Tag Archives: Egypt

Finding Paradise in Dahab – South Sinai

2019c dahab paradiseDahab Paradise
Blue Hole Road
Dahab, Egypt
+20-100-700-2527
http://www.dahabparadise.com
info@dahabparadise.com

A more recent addition to the hotels on the Red Sea Coast of Egypt, Dahab Paradise is a peaceful resort that offers a pleasurable holiday on many levels. Nestled between mountain and sea, it is uncomplicated in its design and landscaped in a way that takes advantage of the beauty and serenity of its natural surroundings. Dahab Paradise can easily be seen as a retreat from the world you left behind and from the touristy boardwalk of Dahab proper. Rooms are simply furnished, offering adequate comfort and amenities. Each of its second level rooms has a private terrace and ground level units include a private patio – each one of them overlooking the inviting turquoise of the lovely pool, and beyond, the immense, deep blue of the sea delights the eye.

With city sounds left in the distance, it becomes a difficult decision – shall we nap, lounge by the pool, walk along the seashore, or wander in the wadi directly accessible from the hotel? Many of the hotel guests have come to take advantage of the world-class diving and wind-surfing that make Dahab such a popular destination. From here one can arrange desert safaris, mountain treks, diving trips, sightseeing trips to Sharm el Sheik or a spiritual journey to Mt. St. Catherine’s. All are within easy reach.

If stillness and relaxation is on your menu, then stay put. For sustenance, the menu at Dahab Paradise Restaurant is tempting, varied, and most satisfying. One can select from traditional Egyptian fare or enjoy the chef’s tasty versions of more international classics. Ingredients are freshly sourced, carefully prepared, and beautifully presented. I would recommend their restaurant even if one is not a guest staying here. It is worth stopping by for lunch, not only for the food but for views of the sea, or for dinner when the grounds are illuminated in the most magical way.

Ah, delightful, soul-restoring Dahab… Just maybe this really is Paradise.

copyright Ginda Simpson – http://www.rooms-withaview.comhttp://www.gindasimpson.com

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Nile views from the Holiday Inn Maadi

2018c holiday inn maadiHoliday Inn Cairo Maadi
29 Nile Corniche
Maadi 11431
Cairo, Egypt
+20 (2) 2526 0601
http://www.ihg.com

It is always with great anticipation that I return to Egypt. A stay at the Holiday Inn in Maadi, the city where I once lived, satisfies a longing to re-visit a home I loved. I am already familiar with this particular hotel, but it is especially nice to see the renovations that have taken place, giving it a new look while adding to its comfort and convenience. It is located on the Corniche el Nil, a busy boulevard that travels along the banks of the Nile from Cairo to Maadi, about 9 kilometers south of the city center. Once designed to be a garden oasis of villas and gardens, Maadi, in spite of many changes and its rapid growth, still offers a greener, quieter experience seemingly far from the intensity of the city itself.

Fifteen stories high, many of the hotel’s light-filled rooms face the Nile, with unobstructed views of the river. From some of the rooms, the pyramids can be seen on the clearer days. Otherwise, there is a haze that hangs over the city, which can be disappointing at times but still adds to its mystery. Cairo reveals herself slowly as the morning haze lifts, and by evening a view of the sun setting reflected in the Nile is an unforgettable sight.

Dining at the hotel at the end of a day of business meetings or sight-seeing offers a choice of fine Italian, local Egyptian or continental fare. The main restaurant, on the same floor as a terrace swimming pool, overlooks the Nile and is a pleasant place to enjoy a drink in the evening breeze while watching the feluccas sail languidly on the river, an unchanging and soul-restoring scene. And to experience this timeless moment to the fullest, simply cross the Corniche and hire a felucca for a private sunset sail.

A breakfast buffet greets you in a river-view dining room filled with sunshine. Pastries, fresh fruit and yogurts, warm continental dishes for both meat lovers and vegetarians, made-to-order omelets, and loaves of fresh bread – all making the final selection somewhat of a challenge.

But the best part of my stay is the warm, friendly, courteous manner of the staff. The Egyptian welcoming smiles always brighten my day and remind me that I have come home once again.

copyright Ginda Simpson – http://www.rooms-withaview.comhttp://www.gindasimpson.com

My Egypt books now available for Kindle through Amazon

Egypt e-book postcard
On September 1, 1993 I was busy with the final packing of my “things” that would go to Egypt with us. Six years later, there were even more “things” to be packed, as we prepared to leave Egypt, the country that had become our home. The real treasures we took away, however, were the memories of Egypt as our home and then those woven together in the years that followed. These I have wrapped lovingly into two books, collections of short stories and artwork.

