Feeling the Magic on the top of Mt Sinai

Picture of Written By Profil Holidays Editors

Written By Profil Holidays Editors

Mount Sinai, known as the mountain of Divine Revelation is one of the most sacred places on earth.

For those who believe in the Divine, this is recognized as the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Located on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, the mountain sits 2,285 meters above sea level. It is without doubt that hiking up the Mt Sinai is an experience worthwhile that will surely bring out the magical ambiance that the mountain has to offer.

Climbing the mountain is only optional as not all people can participate in this kind of activity. It usually takes place late in the evening and one should be physically fit and without having any pre-existing health conditions.

Climbing the mountain is only optional as not all people can participate in this kind of activity. It usually takes place late in the evening and one should be physically fit and without having any pre-existing health conditions.

Whilst I was in the Egypt, exploring the Bibleland; I couldn’t help myself to take the opportunity that was in front of me.

It was four years ago when I experience this one of a kind activity, to be exact it was February 2017. The local guide asked if I wanted to join the optional hiking tour of Mount Sinai– of course, without a doubt, I joined.

I gathered my things for the evening hike, took a short nap so that I have enough energy for the evening. Once the clock struck 10:00PM, I made my way towards the hotel lobby to meet with the local guide and the other hikers. Let it be known that it was winter season during this time, so I truly had to pack up a good set of winter equipment because we all know that the winter on top of the mountain, during the middle of the night, can be quite freezing!

Upon arriving at the foot of Mt Sinai, whilst waiting for the Bedouin guide (a guide who knew the mountain terrain very well) I saw a couple of stores selling blankets, scarves and many other souvenirs – sure, some of them may not be entirely souvenirs as you can make use of the scarfs to go up the mountain (just in case you forget yours at the hotel!). Here, I bought myself a blanket written “Sinai” on it, of course it was a souvenir for me but I definitely used it during my hike as an additional accessory that would keep me warm!

Before anything, there will be a security checkpoint that you will encounter. My advice – do not carry your bags or bring any valuable items with you during the climb. It is best to bring a small amount of item considered to be important such as water, phone / camera for pictures and a flashlight.

A 3 hour long climb up to the top of the mountain commences.

11:30 PM – I commenced walking by foot.

 Making my way up to the mountain in the middle of the evening, some people used their phones as a flashlight as well as the light of the beautiful moon to guide their way towards the top. It will take about 3 hours to complete the arduous climb.

Along the way, I encountered a terminal of camels and its owners – here, they were offering the tourists if they wanted to ride the camel for only USD 20 per person. Of course, it would be so much better to take a camel when you are feeling exhausted, but it does not guarantee that you will be able to reach the top with it! Not to mention that it can be quite dangerous if you do not know how to control a camel. Remember, it is not a flat surface but instead a rocky and unsteady one given that you are on a mountain.

After an hour, we arrived at the first station. Actually, the guide said that the mountain has six stations. It is called stations because there, you will find a mini house consisting of blankets to make you feel warm. Individuals can opt to stay in the station for a few minutes to rest and drink some coffee or have a snack. You can also found toilets in there, but most of the time it is usually located at the back of a big rock or just anywhere in the mountain! Well, if you can imagine what I mean.

1st Station – Resting Area.

I stayed at the first station for about 5 minutes to catch my breath and take a moment to relax. During the rest, the Bedouin guide mentioned that some of the group he escorted, decided to just stay only in the first station then went back down at the foot of the mountain. This was because they could not handle the cold during the climb. Another scenario, was how a lady could not reach the top anymore because she was overly exhausted already and everyone who went with that lady left as well because they were instructed to always stay together as one.

It was at this moment that I had a realization – this is not an activity that any individual can experience. However, it is also possible that others may have had this feeling of content with simply reaching the foot of the magical mountain or at least reaching the 1st station. The mere fact that they were able to experience it is more than enough for some.

But, I was determined to reach the top.

I continued my hiking journey and made my way towards the 5th station. 

5th Station – Second Rest Stop.

Here, I decided to grab a coffee to reignite my energy with caffeine. Given that I hadn’t eating anything except my dinner before leaving the hotel, I decided to grab a small snack to boost my energy. My rest period in the 5th station lasted for about 10 minutes.

 6th Station – last station.

Upon ascending to the 6th station of Mt Sinai, I thought it would be the end and I reached the top. But it was not!

In fact, the Bedouin guide said that there was still a 700+ steps to go before reaching the tip of the mountain.

I was utterly exhausted as I already made use of all my energy to reach the 6th station thinking that this would be the last. I was already catching my breath at this point.

The Final Push – Road to the tip of Mt. Sinai

Here, the oxygen was lessening as we began to slowly reach the top. It was definitely getting harder to breathe – not to mention that it was also freezing!

To be frank, it is not an easy 700+ steps climb – the steps were very steep, rocks were uneven and there was no rack that you could hold on to help you climb up! Now, I truly understand why this is considered a difficult path / experience to do!

Despite the difficulties that I encountered, I was determined to reach the top and I had faith in God that he was and will always be with me, by my side during this arduous climb. Keeping that in mind as well as believing it all wholeheartedly, I knew to myself that I could make it.

2:30AM – Tip of Mt Sinai

Finally. I made it at the top of the mountain.

I had this sense of relief that I was capable to make it to the top. I embraced the cold breeze at this elevation. Even though it was dark, I sense a sort of energy from the mountain – call it adrenaline rush or simply God’s presence, there was definitely an energy roaming the air. A positive and overwhelming energy that I may never know what exactly it may be, but I felt blessed.

With my own eyes, I had a glimpse of the area where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God – a chapel was seen at the top (though, closed for tourists). I stayed there for about 30 minutes to take photos, pray and rest for a couple of minutes.

3:00AM – Descent.

Taking the same path as I took to ascend the mountain, I made my way back down.

5:00AM – Sunrise.

On my way down, I noticed a small light peaking over the horizon, revealing a view of the stunning mountain. Taking in the beauty of the sights, I was in awe with the 360-view of the place. Who knew how vast the area would be?

My goodness, it was mesmerizing; captivating, to be honest. The energy flowed immensely that I felt goosebumps. I had this small feeling that this was how Moses must have felt during the time God gave him the Ten Commandments.

Then, my realization arrived – I have officially climbed up the Mountain Sinai during the winter and I was able to witness the one of a kind beautiful scenery.

6:00AM – Foot of Mt Sinai

The end of my journey.

Upon setting foot once more at the bottom of the mountain, I bid goodbye to my Bedouin guide. I gave him a token of appreciation for taking care of me and my fellow hikers during the evening climb.

Whilst this adventure will be a memory that I will never forget, I will forever be grateful that I was able to make it to the top. I may have struggled towards the end, but the feeling of reaching the top truly made it worthwhile.

Mt Sinai, you are more than a mountain.

Thank you, Profil Holidays, for offering this optional tour. If it wasn’t for the travel agency that I booked with, I would have never been able to witness a magical moment in my life that I will always hold dearly.