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Philip Game | profile | all galleries >> Egypt (12 galleries) >> St Catherine, Sinai tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Coptic Cairo and Fustat | Central Cairo, the European city | Cairo's Islamic Quarter | St Catherine, Sinai | Wadi El Hitan, Egypt's Valley of the Whales | Alexandria, Egypt | Egyptian Muslims celebrate Eid El Adha | The 'Arab Spring' in Egypt, November 2011 | Siwa Oasis and the Great Sand Sea | Felucca cruise on the Nile | Aswan, Egypt's southern city | Abu Simbel and the Aswan High Dam

St Catherine, Sinai

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.

These images were taken in November 2011 with Nikon D300 using RAW format, and are available for licensing. Please visit or my blog.

My lodgings at the Bedouin Camp guesthouse Ready to rock 'n' roll... St Catherine's village Bedouin garden plots, deep in the valleys Unexpected autumn colours
A Bedouin garden Hussein, my guide from the Jebeliya tribe The ruined 19th C. fort of Abbas Pasha
Back down into another wadi Hussein's own family garden
St Catherine's Monastery, Egypt
The church tower The Burning Bush Nearing Elijah's Basin Chapel at the summit of Mt Sinai
Last of the afternoon sun Now to head down as the light fades...