Friday, May 21, 2010


Last Saturday, we went on a little excursion to Alexandria. I was told this was a two hour bus-ride from Cairo... but it ended up being about four with traffic etc. I was very tired of the sound of our busses horn by the end of the day.

Alexandria is in Lower Egypt... but don't be fooled! It's actually on the north coast of Egypt... on the Mediterranean Sea. It was such a pleasant and relaxing day, and since I felt more like a tourist there than in Cairo, I actually took some pictures.

We all rode up there on two separate busses. Thankfully I was on the bus that WASN'T singing Disney songs and the like the whole time... we were all sleeping and studying mostly. It should be known that one of my absolute favorite things in life is traveling (whether by bus, car, train, bicycle, airplane, boat or animal) and watching everything I pass, whilst getting completely lost in my thoughts and listening to good music. My music of choice on this trip was Beirut on the way up, and Kings of Convenience on the way down.

These are some of the things and people we passed on our journey to and into Alexandria:
Our first stop upon arrival in Alexandria was the palace of King Farouk. I think this was actually the women's castle on his compound. Pretty, but we weren't allowed inside, which was too bad.

We mostly enjoyed the view of the sea.

(These are my roommates, Sarah & Hannah - I was not prepared for the picture. Obviously).

Next was the Citadel of Qaitbay, which very much resembles the Crusader fortresses I saw in Israel.

(It isn't a Crusader Fortress. It just resembles one.)

I was nervous this guy cleaning the light was going to fall. He didn't.
Looking out to sea from the Citadel


Next up was the Roman Theater.
There are tons of these in Israel as well. The cool thing about these theaters is that there's one spot on stage (the ground in the middle) where the acoustics are incredible. Our teacher wanted to demonstrate this so he asked if anyone knew the song that goes like this:

Rose Rose Rose Red
Shall I Ever See Thee Wed
I Will Marry At Thy Will Sire
At Thy Will

Since I knew the song, (shout out to Leah... haha) I joined him in a duet (laughing to myself and thinking of Leah, once again).

Next up was a thrilling lunch at Muhammad Mahmoud's. First of all, the power was out. It was dark, and very very warm. That didn't matter though, I was starving. I was at the same table as my teacher, Dil and his wife and he just ordered everything, which was good. He knows what he's talking about. We got like ten plates of food or something, between four people. I ate till I was stuffed, and the best part of it was that it cost $7. Total. I ended up paying $2 (including the tip). Oh man, and the food was sooo good. There was this amazing lentil soup and tahina, hummus, omlette, fool, tamiya, and so many yummy pitas. The lights came on after a bit, and so did the AC, and the meal just got better.


We had some free time, so a few of us decided to follow Dil to a fancy peanut shop. Yeah, sounds funny. We took the trolley, which looked like it was built about a hundred years ago. It only cost about 4 cents to ride. I now know why. We were only on there for maybe ten minutes, when Dil informed us we would never get there on time going that slow.

(some friends on the trolley)
(pretty tree-lined street, as seen from said trolley)

We got of the antique train and started walking (faster than the trolley was going, I might add) to our next stop: the Alexandria Library. No, not the original one.

This library was built within the last 15 or 20 years, and it is incredible. It has room for 8 million books, but only has 1 million. I would say it's more of a fancy, modern museum with books, than a library.

We spent a lot of time in there and saw so many cool things, including old Arabic texts, local Egyptian art (which had nothing to with Pharaohs or pyramids, which was refreshing), and even the clothes in which Anwar Sadat was assassinated.

(Sadat's clothes, with bullet hole and blood)
This is a piece of the Kiswah... so cool. Here's a little more about it for those who are unsure:

Kiswah is the cloth that covers the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Every year the old Kiswa is removed, cut into small pieces and gifted to certain individuals, visiting foreign Muslim dignitaries and organisations. Some of them sell their share as souvenirs of Haj...The present cost of making the kiswa amounts to SR 17 million [U.S. dollar = 3.75 riyals]. The cover is 658 sq. metres long and is made of 670 kgs of pure silk. For embroidery 15 kilos of gold threads are used. It consists of 47 pieces of cloth and each piece is 14 Mts. long and 101 cms broad.


We had no time to swim, so hopefully I'll et to go back sometime this summer. Which reminds me... On the way out of town I noticed that so many of the women that were swimming in the sea were fully clothed, hijab and all. I couldn't help being impressed. That's religious dedication for you.


Thank you Alexandria.

I had a lovely time, and hopefully I'll see you again.



  1. Oh wow. What pretty pictures. I still can't believe you are over there. Thanks for updating.

  2. Oh it makes me want to travel to somewhere other than Lethbridge!
    I am so glad that you are sharing your experiences. They are wonderful!

  3. everything looks so amazing!! and i have to admit to actually chuckling right out loud at the fact that egypt heard you singing rose rose rose red. wish i was there to fully appreciate it. or at least sing along with you. :)

  4. thank you bethany for sharing and for the pictures.