On Wednesday, just after midnight, my friends and I hoped on a bus in Tahrir Square and set off for Dahab. Thirteen hours and numerous checkpoints later, we had arrived.
Immediately, I was reminded of Brighton, on the south coast of England. This place is small and beach, with hipsters and locals mingling along the shore. Brightly colored restaurants, herb shops, and cafes lined the coast.
The people here are interesting as well. There aren’t a lot of Egyptian, rather quite a lot of expats. We’ve met loads of people from Russia and even seen a Russian primary school. There are also quite a lot of the French and Dutch.
One thing that we stumbled on, which we thought was quite cool, was a trash free market. All the expats had gotten together and made baked goods. A Dutchman at the entrance was renting plates for a modest price.
I bought the most delicious cake I’ve ever had in my life from an old Russian babushka. It was layered with thin slices of sweet cake, with icing inbetween and graham cracker crumbs on the outside. We sat in a little area in front of the beach, one with a fair few of sleepy dogs lounging in the sand.
Life here is very relaxed. The town wakes up late and gets a slow start. People don’t really start moving about until afternoon. Dahab itself is not that developed yet. They have a lot of construction going on, signaling that they’re planning on expanding the area. Lots of resorts and hotels are being built. You can tell the Dahab is still fairly off the radar.
I think the happiest residents of this small town are the animals. The cats and dogs look healthy and well, which is a nice change from Cairo, where most look sickly. We have even seen a fair few goats here, walking in herds along the side of the road. The animals are all well fed and have nice big bellies and shiny coats to prove it. Locals like to toss the animals their leftover food and maybe some meats off their plate.
It seems that everyone in Dahab leads a quiet, peaceful life. The smell and sound of the sea is never far away and is forever warm and welcoming. Originally, my friend and I were meant to stay in Dahab four days, but we added an extra day to our trip because we aren’t ready to leave quite yet. Dahab is a place I could see myself coming back to and enjoying for a lot of my life.
If you’re looking for a calm getaway, far from the chaotic city life, Dahab should be on the top of your list. You could spend a weekend here, a month or, like some expats, the rest of your life.
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