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Back from Inferno

Autor: Mira Balan Irina Munteanu 27 Iul 2005 - 00:00
Back from Inferno

Eleven Romanian tourists that had left for Egypt to spend their vacations came back in the country, yesterday. They landed on the Henri Coanda Airport at 2:15 a.m., at the exact date and time set at the departure. Their relatives, concerned due to the Sharm el Sheikh attacks on last Saturday, expected them anxiously.

The Romanian tourists that came back from their seven-day long vacations in Egypt on Monday night surely won’t forget it for a very long time. They will always remember the last days at least. When they entered the waiting room, many of them, upset by the journalists, preferred leaving as soon as possible. "Leave us alone!"… We left them. They got into their cabs and left. In exchange, others didn’t frighten at the idea of telling their nightmarish experience from the most known resort in Egypt.

ONE HOUR Camelia and Endre Csibi are two young people from Brasov that wanted to have a different vacation this summer. "We had it. But the memories aren’t so pleasant", Camelia says. They were for the first time in Egypt, at Sharm el Sheikh. They say they wouldn’t pick such a destination for some time. It was truly exotic, with a lot of beauty and temptations, but it all became a bad dream in a second. "The hotel where we stayed was at about 6 km away from the Ghazala Hotel, the one that blew up. One hour before the explosions, we passed by it, because we went for a walk in the resort, even though we were a little tired following our Friday visit to Cairo. In the morning, when we heard about the happenings, we couldn’t believe it. At about nine o’clock in the morning, we went to see the place. The entire hotel was on the ground, and pieces of walls and wood were scattered everywhere. It was a terrifying image, and, not long before, it had been a splendid place", Camelia relates. The Csibis say they spent the last three days of their vacation frightened by the attacks, always fearing for their lives. "We were frightened of walking on the streets as well as staying in the hotel. 300 tourists from our hotel left on Saturday, right after the attacks", Endre said.

DISASTER AND CONTROLS The waiting room from arrivals was almost empty. Constantin Stoica, a man that used to wear his sun hat on even at night, was waiting for his son to get back from Hurghada, a resort 90 km away from Sharm el Sheikh. "Everyone is frightened of going anywhere", he said. The plane landed approximately 20 minutes earlier. After a while, the tourists started to come. They were rested and smiling at the relatives that came to wait for them. His sister, who had tears in her eyes, waited Mihai Catana, from Piatra-Neamt. "I wasn’t in Sharm el Sheikh, it was four ferry-hours away from the airport. We were lucky we stopped in Hurghada. There were some people in the plane that had gone to Sharm, but they didn’t seem so touched by the events." A man dressed with a T-shirt having the inscription Sharm el Sheikh was promoting the resort by telling the journalists about the beauty of the place: "It is such a pity! I was asleep when the attacks took place, since I had went on a trip to Cairo that day. I saw the hotel’s ruins later on". Luminita Duta, from Bucharest, was also at Hurghada and says that the only things caused by the explosions at Sharm were the residues that got on the beach and the more thorough controls of the police in the area. None of the Romanians hurried to end their vacations to get back home. Actually, a lot of them, found out about the attacks from the ones back home, who managed to call them as soon as they found out about it from the TV stations.

The manageress of a travel agency, Claudia Mateica, says that 130 tourist left for Egypt on Monday night. "We were also surprised that the people didn’t call to cancel their trips, but they called to certify their departures for Egypt, as they have planned." The hotel where the Romanians that went to Sharm el Sheikh with the help of the agency were accommodated is more than 1 km away from the place of the explosions. "A lot of the Romanians accommodated at Sharm el Sheikh had went to Cairo on a trip that day, and they were very tired and stayed in their rooms. None of them suffered from the attacks."
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