A week of sun and scuba
Sharm El Sheikh Travel Blog› entry 16 of 39 › view all entries
This was a lovely easter break, me, mum, dad and my ex. He and I did the PADI Advanced Open Water diving course with Camel Dive in the town, which was amazing. We got to go out to the wreck of the SS Thistlegorm in the Straits of Gubal in the Northern Red Sea.
"It is after all a bombsite with highly visible signs of great destruction and loss. It's also a giant underwater museum, a war grave, a unique piece of military history and an opportunity to step into the past during a period when the free world was under threat from one of the most tyrannous regimes of modern times.
Sunk by German bomber planes in World War Two, SS Thistlegorm has lain at the bottom of the sea for over sixty years. Located in the Straits of Gubal, Northern Red Sea this famous vessel has been the subject of much activity and drama during its two lives as both a seagoing merchant ship and as a world-class diving site.
Currents may occasionally be strong; however, mooring lines tied by the guide allow divers to make a comfortable descent to the shelter of the wreck. Once inside, divers can explore the ship's holds where time has seemingly stood still. Motorbikes, trucks, guns and wartime cargo, never to reach its destination, lay stacked where it was loaded back in 1941.
It must be said, that even after several hundred dives on Thistlegorm, such is the allure it holds for divers, that there is always something new to see.
The Thistlegorm is truly amazing - seeing shoes and boots, cars, etc, which were cargo still on deck is unbelievable. It's so well preserved as well.
During the rest of the week we ate in a number of lovely restaurants, and paid a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe, where the staff do the Timewarp in the middle of the floor! It was another pin and shot glass to add to the collection!
The only weird thing was that arriving in Sharm you land at a military air base! On approach, we were warned not to stray from passenger areas as we disembarked! There's armed soldiers lining the route to the terminal building, and while we were there, Egyptian prime minister Hosni Mubharak was holidaying in Sharm too, so along the main road from the airport, which is in the middle of vast empty plains, there were armed police and soldiers every ten metres or so!