Read, learn and love with me, as I discover the country that would steal my heart. Come, imagine yourself adrift on the Nile in a white-sailed felucca. Let me take you to see the Sphinx in the middle of the night, to ancient bazaars and crowded marketplaces, to the tranquil countryside where life unfolds, unchanging. Travel along with me on leisurely afternoons honey-lit and sweet, teaching me new insights and ancient wisdoms. Visit South Sinai, a land that stretches beneath a sky and along a sea of endless blue. Accompany me on a pilgrimage to Abydos in search of fertility blessings, discovering over and over again that the best treasures in Egypt cannot be purchased…

My daughter, Bernadette, and I are happy to celebrate these memories with their publication as e-books through NimNam Books, now available for Kindle.

Morning of Light:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N3JXTOO

Afternoon of Honey:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N5Q9UKW

For those of you who do not have Kindles and prefer books in print, Morning of Light, Afternoon of Honey, and When Egypt was our Home are available through Blurb. If you are a new customer, they are offering a 25% DISCOUNT, use code:  SMARTSMALL,

or a 30% DISCOUNT on orders of $100, using code: STARTBIG. Offers expire October 18, 2014. Preview and order books at: http://www.blurb.com/search/site_search?search=ginda+simpson&filter=all&commit=Search

This is for you, fellow Egypt lovers

In the words of Khalil Gibran:

“The most beautiful thing in life is that our souls remain hovering over the places where we once enjoyed ourselves.”

So this is for you, fellow Egypt lovers:

TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE.

Morning of Light coverMorning of Light

 

 

Afternoon of Honey  cover Afternoon of Honey

 

 

When Egypt was our Home WHEN EGYPT WAS OUR HOME.

Visit my bookstore to preview and enjoy shared memories.

http://www.blurb.com/user/store/Ginda1221

CODE: BETTER25

 

What’s better than a beautiful Blurb book? Two beautiful books. Buy two books and we’ll give you 25% off your order plus we’ll throw in free ground shipping (or take $10 off expedited or next day shipping)†. More is merrier with Blurb. Offer good through December 2, 2013.**

† A $1.99 per additional unit ground shipping charge will be applied on orders of more than 2 books

The Luxor Winter Palace – past and present pleasures

2012c Old Winter Palace 4

The view from the Winter Palace Garden
                     Original watercolor painting – copyright Ginda Simpson

Sofitel Luxor Winter Palace
Corniche el Nile Street
Luxor, Egypt
+20-95/238-0425
http://www.sofitel.com

Seated in a plump old-fashioned arm chair in this sumptuous parlor known as the Victoria Lounge, I contemplate the long history of the Winter Palace, built in genuine Victorian style 1886, its grand façade facing the western bank of the Nile. I sit here, 126 years later, imagining the stories this old queen could tell me. Celebrities, royalty, artists, writers, adventurers and history-makers have all stayed here and left their marks: most notably Howard Carter who announced to the world the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922 from this very hotel. Built under the supervision of Thomas Cook International, the Winter Palace was a well-established hotel already by that year, but Carter’s magnificent discovery brought in its wake a flood of visitors eager to see for themselves the riches of ancient Thebes: the Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut’s Temple and the Colossi of Memnon. It became one of the world’s true “destination” hotels, offering a sun-filled holiday and a glamorous social life to the elite who came to “winter” here.

Today, the Winter Palace is replete with the old-world charm of its illustrious past. The queen is still here, showing her age, but sharing her grace and wisdom. Her dress may be a little frayed and her pearls may lack their original luster, but oh, what good company she is. Visitors today do not have the luxury of time to spend a winter here, but many come to stay for a day or two before embarking on a Nile Cruise, or at the end of their river journey, when they can indulge in a longer stay. Constructed in 1997, the Pavillion Winter Palace wing with its garden views is a lovely addition, with all the modern amenities that the most discerning guest would expect.

The extensive garden is lush with both indigenous and exotic trees, shrubs, and flowering plants, serving as the most delightful outdoor parlor for those who wish to meet for tea, a tranquil escape from the commotion of modern-day Luxor. For those who seek solitude and quiet, the grounds are spacious enough to serve as a perfect hide-away. A sparkling swimming pool beckons at the far end of the garden, its blue waters mirroring the sky above. I remove my shoes and stroll on the velvet green lawn, beneath the towering palms in the midst of lush bougainvillea. A gardener appears out of nowhere and hands me a freshly-picked blossom, wishing me a nice stay… It is a tender gesture in a timeless place, where hopefully the future will carry on with the gentile ways of the past. I think the queen would nod her approval.

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