Tag Archives: yasmine
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sitting in the back garden of the villa in Sharm has been a treat in so many ways. Firstly how quiet it is here, at least when the children go to sleep that is. Silence can be as relaxing as a massage sometimes and with a view like the one we have it has been very soothing. We have also been treated to some other pleasures that Sharm has to offer. Meena has terrorized the Grasshopper community to the point that we don’t even hear them in the evening anymore. Every now and then we see Meena pounce in the garden returning to us with a big smile on her face and a grasshopper desperately trying to escape from the grasp of their captor.
The other evening I was sat on my own in the garden just thinking about the days fun and sights we had enjoyed. Out of the deep black sky something caught my eye coming towards me across the garden to my left. A white shape began to appear more clearly but I still could not register what it was or hear any sound at all. Suddenly, the head of an very large owl was clearly visible as its wings swooped from above its head and beneath its body. The owl flew right towards me open up its wings and banking to its left away from me into the garden to the right. The entire action must have taken no more than 6 seconds with the owl coming within a few feet of me. I knew that owls were a silent hunter but to witness it first hand was something very special. I certainly wouldn’t want to be a mouse or vole when one of these beautiful hunters is on the prowl, I wouldn’t have stood a chance!
During the mornings having breakfast we have been treated to a display of hunting that has been quite spectacular at times. A small falcon has been preying on something at the bottom of our garden as well as the neighbors to the right. Watching it hover high in the sky for a few minutes before diving into the ground like a stuka dive bomber has been educational for us all. Occasionally the falcon has rested on the lights at the end of the garden but it has given us a display quite breathtaking at times.
Even with all of the above events the most spectacular show of all has been one that I had when sitting in the garden with Yasmine. Yasmine was pouring herself a drink and I was enjoying the view of the bounty of stars that are visible in the night at Sharm. As I took a deep breath and relaxed a streak of light raced across the night sky; my first ever shooting star! Happening in just under a second the feeling was quite exhilarating. A sign of good luck or the devil being burned are two of the many superstitions attached to the phenomenon. It could have been a meteor or it could have been anything but what I saw gave me a lift inside that is quite unexplainable and if there is good luck on offer who am I to refuse?