July 19, 2010

Dead Sea, Red Sea: My feet in pictures

"So, if you'd gone on your Egypt trip where would you be today?" asked Linda in my yoga class.

"Let's see..." I played the itinerary through in my head. "I think we'd be on the Sinai peninsula, camping on the beach at the Red Sea."


It did sound exotic, even more so when I said, "I've been to the Red Sea before."

"Did you float on top of it?"

"That's the Dead Sea. I've been there, too."

"Did you float on top of that?"

"No. I was on the Jordanian side, so I was all covered up in a long skirt and a tunic."

I did dip my toes in the Dead Sea at a public picnic area that sat off the road that rims the sea. I took a picture of my feet, and long skirt, in the salty froth.

My feet figured big in the pix from my trip to Jordan. Feet at the Dead Sea, feet at the Red Sea.

My Red Sea feet, sans long skirt and tunic, are propped on a chaise on the private beach of the Radisson resort in Aqaba. I'd paid good money to be able to dispense with the long skirt and tunic while a guest at the property, so I took full advantage and sat outside in my bathing suit.

It was rather extraordinary sitting there on that beach because I could see four countries at once.

I was sitting in Jordan; to my right and slightly behind me was Eilat, Israel; to my right and slightly ahead lay the Sinai desert in Egypt; to my left sat Saudi Arabia.

At night I stood on my balcony to look again at the four countries. In the blazing haze of day, they'd all looked about the same. In the dark, they looked very different, and you could tell exactly where the borders were by the amount of electricity in use, or not.

Eilat was ablaze with lights from cafes, restaurants, discos, beachfront apartment complexes and seaside homes that marched up the hills fronting the sea. Eilat was chic, highrise heaven so its lights had altitude. Aqaba, where I sat, was the next-best illuminated, with just enough lights to keep the modest beach resort from being completely dead after dark. Saudi Arabia was bathed in intermittent, muted pink and green lights that hung on sparse, low buildings. In Egypt, there was a concentrated splash of light at Taba, a dive town, but after that, away into the Sinai, nothing but black. Had my eyesight been better perhaps I would have seen the distant glow of a Bedouin campfire.

(And, I promised to keep you posted on my trip cancellation insurance claim. I'm happy to report that Nationwide/TruTravel came through. I got my check today. I now feel comfortable recommending InsureMyTrip.com as a source for travel insurance products. Nationwide took its time, but I got my money.)