Arrived in Alexandria at 1am after catching a few flights up from Luxor. Ended up staying at the historic Sofitel in old Alexandria, woke up late and walked out to our balcony. We were greeted to a beautiful view of the blue Mediterranean coastline and the buildings of the city which stretched in all directions around the bay. A friend of a friend picked us up and immediately told us “don’t get scared if you feel like you are in a Hollywood action movie” – he was of course referring to the crazy way Alexandrian’s drive. He then went on to tell us, “they built a road and the engineers knew from pictures that roads have white lines on them so they painted some lines” – the lines are in fact not even a suggestion for drivers – they are never used to keep cars in their lanes rather we saw many cars driving down the middle of these lines. The coastal rode is often used as a racetrack and there are codes among drivers to indicate when one driver wants to race another (use of lights and horn in certain ways).
In any case we had a fabulous day – we’ve been rushing all over Egypt and it was time to take a day just for relaxtion. A 3.5 hour lunch will certainly help. We went to the original Balbaa Village a fantastic Egyptian restaurant buried somewhere on the backstreets of Alexandria. No tourists here but lots of authentic Egyptian dishes and tons of seafood. Plate after plate came out for 3 hours and we gorged ourselves on everything from pigeon to pickles.
Its not quite summer anymore and its not quite winter but we went for a bracing swim anyways. I swam out as far as I could in the crystal blue bay looking many meters down to the bottom as the water was very clear. I was splashing around on the shoreline next to a man and his three wives. The ladies were covered fully in burkas but didn’t seem to mind getting completely wet (up to their heads).
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library at Alexandria) is huge (as in shelf space for more than 8 million books!) – this is the largest and most inspiring library I’ve ever seen. Its been built several times (fires) but still stands more or less close to the original spot from more than 2 thousand years ago. One of exhibits is on Anwar Sadat who was assassinated. His blood stained clothes are on display. The current Egyptian President, Hosni Mobarak was standing right next to Mr. Sadat when he was shot. Here are a few more pics:
Ai Shiang says
Thanks for adding me recently. You’ve a fantastic travel blog. Love it! Gonna add you to my blog list to read too.
Regina Laura says
Thanks for visiting my blog 😉
I love to travel and see different places!
I will return here often
António José says
Ao passar por aqui desejo um bom fim de semana e tudo de bom.
Thanks for becoming my follower.
Unfortunately I don’t travel as much as I’d love to.
Maybe with you I’ll have a chance, at least by watching your pictures:)))
I often feel on cloud nine!
Lately I’m a bit down in the dumps.
Joana Campos says
Vim te dar as boas vindas lá no Blog! Obrigada por seguir…
Traduzi esse pos e li, foi uma viajem à Alexandria? que gostoso!
Vida ruim a sua heim, viver viajando? rsrsrs
renata cordeiro says
Hi, Dave. I am here to see you, ´cause I see you everywhere. I would to be there, Alexandria. Very interesting post, I´ve really liked it.
I brought you a poema, it´s not mine.
Imenso amor o meu, de tal jaez
Que minha alma, liberta da couraça
Do egoísmo, da mágoa, da aridez,
Vive no espaço que esse amor lhe traça.
Dia após dia, mês depois de mês,
Sigo teus passos, preso à tua graça.
És a resposta a todos os porquês
E a afirmação de que nem tudo passa.
Quando disseste “vem comigo”, eu vim
Pois eras a esperança, eras meu sonho
Mais divino, mais puro, mais pudico.
Como a lei natural impõe um fim,
Morra eu, que de matéria me componho,
Mas nunca morra o amor que te dedico.
See you, darling.
Hi Renata – thanks for visiting my site. Thats nice you posted a long poem 🙂
Yes, Alexandria is worth visiting – most people on short trips just go to the Pyramids but there’s is certainly quite a bit to see outside of Cairo.
I love your trips,they look amazing! Thanks for sharing 🙂