Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
(Oct 21-Nov. 7, 2013)
By Susie R. Cuñada
Holy Land Pilgrimage Travelogue #24 – Movenpick Resort, Taba, Egypt
The following day was spent in leisure at our hotel, Movenpick Resort. Taking a much-needed and deserved respite from
the rigours of the previous weeks’ grueling and hectic schedule, we simply enjoyed the amenities that this wonderful resort
had to offer.
As mentioned in Travelogue #20, Taba has been a caravan route since the 14th century, serving as a meeting point of four
countries - Jordan, Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. It is located at the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba (part of the Red Sea),
and is accessible by road from any major city in Egypt as well as from Eilat in Israel. With its warm weather, idyllic beaches,
and convenient location, Taba is a great place to experience the serene beaches and fantastic hotels that it has to offer. As
expected, it was the perfect venue to experience a wonderful seaside oasis in the desert. It was simply heaven on earth!
With this mindset, Tessa and I took our sweet time…. woke up at 7:00 am, enjoyed a leisurely buffet brekkie at 8:00am,
then off for a swim in the turquoise waters of the Red Sea.
After enjoying a swim in the warm waters, I headed back, showered and got ready for what’s ahead, whatever it may be. I
checked my emails at the business centre, had lunch, and got a pleasant surprise: shopping. Yes! I’m always happy
whenever I can go for some retail therapy (haha). As you know, due to security risks, we were not allowed to venture out of
the resort without an armed escort. And our GAT Tours specialist, Osama, made sure that this rule was followed to the
letter for our safety. (Note: I would highly recommend GAT Tours if you’re traveling to Egypt. The company really took good
care of us.)
So, when we heard that we will have an escorted shopping expedition, we all hastily scrambled onto the coach and off we
went. Heard of Egyptian cotton? If you do, you would understand why we really wanted to put our plastic money to good
Happy with our purchases, we boarded our coach and returned to the resort. Tessa and I then got ready for our spa
appointment, which I was looking forward to. We both picked the “Cleopatra Package” and I can’t wait to try it. And I’m glad I
did. Consider this for a moment:
I was whisked by a burly but friendly lady to the sauna room, then on to the shower stall, then to a jacuzzi, then led to a room
for a foam body scrub, followed by a coconut wrap, then a facial mask, followed by another shower to clean everything up,
and finally followed by a full body massage. All in a span of 2.5 hours. Ooh la la! I felt rejuvenated and my body tingled all
over and simply glowed. Hmmm…. just thinking about it makes me want to do it all over again.
We ended the relaxing day with a yummylicious dinner, followed by a Mass celebrated by Fr. Neil. What more can a girl like
me ask for? Both my body and soul were specially cared for that day. No reason to complain whatsoever….. and I slept
“beautifully” that night (pun intended, haha).
We slept in the following morning and leisurely enjoyed our brekkie, after which we started packing for our return trip. I then
spent the rest of the morning, as you may have guessed by now, by having more photo ops. What else can a camera freak
like me do?
After lunch, we departed Taba for the long trip home.
To Be Continued………