived at the posh Kempinski Hotel at Soma Bay, Markos suggested we should go into the nearby city of Hurghada to have a look around. Hurghada is the area’s best known resort area with lots of dive shops and other amenities. This was a kind of ‘secret’ get-away so only Linda, Markos and I set off by van for the 45 km drive north of the Soma Bay Resorts. The others had gone for a long spa treatment, which I had turned down in favor of the Hurghada adventure because I knew I’d be too tired. Yves was, and that’s why he didn’t accompany us.
Hurgada started out as a small fishing village but because of the investments made along the Red Sea coast it has become a busy town with lots of watersports and nightlife. The hot, dry climate make it popular with Europeans who often spend their holidays there. Today Hurghada has 248,000 inhabitants.
We were met in the town by a tourist rep who escorted us on a walking tour down Hurghada’s busy main street. Just as in other Mediterranean resorts the town comes alive at night when things have cooled down a bit. There were plenty of people on the streets including families with children.
The main street has a variety of shops. Linda and I bought some souvenirs in one shop and that’s where I met my little mascot, Abdul the Camel. I couldn’t resist him and from that evening on he accompanied me on all my Egyptian adventures.
There is a busy yacht harbour along the sea and an amusement park area. But what intrigued me most were the little cafes, some of them resembling tents with people sitting on comfy chairs and couches around low tables.
We found one that was an Italian cafe, and I ordered lasagna that was one of the best I’ve ever tasted with a little tomato on top carved like a rose.
Markos ordered a shisha pipe and we sat under the canopy smoking apple-flavored tobacco, as we sipped Egyptian wine and dined on our delicious meal. That was one of the most fun evenings, just the three of us and the tour guide enjoying some leisure time together.
Linda, me and Markos having fun!
NEXT: Another Spa Tour and the Red Coral Reefs