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Mount Sinai, Egypt & Saint Catherine’s Monastery

Mount Sinai, a 6,000 foot peak in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, is revered as the mountain from which Moses spoke with God and received the Ten Commandments. Popular with tourists and pilgrims alike is seeing the sunrise from Mount Sinai. You need to plan on a start around 2:00 a.m. for this.

There are two routes to the top: a long one of 3,750 “Steps of Repentance”, said to have been cut into a steep rocky gorge by a monk as an act of penitence. The other, less steep track may be ascended either on foot or by camel hired from Bedouin for most of the way, with the final 750 “steps” on foot. Either way you need to be physically active if you plan on going to the top.

Those not making the early morning climb may wish to wait here for their companions to return.

Near the foot of the mountain is St Catherine’s Monastery, an Orthodox Monastery built over the traditional site of the burning bush from which God called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt.

There is a church here and under the chapel’s altar is a silver star which is believed to mark the site of the burning bush.

The Monastery is open to all faiths from 9:00 a.m. until noon most days, but closed on Sundays, Fridays, and Greek Orthodox Holy Days.

There is a guest house here with double or single rooms available for those traveling independently.

If you are arriving from Egypt you have to take a bus if traveling from Cairo (an 8-hour drive) or from Sharm el-Sheikh Airport you will have to take a cab although the distance is less, only about 175 miles.

Click here for the official website of Saint Catherine’s Monastery

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