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Reborn in the desert

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After midnight, It’s a full moon night, every this is quite, all went to sleep and in the middle of nature, it all starts. Hot water springing up and warming our cold bodies at  10 *C in January. The moon is shedding silver light on the scene. You can’t see much, actually there isn’t much to see around the water spring. A few bushes here and there, suddenly you are in the middle of the clouds with the steam coming out from the hot water. It really looks like you are swimming among the clouds on the rhythms of an everlasting Bedouin song.

This is how we started our three days journey to Al- Farfra oasis,  New Valley governorate.  The trip took about six hours drive from Cairo to our destination. The destination is almost 550 kilometers away from Cairo, but we made three stops during our journey to rest and have coffee etc.

Welcome treat

By the time we arrived to Badaweya hotel  the sun was gone. Each checked into his room in the traditionally designed hotel as separated chalets with domes at the top. Of course everyone was very hungry. We enjoyed a welcome treat of mandarins and dates from the hotel gardens, while our dinner was being prepared.  Dinner started with hot creamy lentil soup followed by roasted chicken with potatoes, mahshy i.e. stuffed vigutables, rice and salad, all homemade style.

After dinner we gathered around fire and enjoyed Bedouin tea. Some were too cold to join,and only six of us decided to take the adventure of swimming in the water spring in the middle of the night.  Our guide from the hotel drove us in a Pajero to the spring, about ten minutes from the hotel.

Healthy natural spa

Besides the marvelous scenery of swimming under the beautiful stars, bathing in hot water springs is very healthy. This water contains a variety of minerals like calcium and sodium bicarbonate. The minerals in the water, helps relief stress and heat relaxes tense muscles. It’s also good for Rheumatism and other  joints  problems in general. It smoothes and softens the skin, plus the properties of sulfur water can relieve eczema. It’s also good for the heart and whole body nourish , moreover , it improves sleep.“Saad” our guide said that swimming at night in hot spring keeps you warm for the rest of the night, where the temperature goes down to 8 or 9 *C.

* Bonus: You don’t have to shower after swimming in a hot water spring. It’s better to leave the minerals do its magic work on your skin.

I woke the first morning in my warm bed room, rays of sun coming from the circle window up the high wall. Spacious bed and a room decorated with Bedouin style and desert rocks. The living room has a traditional chimney and fridge and TV ; I doubt you’ll ever of using it.

 

Sunny breakfast

Unlike the cold night, morning was sunny and warm. We enjoyed our breakfast by the pool. Traditional “foul and Taameya” eggs, cheese, salads, yogurt, and “halawa bar” you need a lot of these at night to give you power.

Green morning

We started off to the old gardens; a massive gardens of palm trees,  citrus and olives that has been there for ages. You can try climbing the palm tree and get fresh dates, but be careful not to get caught. After a refreshing walk amongst different shades of green, we moved to the farm, ten minutes drive from the old gardens, a unique combination of desert rocks, and green land. We walked among old clay houses and met some nice farm cows and donkeys.  We found a shaded spot on a golden ground. Golden yellow tree leaves covered the place and it was about time to have a small snack. Bedouin tea and dates dipped in virgin olive oil a total new extravaganza combination. The sun is about leave and we took off to the hot water spring. A different spring where you can stand and the water will cover you up to the nick. The hot water pores on you from a man made tube. It runs down strongly giving you the best natural Jacuzzi experience in the world. The minerals in the water turned its color into more red color, so it’s normal to feel like you’re swimming in tomato soup. It’s ok; some springs have clearer water than others.

Desert evenings usually starts with the dinner around 6 pm. Taking a walk around  Farafra town, then gathering around fire camp enjoying the melodies of bedioun “nay”, traditional songs and dances. Or you can merely observe the stars spread sky or go swimming in the water spring.

Nature Master piece

On the third day, we went on our major adventure of all. After thirty minutes drive we arrived at one of kind in the world, the White desert or “ elsahara elbeeda” . It’s a national protected area where sand storms, over time, has created nature master pieces of rock formations. The massive chalk rock forest has taken many shapes; the most famous one is  the mushroom which is the symbol of the nature reserve. Also there is The Rabbit and The Chicken rocks and you can spend your day imaging what other shapes you can find there. Millions of years ago this area was a big sea, that’s why you can find fossils in limestone. Another ten minutes drive we passed by “Ein Khadra” a small oasis in the middle of the desert where you can meet some funny camels. There is also the black desert. Then we arrived at another type of desert with colored sand rocks, with different shades of red, green, yellow and black marvelous formations. Our last stop was in an ice cream-like desert, it has smooth white surface as if you have fallen into a vanilla ice cream bucket. This was our spot for a quick snack before sunset, Then we headed back to the hotel.

