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Thursday, May 17th, 2007

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My holiday in Egypt was fantastic and I'm quite depressed to be back! The only good thing about it is seeing R.

My friend has a flat in Sharm el Sheik, which is a bog standard touristy kind of place, where ninety percent of the population appears to be Russian. Egypt is mostly desert. I've never seen so much dust and sand in my life. Its also mountainous desert, which is quite interesting.

The best things about the holiday were the food and the snorkeling. I believe we ended up going snorkelling four times. The Red Sea is the bluest sea I have ever seen and it is easily the best snorkelling I have ever done, even better than Thailand. Its just like being in a tropical aquarium.

We went to Cairo for a day and saw the pyramids. It was worth the visit but one day was enough. cairo was like hell. Forty degree dry heat and there had been sand storms the previous day. The architecture is drab to say the least, consisting mostly of half-built brown box shaped flats which look like they've emerged from the surrounding sand. We did see one old fashioned house, which was beautiful, but most of these have been buldozed to make way for more "practical" dwellings.

We also had dinner with the bedouin in the desert. They had a powerful telescope through which I saw Saturn with its rings, and a variety of other heavenly objects. As well as being perfectly dark in the desert, it is also perfectly silent. When we all agreed to be quiet for a minute, it was the most silent experience I have ever had. Its amazing how rarely we experience true silence.

Another highlight was when out bedouin friend and another friend took us to the mangroves. We had a whole beach to ourselves in the middle of nowhere. It was so peaceful. When the tide went out there were thousands of black starfish left in the shallows.

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