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Mount Sinai

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Mount Sinai, also called Moses Mountain, Mountain of God or Gebel Musa is one of the most dramatic places of history for all Sinai and beyond. This is where Moses is believed to have received the Ten Commandments. In the Coran, Moses is mentioned to have been here once, according to the Bible, he has been here twice (the first time meeting his wife Zippora and receiving his mission, the second time leading the Israelitis to the promised land and receiving the Ten Commandments). This is also the place of the Burning Bush, the Monks' Garden and the Ossuary (ref. Monastery of St. Catherine). But walking up this mountain is an unforgettable experience.
Visitors have a few option of when to climb the mountain, depenting on what they would tike to see. It is possible to walk up in the early morning, arround midday, or late at night. We recommend the late night option.
 
To see the sun rising over Sinai is such a fantastic view that will never be forgotten. There are several tour operators that offer tours from most of the hotels in Sharm and other places. A few tour operators are quite big and professional, such like Sun&Fun. They know their business for many years and have well trained guides for this area.
 
There are two trails that guide the way up to the top of Mount Sinai, both starting right at the St. Catherine Monastery. There is the easier and smoth way, which goes along the Wadi El Deir, the valley of the Monastery. This way, called Siket El Basha, is a bit longer, but much easier to go. Walking here you'll find Beduines on the way all over to offer camel rides. Ever wondering where the camels are in Sinai, you'll find them all right here.
The second trail up the mountain is the path of Lord Moses, called Siket Sayidna Musa. It was the ancient path for the monks and is supposed to count over 3.700 steps that were carved out of the existing rocks. This path takes much time and effort to climb, we recommend to rather take it once going down again, while choosing the other path for the way up.
  Walking up the Siket El Basha takes about 2,5 hours, if fast about 2 hours. Less trained people will rather need 3 hours. It is recommended to have warm clothes with you, especially a jacket is of much use. Do use the toilet facilities provided at the bottom of the mountain, even if they are used by many. Uphill it is more difficult to find a toilet and they are not any more comfortable.
If on the way you feel that you are running out of power, you can accept the offers from the Beduines to use a camel. They don't cost much money and it is recommended to bargain the price before accepting. Mostly they go down by 50% and more.
 
Once you arrive on the top it will still be dark and visitors will try to get the best place for watching the sun rise. This is a reason why it is of value to be early, but even late arrival will still give you the most impressive pictures. On top, Beduines are offering blankets, and we recommend to take them since it will be quite cold waiting. The temperatures might go down to +5°C, sometimes less, depending on the season.
Then, in the early morning, the first light can be seen on the horizon, getting more and more each few minutes.
Chapel on top of Mount Sinai
   
 
About an hour later, the first sun rays hit some mountains and the colours that this light brings up is those that all visitors have been waiting for. The charme and beauty of the nature is overwealming everyone, some remaining breathless. This spectacle will last only a few minutes, perhaps half an hour until the sun is having enough power to light up all mountains around and to bring light to the valleys.
 
On the way down, you should take the Siket Sayidna Musa path. It is steeper, but more scenic. Also, the view down to the Monastry St. Catherine is very charming. Beduines on the way will ask you to buy their gifts and most are nice enough to pose for a photo. These Beduines are mostly from the tribe Muszeina, while the Beduines from the tribe Gebeleya are difficult to find. They are about 1.500 in number and descendants of Macedonian people.
Once the sun has been rising, most of the visitors will start to go down. Take your time and have a look around before you start going down. The view is amazing and it is always recommendable to avoid crowds.
 
Guide Mahmoud from Sun&Fun
Contacts:

Sun & Fun
Naama Bay, Sharm El Sheikh
Tel: +20.69.601 623, Fax: +20.69.600 602, email

Hints for the trip:

- bring warm clothes
- bring passport
- bring breakfast
- bring water
- use toilet before climbing


 

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