19 August 2009


After a quite trying seven and a half hour bus journey through the desert we eventually made it to Hurghada on the Red Sea coast. The trip should have only taken five hours so to liven things up a bit we were blasted with what sounded like Quran FM over the tinny distorted bus speakers for most of the journey.

Just so that we could end the day on a high after our never ending bus journey we went out for dinner and had the worst meal that we've had in a long time. Some of the guide books give Egyptian food a bit of a rough time but we really like it. You can get fantastic mezze (the Middle Eastern equivalent of tapas), kofta, kebabs and a dish called fatta, which is rice and bread soaked in a garlicky vinegary sauce (it sounds odd but is incredibly tasty). You have to have a bit of a poke about but there's also some really good restaurants too, Sofra in Luxor being our favorite so far.

The food we had at Agra Restaurant in Hurghada on Tuesday evening was far from good though. It was supposed to be an Indian restaurant but it wasn't like any Indian we've ever had before. Liz's butter chicken was actually a can of chicken soup with extra lumps of chicken thrown in it. My chicken curry was indescribable . . . Gritty is the best that I can come up with.

Hurghada originally became popular as a dive resort but is now more famous for being a package tour destination for holidaying Russians. You're more likely to be approached by an Egyptian speaking Russian than English (or Arabic).

Apart from the food at Agra Restaurant the other shocking thing about Hurghada is how ugly it is. There's a beautiful stretch of turquoise blue sea along the coast but the town is a real eyesore. It's one of those places where you can't tell if they are in the process of knocking the whole place down or building it up! This is the stunning view from our hotel balcony . . .

We were looking at trying to spend a few days here but I think we can hear Sharm el-Sheikh calling us from across the Gulf of Suez.

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