Crystal road

On the fourth day, we woke up early, had breakfast and got ready to go back to Cairo.  Some authentic shopping is a must; you get to choose from a variety of local dates and pure olive oil. Also there is a range of different handmade wool products that make a wonderful souvenir like gloves, scarves, and wool rugs. On the way we made a very important stop at the Crystal Mountain. It’s part of The White Desert nature reserve. The sand there is literally glowing. Natural crystals are everywhere behind a dark gloomy rock mountain; a spectacular sightseeing.  Then we continued our journey back to the capital.

Three days seemed out of this universe. As if you have travelled back to the very old times,pure, virgin nature all around you. You enjoy fresh air, glowing sky day and night. You are relaxed  and enchanted i.e. you are reborn.

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Travel

11 Best Beaches In Sahel To Rock Your Summer 2018

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north coast

Haven’t been to Sahel yet this summer? Don’t worry, The What’s Up Cairo’s Team has got your back with a list of the awesomest beaches out there in Sahel, read more.

1- Hacienda Bay:

Hacienda bay

We can’t get enough from Hacienda Bay’s private beaches, how the taupe colored sand feels on the feet while walking along the paths is indescribable. The roaring sound of the blue-green Mediterranean sea is what makes you want to grab a book and read peacefully on any private beach of Hacienda Bays’.

2- Hacienda White:

Hacienda White

It’s all about Hacienda White’s Private Beaches that we can’t get enough from. Just watching from afar the waves hitting the shore slowly and the waves of the music hitting your body which makes you instantly into the dancing mode is why we love Hacienda White’s beaches.

3- Marassi:

Marassi

If you haven’t heard of the most intoxicating yet beautifully panoramic scenery of the sea waves crashing the shore in Marassi’s amazing private beaches, then you have been living under a rock. We just can’t get enough how Marassi’s beaches, they are the awesomest!

4- Stella, Sidi Abdelrahman:

Stella, Sidi Abdelrahman

How could we get enough of Stella’s private Beach? It’s pretty amazing. How the sky and the sea touch in a picturesque scenery which makes you feel relaxed. The sunshine yellow sand is warm and feels amazing. Want a great beach to chill out with your friends or family? Go to Stella beach!

5- Ghazala Bay:

Ghazala Bay

We cannot get over how Ghazala Bay’s Private beautiful beach is! The waves of the sea hitting the shore beautifully which makes us feel relaxed and tranquil. Children playing volleyball or football while them being safe and also, having fun! Definitely, recommending this!

6- La Vista:

La Vista

How can we say no to La Vista Sahel? La Vista is becoming even better this summer and we love it so much! Children having fun, adults having a tan or reading a good book and music filling the air. How can anyone compete with that?! Want to have fun? Head to La Vista Sahel!

7- Telal:

Telal

Who hasn’t heard about Telal’s famous, outstandingly gorgeous private beaches? Seriously, want to go for a swim and tanning in the morning, then going to malls and cool places at night? Then, definitely recommending Telal!

8- Diplo:

Diplo

Diplo’s Private Beaches are definitely tranquil, quiet and relaxing. Having a tan, walking beside the shore, doing yoga, building a sandcastle or even reading a good positive book is going to put you into the meditation mood. Who wouldn’t even love Diplo? Want to ease your mind a bit? Go to Diplo’s Private beach!

9- Kiki’s Beach Bar, Hacienda White:

 

Kiki’s beach is the best beach in Sahel, it’s  known chill out music is what makes it even more amazing that it already is! They sunshine yellow umbrellas, the sea crashing into the shore, the taupe colored sand and the best chill out music is what makes everybody love this place even more! Located on the coast of beautiful Hacienda white, KiKi’s offers an authentic Mediterranean experience leaving our guests feeling all kinds of  good! It’s mostly available for people on the guest list only, you pay for what you order. You’ll regret not going to this awesome beach!

Reservations: through Facebook

10- Almaza Bay:

We can’t get enough of the Almaza Bay’s private beaches, they’re insanely beautiful. Very tranquil, peaceful and quietness! Want to relax? Get a book, lie down on those bunk beds and bring a plate of some delicious fries to keep you fully satisfied and entertained! Go for a swim there too, it is like paradise on earth!

