Siwa Dream Lodge
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... or getting into a boat?! Anyway, we had a nice cup of tea while watching the sunset.
Back at the hotel we had a lovely rooftop dinner with lentil soup, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives (tasted like kalamata, but were a pale green), lamb, rice, beans and melon for dessert. It was all very good and very filling.
We spend the rest of the evening enjoying the cool breeze on the rooftop. What a welcome relief after such a hot day (41 degrees).
... crazy at all though. You literally pull up, pass one guy the permission forms and while he is checking them out, our drivers sit and drink tea with the other soldiers on duty. They are thorough though. They kept counting us and checking to make sure numbers matched. I guess they worry about someone purposely being left behind in the desert or being picked up near the border. We had one stop along the way, at a ...
... out of a bottle. After a few minutes of careful calibration one might manage a happy medium between scalding and frigid.
After washing up, I set off first alone to wander through the strangely contorted ruins of Shali Fortress. Once a magnificent protectorate from invading tribes, now its multi-floor high salt/mud walls are melted/twisted looking like either a Gaudi sculpture or the movie set from Burton's Nightmare Before ...
... of kilometres into a vast desert.
Siwa is a great little Oasis on the Libyan border and it has all the great cultural sights of an Egyptian town but without the hassle from store owners. I didn't know what to do with myself in the first store when the owner just let me wander round and look at things on my own. The middle of the town has a fantastic mudbrick fortress which was half melted when it rained in ...
... contests, breath-holding contests, and told us all about his family. He also climbed the 15+ ft. tall palm trees to pick us dates, and on one occasion he jumped out of the top of a palm tree and cannon-balled into the spring. When we were done swimming, we got out the pita bread, cheese, and jam we had purchased earlier, and ate lunch with tea.
We then returned to the town, and Uthsman took us to the Palm Trees Hotel, which is famous for organizing ...