Perjalanan Darat, Semenanjung Sinai

PERJALANAN MELINTASI PADANG GURUN SINAI

Semenanjung Sinai atau biasanya hanya disebut Sinai adalah semenanjung di Mesir.

Satu-satunya bagian dari negara yang terletak di Asia. Terletak di antara Laut Mediterania di sebelah utara dan Laut Merah di sebelah selatan.  Merupakan jembatan darat antara Asia dan Afrika.

Israel menyerang dan menduduki Sinai selama Krisis Suez dan selama Perang Enam Hari. Pada tahun 1982, sebagai hasil dari Perjanjian Damai Israel-Mesir 1979, Israel menarik diri dari seluruh Semenanjung Sinai kecuali wilayah Taba yang masih diperdebatkan. Kemudian dikembalikan setelah keputusan oleh komisi arbitrase pada tahun 1989.

Saat ini Sinai telah menjadi tujuan wisata karena keindahan alamnya dan sejarah alkitabiah. Gunung Sinai adalah salah satu tempat paling religius. Gunung Sinai dari Sharm El Sheikh sekitar 392 km atau 5 jam dengan kendaraan. Disinilah lokasi terkenal di Alkitab yang disebutkan dalam Kitab Keluaran. Musa melarikan diri karena membunuh seorang Mesir dan empat puluh tahun kemudian Allah menurunkan sepuluh perintahnya kepada Musa.

Di kaki Gunung Sinai berdiri Biara Ortodoks Yunani di St. Catherine, salah satu biara tertua di dunia. Biara Ortodoks ini menyimpan benda religius yang umurnya berabad-abad seperti ikon, manuskrip dan benda lainnya. Semuanya terjaga dengan baik dan masih utuh. Sayang kami tidak bisa masuk karena biarawan sedang melakukan ibadat siang hari. Biasanya pengunjung dapat mengunjungi gereja utama dan bagian lain di biara ini. Kami melihat dari luar kapel semak yang terbakar (di belakang Biara) dan juga masjid Fatimiyyah.

Rombongan terbagi dua. Kelompok yang ingin mendaki dan rombongan yang memilih meneruskan perjalanan ke Taba. Saya memilih untuk kembali ke Taba. Karena rencana perjalanan saya masih jauh (solo travel ke Petra dan Wadi Rum di Jordan). Selain itu saya harus menghemat tenaga karena masih ada perjalanan ke Israel dan Amman, Yordania bersama rombongan.

 

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PADANG GURUN SINAI

 

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The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai, is a triangular peninsula in Egypt. It is about 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi) in area.

 

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The Sinai Peninsula lies between the Gulf of Suez and the Suez Canal on the west and the Gulf of Aqaba and the Negev on the east, and it is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the north and the Red Sea to the south.

 

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A road along the Sinai’s northern coast served as the principal trade route between Egypt and Palestine for many centuries.

 

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The Sinai has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The earliest written information about it dates from 3000 BCE, when the ancient Egyptians recorded their explorations there in search of copper ores.

 

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Our guide explained that million years ago this is believed as an ocean with multi color of beach sand.

 

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Small black dotes on the right side are bedouin’s settlement.

 

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I did not dare at first to ask to sit beside the driver. After awhile I asked our guide and he gave me permission. I was having fun and took lots of photos and videos. Please ignore black dotes and shadows on the photos.

 

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Family of wild camels.

 

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BIARA St. CATHERINE 

 

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Although it is commonly known as Saint Catherine’s, the monastery’s full official name is the Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai. The patronal feast of the monastery is the Feast of the Transfiguration. The monastery has become a favorite site of pilgrimage.

 

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I SPY – a little lamb on the rock.

 

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Entrance to Mount Sinai.

 

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The monastery library holds one of the largest and most interesting collections of religious texts in existence but unfortunately, it is not open to the public. The large numbers of valuable old manuscripts (more than 2,000) include works in Greek, Syriac, Persian, Amharic, Arabic, Turkish, and Russian.

 

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St. Chaterine Monastery.

 

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Camel will take the hiker half way to the peak of Mt. Sinai.

 

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Burning Bush, which local legend says is a direct descendent of the Old Testament’s burning bush that God spoke to Moses through. The actual bush is the Rubus Sanctus bramble, which is endemic to the Sinai Peninsula. A wall now surrounds the shrub to protect it from being stripped by pilgrims who, for many years, snipped branches off to take home as souvenirs.

 

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TABA

 

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Taba is a small Egyptian town near the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. Taba is the location of Egypt’s busiest border crossing with neighbouring Eilat, Israel. Taba is a frequent vacation spot for Egyptians and tourists, especially those from Israel on their way to other destinations in Egypt or as a weekend getaway. It is the northernmost resort of Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera.

 

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Beach with two sand colours.

 

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I was so tempted to take these stones.

 

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