11- Martin’s Beach, Marassi:

Martin’s Beach, Marassi

What’s a better way to truly enjoy Sahel than in the sumptuous and spontaneous Martin’s Beach Club, which has been rocking our Sahel summers with unforgettable vibes and parties that have become synonymous with everything that Sahel stands for; beach, cocktails, music, and funsies! It’s entrance fee is around 400LE. It is located in Marassi, Bo Island, Sidi Abdelrahman and it is opened from 12 a.m to 12 a.m so all day everyday rocking at The Martin’s Beach Club! The popular beach club is going to be accessible only to registered members beginning this year, in an effort to create an even more exclusive summer experience where the atmosphere and the crowd are more in sync than ever! We definitely recommend this as a nightlife party or a morning beach party!

Reservations: 01009607786

We really hope you have fun in those spectacular beaches in Sahel, what’s better than beach parties with friends and family?!

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The Top 10 Best Beaches In The World 2018

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Start planning your tropical getaway now—these are the best island beaches in the world, bring you favorite travel buddy and let’s explore the best beaches worldwide now!

1. Dreamland Beach, Bali: 

This once-hidden cove located on the Bukit peninsula was first “discovered” around the 1970s and has since become a top destination for surfers thanks to its great shore breaks. Judging by this picture, I’ve already started packing my bags and heading off to there! So relaxing and the hot sand and the shore collabing together makes it a picturesque view! Though it has grown in popularity in the last 40 years and new resorts have cropped up, it still retains its hang-ten vibe with small shops and beach shack cafes like Kelly’s Warung, known for its fresh juices, wraps, and smoothies.

Where to stay: The Mulia & Mulia Villas in Nusa Dua.

2. Bathsheba Beach, Barbados: 

Rugged, wild, and untouched are just some of the words used to describe this shoreline, where both photographers and surfers flock to catch the best waves and watch the “Soup Bowl,” a name for when the waves crash into the white sand and huge boulders to create a scenic and foamy natural phenomenon. It’s less of a swimming locale, but you’ll have plenty of shots to post on Instagram. The scenery is indeed intoxicating!

Where to stay: Fairmont Royal Pavilion in Saint James.

3. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: 

Located on the western shore of the 75-square-mile island, the whole stretch of this 5.5 mile-long beach is public property, making it easy to stroll from hotel to hotel regardless of where you book an overnight. All in one afternoon, you can grab lunch at an ocean-side restaurant, stumble into a volleyball game with locals, take Jet Skis out further down the beach, and top it off with some snorkeling in Cemetery Reef, known for its rocky formations prime for sea life habitat. Isn’t that awesome?

Where to stay: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

4. Harbour Island, Bahamas: 

Located off the northeast coast of Eleuthera Island and away from the buzz of other Bahamian beaches, families and couples alike can spend the day on pink sands only seeing a handful of other people. After basking in the sun and getting serenaded by the breeze rustling through the palm trees, visitors can pop into the town to roam down quaint Dunmore Street, dine on the fresh catch of the day at The Landing, and grab a sunset cocktail at Beyond the Reef.

Where to stay: Pink Sands.

5. Trunk Bay, St. John,USVI: 

Undeniably one of the most photographed beaches in the Caribbean, if not the world, Trunk Bay sits in the northwestern corner of the Virgin Islands National Park (it was donated to the park service by Laurence S. Rockefeller more than 50 years ago). Calm, clear water, and a 225-yard-long Underwater Trail for superb snorkeling are big draws, as are hiking trails up and into the surrounding greenery filled with the ruins of historic sugar cane plantations.

Where to stay: Caneel Bay, which boasts six of its own nearly-completely private beaches. The resort is currently undergoing renovations following the devastating hurricanes of September 2017.

6. Treasure Beach, Jamaica: 

The six-mile-long coastline is actually divided up into a number of coves, with four of them being open to the public. While you’ll be charmed by the sleepy fishing villages located at each of them, you can also enjoy some spectacular swimming and snorkeling along the untouched rock shorelines. Less of a tourist spot, the local community is made up of writers and artists creating an inviting cultural scene.

Where to stay: Jake’s Hotel.

7. Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia: 

Matira is perhaps the most famous of Tahiti’s beaches, and for good reason: The mile-long stretch of silky, powder-white sand slopes gently into a shallow emerald lagoon, and is backed by a thick curtain of palms and tropical foliage. Added bonus: It’s one of the only public-access beaches in Bora Bora, so you won’t need to pay five-star resort prices to enjoy its beauty. Come early to stake out a spot.

Where to stay: St. Regis Bora Bora Resort.

8. El Nido, Palawan, Philippines: 

Surprisingly, Palawan remains one of the best ranked beaches worldwide because of its natural beauty and beautiful, colorful fish under the sea. El Nido alone is home to around 50 white sand beaches—it’s impossible to choose just one—all of which are set around dramatic limestone formations and boast the finest and whitest sand you’ll ever see. The water is so blindingly blue it makes the Caribbean Sea look murky in comparison. And the sunsets? Well, they’ll ruin you for life. Consider yourself warned.

Where to stay: El Nido Resorts – Pangulasian Island.

9. Palm Beach, Aruba: 

The two-mile-long strip on the northwest side of the island is filled with activities to keep you busy all day and night. Try your hand at parasailing or snorkeling before sitting down to enjoy a barefoot lunch at Pelican Pier Bar during the day; then, head to the nearby casinos, restaurants, and nightclubs at night to make your lazy day a bit more lively.

Where to stay: The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba.

10. Honokalani Beach, Wai’anapanapa State Park, Maui, Hawaii: 

With its jet-black shore, lapis lazuli waters, and thick, jungle-like foliage, Honokalani Beach is a photographer’s dream. Besides lying lazily on the “sand”—actually made up of of tiny lava pebbles—there’s plenty to do: you’ll find seaside lava tubes and sea caves carved into the lava cliffs along the shore. It’s wild, unspoiled Hawaii at its best, and a necessary stop en route to Hana.

Where to stay: Montage Kaplua Bay.

Book your tickets to any of the finest beaches in the world now with your travel buddy and have the best time of your life!

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5 Cities to Visit in Russia

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Did you know that Russia is is the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land?!

 

Hence, Russia offers a unique travelling experience.  From treks up the slopes of glacier-capped mountains to strolls along the shoreline of Earth’s oldest lake, Russia is rich with historical and cultural sites and activities.

And since we know a lot of you are flying there to support our national football team, we have brought you 5 Russian cities to visit that also will host the World Cup matches:

 

Moscow:

Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 12.2 million residents in the city and 17.1 million within the urban area. Moscow is known for its tremendous history, art and culture; it also has the world’s largest community of billionaire. Moscow is known to be a hub for the creatives and intellectuals. Moscow is the city that has it all. You don’t want to miss the best museums, galleries and cultural institution like the Tretyakov Gallery and Pushkin Fine Arts Museum. And whether or not you are into the Russian literature, you need to check Pushkin Memorial Museum, the Tolstoy House Museum, the Dostoevsky House Museum, the Mayakovsky Museum and  Gogol Memorial Rooms. And of course, you will take a walk around Kremlin, Red Square and Saint Basil’s Cathedral The big city also has a variety of fashion stores, night clubs, bars and restaurant.

 

St. Petersburg:

With over 2,000 libraries, 220 museums, and 80 theaters, Saint Petersburg is regarded as  Russia’s most European and forward-looking city, it is as well listed as  a historic center by the UNESCO. St. Petersburg has a fascinating network of canals lined with eye-catching Baroque and Neoclassical architecture. Make sure to take a look at the world-famous Mariinsky Theatre, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the Vasilyevsky Island. The former capital of Russia also is rich with museums like the Hermitage and the Russian Museum. Nevsky Prospekt is the city’s main avenue and its premier destination for shopping, dining, and nightlife.

 

Sochi:

located on the Black Sea coast, Sochi is Russia’s largest resort and makes a great holiday destination technically in any season. The city has a mix of sunny beaches, luxury hotels, world-class restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and countless cultural and natural attractions. Sochi hosted the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic games.

 

Kazan:

known as one of the beautiful cities in Russia by locals. Kazan has an outstanding diversity in culture and religions with beautiful mosques and cathedrals. The city hosted hosted numerous international tournaments, including fencing, hockey, and aquatics.

 

Samara:

The city is worldly known as the space and aviation capital of Russia. Besides the Aviation Institute, Samara offers beautiful beaches along the Volga and plenty of old charming buildings contrasted with Soviet monuments and architecture. the city also has Great Mosque of Samarra that you should totally pay a visit.

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