Wake up, grab a hefty cheese croissant at the German Bakery, say “no thank you” to the friendly steady flow of taxi drivers and at last you can cuddle an asthmatic dinosaur of a cat named Ginger at the RSEC centre.Welcome to Dahab. Walking the promenade feels like the “Bonjour” scene in Beauty and the Beast, where you trade hellos, hi-fives and banter with the traders. A whiff of the hippie spirit from previous times still lies in most restaurants and stores. Their interior decoration looks like a Jimmy Hendrix drug-fuelled song: the colours are vibrant and the art is psychedelic. As you go from one place to another, you will most likely have various part-time pets, in the form of adorable local cats and dogs, who will demand your care and attention and make you late for RSEC lectures. The charms of Dahab continue in the desert. Lying on a pile of blankets and looking up at the night sky after a delicious Bedouin dinner, with the fox’s call and the crackling fire as a background, you can’t help but think “I should have camped more!”.
In tune with the vibrant city, the sea is busy as well. Day and night, it keeps spitting out enthusiastic divers, carrying their heavy scuba equipment straight to the dive centres where more wonderful underwater exploration will be planed. Participating in the winter academy of RSEC means you not only get the tourist version of the coral reefs, but you also learn how to look more closely. You always hope to see a whale shark, a sting ray or other great big fish,yet there is so much wonder in the world of the smallest beings that no dive is ever disappointing.
It can be a pretty funny exercise trying to watch cleaning stations. And by funny, I mean cold. But then you see the cleaning wrasse doing its wiggly dance as it opens shop for new or resident customers and suddenly you have to agree with Sebastian: It´s better under the sea.
Nevermind the cliché of the find-yourself-backpacker, you are now at the Red Sea and it was created for diving.If by any chance you need an internship, a thesis or a vacation look no further. This is the place.