Day 77 - Alexandria
Trip Start Aug 07, 2007
68Trip End Nov 07, 2007
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Beard: Brendan Fraser in Encino Man
Distance Travelled: 9,500 km
Frame of Mind: Happy
Q) What do you call a Roman who sits by the fireplace?
A) Alexander The Grate
I was a little worried about getting to Alex (as the cool kids call it) from Port Said. My Michelin map said it was 255km along a motorway. The only problem was that the motorway seemed to go for 150km through the Mediterranean Sea. Michelin has been fairly accurate so far but this seemed like a rather ambitious bridge to say the least. On the LP map the road does not exist. Hmmmm.
Actually it DID exist, it was built on a large but narrow, date-palm groved sand bank (or perhaps reclaimed land) in the sea. The fresh sea breeze mingled with the sweet smell of dates (and occasionally burning crude oil from one of the refineries) and made it a very pleasant drive.
I really must learn a little more Arabic as I got a little stuck at breakfast. I didn't want fish or beans so that left me with a choice of bread or bread. Perhaps time to branch out? The bread was a bit sour.
Sadly it was all shut because there was an anniversary conference on and some VIPs were
So I sulked for a bit but when that didn't make the secret service agents change their mind and let me go play with magnets and stuff I went to the Antiquities Museum. It was nice, modern and spacious with well described, if slightly randomly arranged, exhibits. I don't know much about antiquity but a lot of the information did strike me as a bit dodgy. Who owned Cerberus? Who was the godess of victory? Perhaps it's a case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing.
For me the most impressive (and most suspicious) exhibits were the 2nd century BC mosaics. They were incredibly well preserved, vivid and artistically brilliant. Did they have perspective in those days? The best one looked like the inspiration for the HMV photo/emblem (except there was a bowl instead of a gramophone). I'm looking forward to this change in eras: as I travel west I'll be happy to leave the Pharonic stuff behind (you get a little hieroglyphed out) and get into more Greco-Roman stuff. Leptis Magna here I come....