In Egypt, A Distant War Keeps Tourists Away from South Sinai


There is adventure travel, and then there is whatever Margeret Frei was doing in this tourist mecca emptied of all other tourists.  St. Catherine is a picturesque town nestled in a bowl of towering granite mountains, one of which tradition says Moses descended 1,600 years ago carrying the Ten Commandments. The local Bedouins are gracious and low-key, the scenery is top-rate, and ordinarily the place teems with day-trippers arriving in buses to visit the 5th century Greek Orthodox monastery at the base of Mt. Sinai (around a sizeable shrub reputed to have ben the the burning bush). St. Catherine, in other words, adds a certain depth to a South Sinai tourist experience grounded in the world class snorkeling and the sun-baked lassitude on offer at the post Red Sea resorts an hour or two to the south and east.

But on an early autumn weekday Frei, who hails from Konstanz,

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