Leaving Alexandria, back to Cairo

Trip Start Nov 18, 2010
Trip End Dec 19, 2010

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Last night we stayed in a hotel a bit outside of Alexandria so we had to drive back in this morning.  Yesterday I forgot to mention how nice the climate is here.  I don't know what the actual temperatures were but it is much closer to a summer day back home, this is nothing like the oppresive heat of upper Egyt.  It was a little foggy and almost chilly this morning when we checked out of our hotel, the Adham Compound.  On our way in to the city our guide, Trezza, stopped and picked up a few bottles of sparkling water for Rachel.  Very thougthful.  Then we headed to the botanical garden of Alexandria.  This was the summer home of King Farooq.  Eighty acres of beautiful trees and plants with two palaces, one for him and one for his women (Wives, sisters, etc.).  We went out to the beach and rolled up our pants to dip our toes in the Mediteranean Sea!  It was warmer than I expected and very clear.  I should have brought a swimsuit and towel, I would have swam around here too.  After the garden and the sea we headed to the Alexandria National Museum.  Our guide, Trezza decided to join us and this was her first time in the museum!  This museum tells
the story of Alexandria from old Egyptian, Greco-Roman and modern day.  There were beautiful treasures on display that have been recovered from the harbor: old coins, pottery, statues.  There is an ancient Egyptian area with a mummy in a sarcophagus and the Canoptic jars, a statue of Anubis as a jackal.  There are alabaster statues of obvious greek and roman figures.  Beautiful jewelery and serving dishes are in the modern area, along with some weapons from the Ottoman empire era.  I especially liked an artifact consisting of a wooden cross encircled by a crescent symolizing the long standing relationship between the Coptic Christians and the Muslims of Egypt. After that it was time to head back to Cairo, another three hour car trip.  Along the way I saw a very interesting exchange.  Our driver just got an orange from a guy driving a truck full of oranges while we were still driving next to him!  How cool, we were still going at least 50 or 60 k/hr.  I don't think he even paid for it, I think the guy just gave it to him.  What an interesting culture.  We finally got back to Cairo and back to the Oasis hotel which has become our home base now.  I have discovered that the hotel has acquired a couple of small kegs of Heineken beer since we were last here.  They even have a "large draft" that I've now order a couple of times.  After getting back in and having a couple of beers we went back to the room to discuss the upcoming itinerary and play a couple of card games we learned from Amr while we were on the dahabiyya.  I'm stunned at how fast the days are flying by now.  I'm trying to hold on to each moment as it passes me by, knowing I will never have it again.  I'm so glad for the moments I have and so heartbroken that they have passed.  Maybe it's the "large draft" beers talking but I already miss this place.

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yff on

It sounds like you are all doing well. I certainly hope so!
Your updates are resulting in some very envious emotions here.
I've been told my next big expense might very well be a duplication of your current adventure.
I can't wait to get together with you and Tam over the holidays to hear about all the intimate details of traveling through north Africa and the Middle East.

jnjsanchez on

Enjoy the remainder of the trip, it will fly by. I have loved reading your blog and it makes me wish I were there seeing all the sites. More pictures!! The pictures are beautiful. Max's class is learning about Egypt. He has a print out of your blog to share with his class. xox

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