Ian and Alyssa on the pool at Coral Bay
The slogan for Coral Bay resort in Sharm El Sheikh says that it’s “much better than Dubai.” So who better to judge than us. We had decided to visit Coral Bay because a friend of Yasmine’s was staying there in her villa for a few days and Yasmine had not seen her for many years. Nivine would be one of Yasmine’s closest friends from when she was young and she was very excited to be catching up with her today. We packed up the car and drove towards Coral Bay through Naama Bay. Yasmine wasn’t quite sure about the directions but she had a rough idea how to get there. She had been before many years ago but the entire area of Sharm has been built up so much that even the locals would have trouble remembering how to get from one place to another. Certainly the taxi drivers drive as though they are reading a road map, whilst on the phone and having a conversation with every person that appears on the road.
Adam strutting his stuff around the pool
Soaking up the sun around the pool
As we passed through Naama Bay there appeared to be a lot of people just stood on the side of the road doing not very much. This would typically mean nothing accept the fact that it was over 40 degrees and they were in trouser or jeans and shirts. On closer inspection there was also a bottle of water or more tucked under the nearest bush or twig. Each man didn’t seem to be looking to catch a taxi or appeared to be waiting for anything. Suzy was the first to speak as I continued to stare as we went passed a man after every 200 meters. “They are plain clothes police” she said and Yasmine agreed by pointing out the each one was spaced to precisely that it was obvious. We then drove through a very heavily guarded checkpoint next to the Sharm convention center. A very large and impressive modern building in the middle of nowhere in particular. Hosni Mubarak was here and there was some kind of international convention with many foreign dignitaries from around the world. So that explained the police presence. So along a road that we were looking for the entry to a hotel lined with undercover, hot and bothered policemen who looked as though they would shoot you just because you indicated early; we got lost!
Out come the water pistols
Yasmine and Meena take on Adam
Meena turns her attention towards me
I say lost, we actually ended up in the Sharm airport which was obviously too far so we doubled back along the road. Back assed all the hot and bothered police, who were supposed to be undercover but were not, we started driving slowly looking at every turning and sign that was there. This was one of those situations like walking through customs at airports that you feel guilty for absolutely no reason, but this time they probably had heat stroke and guns! We actually stopped along this road three times and asked one of these undercover police directions. Each one told us a different way which didn’t exactly help. The last policeman we asked was sat under a large umbrella and had a chair so I was guessing that he must have been a bit senior looked at us as if we had landed from another planet and asked for the toilets. Eventually we called Nivine again and she gave us the right directions.
The three children out on the pier exploring
Fun comes in threes
trouble on the way!
Nivine met us in the car park and took us to the pool where her friend Ian and his daughter Alyssa were swimming. The kids introduced themselves to Alyssa in their own way, by both attacking her with the water pistols. They had obviously got plenty of practice with Seif in the water park because she took a few straight to the face. Quickly Yasmine and myself decide to even things out and remove the guns but not before we gave the kids a bit of their own medicine. Ian also joined in and it started the day off nicely; if you excuse the fact that our kids had assaulted our new friends daughter. Well we’ve had worse. Yasmine and Nivine had lots to catch up so spent a while sitting by the pool. Ian, who is from Yorkshire, seemed like a very nice guy and we enjoyed some time in the pool with the kids minus the water pistols. The kids grew bored of the no weapon rule so we decided we should move to the beach for some lunch and something for the kids to entertain themselves with.
Meena enjoying herself in Coral Bay
Yasmine and Meena heading to the sea
Yasmine and Meena walking out on the pier to go snorkeling
We sat in the restaurant that is situated in very large bay. The three children quickly finished their food and Ian’s fruit salad, which he offered to share and probably didn’t realize what kind of a feeding frenzy he had unleashed, running along a man made pier that led to a huge platform that had two small swimming pool areas built into it. The pools were created to allow the small fish to enter but keep the larger ones out with a fence system. Watching the children from the restaurant you could see that they were getting along well and enjoying themselves immensely. Seeing how clear the water was Adam and Meena wanted to go snorkeling. Yasmine took Meena and I while I waited for Adam to have a swim with Alyssa in one of the pools. Yasmine and Meena were way off in the distance by the time Adam and I were ready. It was a great place to snorkel as there was very little sign of pollution like in other areas and the fish were many and there was some different types to what we had seen before.
Like mother like....
Ian, Yasmine and Nivine
By the end of the day the children were all best friends, Nivine and Yasmine had caught up on all the things they had being doing over the years and we had made a nice new friend in Ian. By the time we drove out of the main gate both Adam and Meena were asleep. We went out in the evening for another round on the motorbikes and a chinese meal. It had been a great day at Coral Bay and the place is amazing. Coral Bay is extremely large and you feel like you are in a small city in the Mediterranean. Small quaint little streets wind all the way from the main reception down to the beach. It is a beautiful place and there doesn’t seem any need to actually leave and do anything as everything you could possibly want is within the facility. As for being much better than Dubai? The slogan did bother me but not because I have any affinity or am pro Dubai but in a place that is so incredible like Coral Bay why you would need to talk about another destination or be negative just grated on me. The place is fantastic and should just have a slogan that is positive just the the experience you have there.
Suzy and Meena enjoying the evening
Yasmine and myself at the end of another long day