After our climb up Mount Sinai, we moved on to Dahab to relax for a couple days. Dahab is a small town on the Red Sea that is just getting to be more popular with tourists. It still feels like a backpacker town, though, and even our hotel (the Dyarna Hotel) wasn’t completed finished. Nonetheless, it was nice, with balconies overlooking a pool and a view out to the Red Sea – we could even see a slight sliver of land that is Saudi Arabia. We were all pretty exhausted from the Sinai experience, so we spent the afternoon just relaxing – showering, lounging by the pool, hitting the ATM and internet cafe and stocking up on beer and wine for the evening since most restaurants don’t serve alcohol – you have to bring your own.
A group of us reconvened just after sunset to have a few drinks by the pool before going to dinner. Shady said he was taking us somewhere nice and he did not disappoint. It was a seafood place – one of those where you actually go up and pick out your own fish. While most everyone got these big elaborate decorative seafood platters, Lauren, Sophie and I went for pizza (Lauren) and steak (me and Sophie) since we don’t eat seafood. After dinner, the night’s plan was to gather at a bar to watch the Egypt-Ivory Coast soccer game which started at 10:00. But before we did, Lauren, Megan, Sophie, Chantelle and I stopped at a shop to buy Egyptian soccer jerseys to show our support. We managed to bargain and get each jersey for 35 Egyptian pounds, so we were pretty proud of ourselves.
We went to a bar on the main drag in Dahab called the Tree Bar. It felt like we were indoors, but the floor was dirt and the “walls” were really a bunch of carpets hanging around to keep out the wind. They had a big screen set up to project the game (no 50 inch plasma TV here unfortunately!). I can’t even describe the scene when Egypt scored the first goal. Seriously, it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Shady jumped ten feet in the air and did a little jig and managed to completely knock over a beer and send his cigarette flying across the room.
Fast forward to the end of the game, with Egypt winning 4-1. Everyone in the bar went crazy. By that point, we were full-on Egypt fans too, so we were going crazy. The music started going and everyone was dancing and we didn’t stop dancing all night. It was “old school party” night at the bar, so they were playing all sorts of American tunes going all the way back to the 60s. I finally left about 3:00 a.m. – only because I had to be ready to go by 8:00 a.m. for my excursion to the Coloured Canyon the next day. Otherwise I would have stayed as it was probably the most fun night of the two week tour in Egypt.
Note: I visited Egypt in January 2008, pre-revolution. This was originally published in 2010.