Ismalia offers a respite from the chaos of city living in Cairo. Consider the two or three hour drive through the desert on a two lane highway a tour of kitch foreign policy. At first compounds with fences appear like a mirage in the desert. The fences appear to be for prisons but looking carefully it is one military base after another with Soviet style grand figures at each entrance. Immediately, I had to question the foreign policy investment and wonder what is the strategy. Theater of the absurd came to mind.
Arriving in Ismalia is a relief with the slightly lower temperature change. First stop is a private beach club for coffee. Thatched umbrellas dot the beach with small birds finding sanctuary from the sun underneath. Sitting by the warm water lake, we marveled at the illusion of cargo ships gliding through the sand in front of us, which in truth is the Suez Cannel waterway.
Photos are not permitted at this beach club since it is a military run establishment. So, close your eyes and image the smells, sounds and view in front of you.