|Philip Game | profile | all galleries >> Egypt (12 galleries) >> St Catherine, Sinai||tree view | thumbnails | slideshow|
Dating back to the fourth century AD, the Orthodox monastery of St Catherine and its namesake village share a valley, defined by steep granite walls, within the Sinai desert. The drive from Cairo takes 8 hours, 6 or 7 roadblocks, 3 passport inspections (most visitors come up from the nearby Red Sea coast). Once arrived, you may find the monastery closed for a holy day, but the local Bedouin entrepreneurs can quickly arrange alternative excursions, perhaps a day hike up to the ruined fort of Abbas Pasha. Behind the monastery, of course, begin the two routes up Mt Sinai (Jebel Mousa); the climb straight up 3,700 stone stairs or the winding camel track.