Egyptian Holiday Destinations: Sharm El-Sheikh

There is a lot said about the benefits of Egyptian holidays for the historian. Given that it is the location of one of the earliest major world civilisations, that is not surprising. Locations like Giza and Luxor are dripping with history, and touches of ancient Egyptian architecture and aesthetics which are familiar to people in countries all over the world can be seen in their original form in those locations. That said, if you feel like you’ve had your fill of history, or just want a holiday that is a little more “present day” while remaining totally Egyptian, Sharm el-Sheikh is a destination without compare.

Sharm el-Sheikh Beach Holidays

There are many reasons why a tourist would wish to spend some time in Sharm el-Sheikh, not least of them the fact that it has beaches which compare favorably with just about any destination you could name. For a water sports enthusiast, there are few destinations which can hold a candle to the city, with Sharm being home to a plethora of diving equipment stores and diving schools; many of these are run by Europeans who have been attracted by the potential of the location. It is a truly “year-round” destination – hot in the summer, and still pleasantly warm even in winter.

Of all the beaches in Sharm, the most well-known is perhaps Na’ama Bay (or Na’ama Beach). The name means “pleasant” in Hebrew, and is both a nod to the former Israeli presence in the area and an apt descriptor of the area itself.

It is here that the majority of the hotels in Sharm el-Sheikh are to be found and these range from the higher-end names such as Hilton (which has a number of hotels here), Marriott and Sheraton to many more affordable spots. Some of these latter are independent private hotels, while the likes of Holiday Inn and Days Inn also have a presence in Sharm.

Why Go To Sharm El-Sheikh?

As well as being a popular tourist destination, Sharm el-Sheikh has for some time been the location for Middle East peace conferences due both to its accessibility and its cosmopolitan nature. The hardened classicist may not find the location to their liking, but Sharm el-Sheikh is still an Egyptian city. What it offers to the tourist is the best of both worlds – ready proximity to cities with more historical pull, and at the same time a holiday experience that is both European enough to avoid culture shock and still recognisable Middle Eastern in tone.

Sharm also compares favorably with many European destinations in terms of price. While the beaches and the amenities lose nothing by comparison with the coastal destinations to be found to the North in Europe, the voyager can enjoy all the sights and sounds of the various resorts without breaking the bank.

In being at the same time affordable, unspoiled and welcoming, Sharm el-Sheikh manages to pull off a trick that many destinations on every continent in the world have been struggling with for some time. Even if you just take a couple of days off from seeing the classic ancient sites in the rest of the country, it is worth spending some time here if only to see the beautiful scenery of the Sinai peninsula.

Action and Adventure Movies

I have a fondness for action and adventure movies, and this article was written so that I could share a few of my favorites. While you’ve probably seen one of two on the list, I’m guessing that a few have escaped your notice. Watch then when you get a chance, thrilling to everything from outer space combat to tense showdowns with mythical monsters. And if you’ve seen them all? Pat yourself on the back; you’re a true cinephile.

Star Trek (2009) – Producer/director J.J. Abrams jettisons the senior citizen cast and reboots the greatest sci-fi franchise in the history of television. The big-budget actioner follows the early adventures of James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) as he becomes a member of Starfleet, gets on the nerves of Spock (Zachary Quinto), and eventually assumes command of the USS Enterprise to battle a time-traveling Romulan (Eric Bana). Karl Urban is Dr. McCoy, Zoe Saldana is Uhura, John Cho is Sulu, Simon Pegg is Scotty, and Anton Yelchin is Chekov. The film was a massive success, opening the franchise up to a whole new generation. Expect a number of sequels over the coming years.

The Fugitive (1993) – Adapted from the popular television series, The Fugitive stars Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble, a Chicago surgeon who’s unjustly convicted of his wife’s murder. On the way to death row, his bus collides with a train, and Kimble escapes to pursue the one-armed man he knows to be responsible for his predicament. His task is made more difficult by the appearance of Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones), a tenacious U.S. Marshal who’s used to getting his man. A massive hit at the box office, The Fugitive would land Gerard his own spin-off, U.S. Marshals.

Red Cliff: International Version (2008/2009) – Released as two films during its theatrical run, this Chinese war epic sees director John Woo trade in his trademark gunfights for brutal combat in 3rd century China. Based on the legendary Battle of Red Cliffs, the film details the efforts of a coalition of warlords to resist the advances of the ambitious Cao Cao (Zhang Fengyi). The full international version is almost five hours long, but it’s far superior to the abbreviated version that crams both movies into 2 hours. Starring Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Chang Chen, and Zhao Wei.

District B13 (2004) – In this French film, the not-so-distant future has become a pretty ugly place, especially in Paris. One particularly crime-riddled section of the city is cut off from the others as a response to unprecedented crime rates, and those inside form a number of gangs to rule like kings. When crime lord Taha (Bibi Naceri) gets crossways with the anti-drug hero named Leito (David Belle), the end result is Leito behind bars and his sister a prisoner of the ruthless criminal. But when Taha steals a neutron bomb and intends on launching it, Leito will get his chance for revenge by teaming up with a cop who’s a master of disguise (Cyril Raffaelli). Filled with elaborate fights, colorful characters, and plenty of parkour, District B13 is a must-see for fans of action and adventure.

The Scorpion King (2002) – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reprises the character seen briefly in The Mummy Returns, but this time he’s the hero of the story. After failing to kill a sorceress (Kelly Hu) and being left for dead, Mathayus (The Rock) embarks on an epic journey to topple an evil emperor and end his reign of terror. Co-starring Michael Clarke Duncan.

Clash of the Titans (1981) – Young Perseus (Harry Hamlin) heads off on a quest to save the woman he intends to marry, and along the way he’ll face the stony stare of Medusa, giant scorpions, a two-headed dog, and all manner of other monstrosities. But they all pale next to the Kraken, a massive beast unleashed from the depths of the ocean to either devour a virgin sacrifice or destroy the city of Joppa. It lacks all the CGI effects of the remake, and that’s honestly a very good thing.