February 6th-7th – Hurghada

Hurghada was by far the saddest stop on our trip.  We had been looking forward to spending a few days relaxing by the beach and sipping cocktails in a resort town, but it was not to be.  First off, Hurghada was cold!  Hard to lie on the beach in swimsuits with an icy wind coming over you.  Nothing can be done about the weather though, so we decided to go shopping.

By now, you could really feel the economic impact of the uprising on the Egyptian people.  Far more than Aswan, and even Luxor, the merchants of Hurghada were desperate.  Hurghada exists almost entirely for tourists, and they were few.  When we checked into our hotel, I sneaked a peak at the hotel computer.  The resort had 583 rooms, and only 40 guests.

The Depression of Hurghada

The cold beach…

Coffee at a street cafe

Ali the Spice Merchant!  We love this guy!  He was so happy to have customers, and we spent a lot of time in his shop.  His son, a local doctor, also came in and ranted to us about a conspiracy theory involving Osama Bin Ladin, spies from Quatar, and how the December church bombing was a failed attempt by Al Qaeda to start a Muslim/Christian war in Egypt.  Ali just smiled, served tea, and dressed us up in costumes.

Desert Princess Miyuki and Ali the Spice Merchant.   Whenever he stood next to Miyuki, he made sure to show me his hands so that I wouldn’t be worried that he was touching her.

Desert Princess Miyuki and Zack the Spice Merchant.  Normally, shop owners would try to charge you for dressing up like this, but Ali didn’t ask us for anything.   I think he was just having fun.