Hurghada: Vibrant city of culture  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Egypt took a pasting from the media this year; as well as the rioting. Actually, most of Egypt is completely safe. Unfortunately, the media painted a picture of what is in reality just a few specific areas. Even Tahrir Square ; the site of previous demonstrations, is a diminutive part of Cairo: a city with a total population of over 18 million.

On the Red Sea Riviera sits hapless Hurghada where the weather is glorious all year round and you can watch the sun mellow into an ever-changing blaze of neon flares as the the skyline melts to the horizon from the comfort of your own balcony. The third largest city in Egypt, its tranquil beaches and incredible diving spots are a world away from more troubled areas.

Hurghada started life as a sleepy fishing village, up until relatively recently; about 15 years ago. Foreign investment and the craving for winter sun has led to thriving nightlife in what's now a fun-loving scuba central. However, walking through Hurghada's own national park at Al-Mahmeya, you're transported to another time completely as you pick your way to peace.

Wandering the streets of El Dahar; Hurghada's downtown old city, a flavour of its Bedouin past fills the air with bright, cultural street festivals , which happen throughout the year. Again, steeped in history: the modern, more urban  Bedouins participate and try to engage visitors to teach them of the various Bedouin traditions. 

Mostly rich poetry recitals, whirling sword dances provide entertainment; harking back to bygone days. Workshops to teach traditional tent knitting playing Bedouin instruments captivate and entrance visitors with the friendly attitude and intense commitment. Traditions such as camel riding and camping in the deserts can also be arranged on expeditions to take a short breather from the

With its own airport and excellent transport links, the whole Hurghada area is comparable to the Sharm-El-Sheikh of the past and as such commands a more vibrant and community based life.

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