It was my last weekend in Egypt and I had finished my Arabic classes, it was the perfect time for a summer getaway outside the noise and chaos of Cairo. Initially we wanted to go to Alexandria but then decided to go to Marsa Matruh a small town that faces the Mediterranean sea. I'm glad we did because it had one of the beaches I've seen in my entire life. And that's saying a lot considering I'm a tropical boy from the Philippines.
Here are some things to know if you're considering traveling to Marsa Matruh:
1. Bus tickets are 75 LE. You should buy them the day before the trip just to be sure you have a seat.
2. The trip takes around 5 to 7 hours so be sure to bring some snacks and water. No need to worry about bathroom stops, there's a toilet inside the bus you can use throughout the whole trip.
3. In general, there aren't a lot of tourists in Egypt so there's a lot of rooms available in hotels.
4. Marsa Matruh isn't as famous as Alexandria or Luxor of a tourist destination so you'll be dealing with a lot more locals who are not used to dealing with foreigners who only speak English. It might be best to learn a few Arabic phrases.
5. We stayed at the Al Quasir hotel for 100 LE each per night. However, a man and a woman cannot stay in the same room unless they are married, so be sure to take that into consideration when booking your hotel.
6. Bring your passports. You need those to check in at the hotel.
7. Visit Aghiba beach, and Cleopatra's bath, have some tea with mint at night by the beach and smoke some apple shisha and Enjoy!!!
Here are the pictures:
This was our bus. Nothing special, gets the job done.
There's a 30 minute stop over in the middle of the desert.
Here you can have some tea and shisha.
Can you tell I just woke up.
Look at all these crap!!!!! Oh humans.
Susana saw a Barcelona flag!
The desert is really beautiful.
After a couple more of hours, finally Marsa Matruha. The view from our hotel room.
We walked to the beach.
How awesome is this.
We didn't hang out very long though since there were a lot of people. And we were really hungry. But look at how beautiful and clear the water is.
Susana, dipping her feet into the ocean.
Me and my hair.
Men in galabeya (long robes like what priests wear) by the beach.
Somehow I look like an anime in this picture.
Could we be anymore of a tourist. Our first meal was at McDonald's. It was Ramadan and there wasn't a lot of restaurants opened before sunset. My fasting also took a vacation.
Who would've thought that Egypt had this!
And this was the fanciest McDonalds I've ever been to. It was right beside the sea!
Amazing view while you eat your fries.
Then we took a cab (which cost around 30 LE) to go to Aghiba beach.
Could it be anymore awesome (So yeah, I've been watching a lot of Friends episode and have started to talk like Chandler.)
Muslim women. My understanding is that the decision to wear these type of clothing is a matter of personal choice, of how one expresses one's beliefs. At least this is how it was explained to me by the Egyptian women I've met. In any case, I am amazed at how some women could swim in these given all the weight of wet clothes. More pics in the next post!