Egypt December 2013

Winters in Switzerland tend to be long and dark which is why we decided to escape for a week to the warm sun of Egypt. 

We had booked a hotel close to Marsa Alam airport, the Iberotel Coraya. We spare you the details of booking, cancelling, rebooking again; fact is that we did not fly Basel - Marsa Alam but Zurich - Hurghada, which meant a 3 hour minibus transfer to the hotel. Eventually we were there and it was 25C warmer than in Switzerland. 

 

Staying at an all inclusive resort was certainly a new way for us to spend our holidays. The food was fine once we discovered the oriental corner of the buffet, the staff was very friendly and we were glad to see that the hotel was, while far from very busy, at least running a decent occupancy. However, the whole animation part is just not our thing and we can live without hi-fiving the animation team and playing boccia. But well, it is just our personal preference to rather spend time under water than playing ballgames or doing aquaerobics.

And under water we were! There is four hotels in the bay, all served by Coraya Divers, the dive center on the south side of the bay. They are running quite a big operation and are well prepared for high season. We were glad it was a bit quieter, as to us it seemed that in high season it might just be a bit too impersonal when you are just one of more than 300 divers at the center. 

As it was quite windy not all excursions were taking place, but we had some good variation with the sites we went to (Karaffi, Marsa Shura, Umm Elros, Halg el Shunne, Gamila, Umm Gerifat). Very convenient is that if experienced enough (min. 25 dives), buddy teams can dive the housereef without guide, which we also took advantage of twice. The famous Elphinstone site however we spared for a next visit. 

One of the most amazing encounters we had, and it is in my top three since I started diving, was seeing a dolphin under water... But look for yourself and enjoy the images:

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Underwater

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Coraya Divers

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Hotel

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