April 7, 2010

St Catherine’s Monastery

Saint Catherine's Monastery

At Thomson Family Adventures we always try to mix up the must-see sights with the lesser traveled path. This is especially true in Egypt where we begin in Cairo, end in Luxor, and in the middle: Sharm el Sheik! This gives all ages a breather from the antiquities and dense history of the pharaohs, and gives the hearty an opportunity to climb to the top of Mt Sinai, sometimes even for a sunrise or sunset view from the summit.

At the foot of Mt Sinai is St Catherine’s Monastery, the oldest working Christian monastery in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. St Catherine’s was built on the site where Moses saw the burning bush, and the original still grows here today. Let’s just say this is a pretty fascinating spot!

This Easter week we had a small group of Thomson guests scheduled to be at Mt Sinai when the monastery was closed for the holidays. Luckily we managed to pull off a private visit for our families. They were greeted and escorted by Father Johnston, the most important monk at the monastery, and given a very special look at the history and workings of this ancient, sacred place. Eventually Father Johnston did relinquish his tour guide status back to our guide Mohamed, but not before wowing the group with his unique perspective.

Even without this sort of private escort through history the visit to Mt Sinai is considered the unexpected high point of Egypt. Oops, am I ruining the surprise? Well perhaps you’d like to come find out for yourselves…

The journey to get to Mt Sinai and St Catherine’s as well as the climb itself all offer some challenges, but give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you figure out if this is the right trip of a lifetime for your family. Beth and Nancy both have first hand experience in Egypt and would be glad to speak with you about it. 800-262-6255

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