Blogs from Mediterranean, Egypt, Africa - page 7


Africa » Egypt » Mediterranean » Alexandria March 28th 2009

With only one day to spare for the town of Alexandria both Kate and I agreed, history could take a side step for the all important tour of the taste bud! la Gastronomique Tour da force was the obvious choice. Drawing a long walking loop from the train station along the coastline and back we chose prudently. Of each circled on the map establishment we had to either eat, drink, smoke or inhale something from the menu. Street food was also fare game. Historically significant monuments where purely an additional bonus for the day. Museums where totally off limits - to go there would be to go against everything we where trying to achieve - the quest for the perfect day of food experiences :) Our 6am breakfast start went something like this*......... *WARNING: the following ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Mediterranean » Alexandria March 7th 2009

DAY 13 Today we said goodbye to those of us that were left from the tour. I then headed off to Alexandrina by bus where I met a friendly local who lived by my hotel and thus help me to get there from the bus station. I think though he may just have been after a free taxi ride home but what I can I say it worked in both of our favours. I don't get lost or ripped off and he gets a free lift it just goes to show that there are some none sleazy, yet helpful men here in Egypt!! Once I got into my hotel I found out that they weren't expecting me and that Shady my tour leader wasn’t contactable as he had booked this hotel for me. Anyway they were ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Mediterranean » Alexandria March 6th 2009

Well we took almost 16 hrs of train to get from Luxor to Alexandria, but made it fine. Tired but fine. Found a great small hotel, 6th floor, overlooking a town square, right on the Mediterranean. Had a great Koshari lunch then lounged day away in town. Watched sunset with bottle of wine. Great night. Next day made our way to Fort Qaitbey. Not sure on history here. Took tram back into town and was pick pocketed by someone of my beloved IPOD. SOAB!!! Spent rest of day in Police station having my statement translated into Arabic for my insurance. Wished we had more time here, but back to Cairo then to Turkey!... read more
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Africa » Egypt » Mediterranean » Alexandria February 26th 2009

Day 12 - Day trip to Alexandria We had 2 new drivers for the trip to Alexandria and got off to a bit of a sketchy start with them. On the way out of Cairo, the road they intended to take was under construction. It was a 4 lane separated highway, and only our northbound lanes were under construction, so our driver cooly pulled into oncoming traffic. His combination of honking and flashing the lights notified the oncoming traffic to give us a lane to drive in until we could cut back onto the other side of the median. We thought we were getting used to Egyptian driving, this took it up another level. Only 2.5 hours to Alexandria... hopefully no more construction. Alexandria was established by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, and was capital ... read more
Pomp's pillar
Black desert
White desert

Africa » Egypt » Mediterranean » Alexandria February 11th 2009

For whatever reason, the urinals at Cairo's Rameses train station are highly unpopular at 7:15 in the morning so I was able to have my pick of the three available ones while queues five-deep waited outside each of the traps. This wasn't my only relief, as I was shortly to board a train taking me away from the capital into the supposedly more refined setting of Alexandria. The city is situated on the Mediterranean coast less than three hours northwest of Cairo and, in its time, had been home to two of the ancient world's most famous buildings. I had also been led to believe that singularly excellent chocolate cake could be found there. Having lashed out $6.50 for the first class fare, I was pleased to find myself in a clean, spacious, air-conditioned carriage trundling ... read more
Fort Qaitbey
The Purple Rose of Alexandria
Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Africa » Egypt » Mediterranean » Alexandria December 20th 2008

For my final full day in Egypt I decided to take a day trip to Alexandria, as its fabled history fascinated me. In order to pass the time without having to look at the manner in which our brazen driver was tackling the road traffic, myself and another guy from my group embarked upon game after game of cards. Before we could say, "Gee, how on earth did we get away with our lives in tact?" we were in Alexandria and the three hour journey went by in the blink of an eye. Our first stop was to visit some catacombs that were discovered by a donkey about one hundred years ago when it unwittingly fell through the earth. Having seen some dirt catacombs in Rome, I wasn't expecting much from this venture into the underground. ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Mediterranean » Alexandria December 19th 2008

Last Day in Alexandria Friday, December 19th Still battling jetlag, we took a taxi to Montazah Palace, the former summer residence of the deposed Egyptian royal family, which was restored by President Sadat to a presidential residence. Royal palaces and assets, as well as property held in private hands were expropriated for the people during the Egyptian Revolution in 1952. We have spoken to many Egyptians who quietly express their disappointment with the promise that the Revolutionaries have not realized. Although the palace is not accessible to the public, the Montazah Gardens surrounding the palace offer 155 hectares (384 acres) of landscaped grounds, with flowers, palm trees, pines and lots of birds. We enjoyed wandering the gardens that overlook the sea and getting some fresh air! As we approached the gate to exit the gardens, ... read more
View of palace from gardens
Mosque in garden
Meeting children in the Montazah Gardens

Africa » Egypt » Mediterranean » Alexandria December 19th 2008

Alexandria, 'The Queen of the Mediterranean”, unfortunately has the accolade of being the greatest historic city with the least to show for it. It is rich in history, but with very few historically sights for camera happy tourists to snap up. The city, founded of course by Alexander the great has subsequently been conquered, by Romans, Muslim, briefly by the French and suffered through two world wars. Much of the ancient city requires a scuba dive to view and the Alexandria Lighthouse was destroyed long ago by earthquakes and is now the sight of a Muslim fortress. The On The Go Tour included a 3 hour bus journey to/from Cairo, a visit to the Catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqfa, Pompey's Piller, seafood lunch on the Mediterranean esplanade, a tour of Alexandria's modern Library and a harbour side ... read more
Street View
Pompey's Piller
Pompey's Piller

Africa » Egypt » Mediterranean » Alexandria December 18th 2008

Alexandria, A Melding of Cultures Over Time Despite planning to tour Alexandria independently, we broke down yesterday and booked a private guide and driver for a half day tour of Graeco Roman Alexandria through the “wise” hotel concierge. We had a very early start to the day after only getting about three hours sleep! So when Mama Canuck can’t sleep, she blogs! Because we had napped earlier in the evening and missed dinner, we were starving as we watched the hours tick away until the breakfast restaurant opened at 6:30am. With no hesitation despite the buffet costs, we made a dash for the beautifully presented breakfast buffet that offered waffles, eggs benedict and wonderful Egyptian and French pastries. Tamer Zakaria, our freelance guide, met us in the lobby of the hotel at 9:00am to start our ... read more
Nilometer at The Serapeum
Pompey's Pillar
Roman Amphitheatre

Africa » Egypt » Mediterranean » Alexandria December 17th 2008

Alexandria Here We Are! We arrived at Alexandria's Borg El Arab Airport at 2:00am on December 17th faced with an unbelievable scene of confused tourists and confusing airport staff who acted like it was their first day on the job. It was street theatre at its best with bumbling officials providing the comic relief. After waiting at least an hour and half in 3 lines, one for buying our visas, one for passport stamps and one for clearing customs with baggage in hand, we were hoping the prearranged driver had not deserted us in the desert. Before exciting the terminal with all our baggage having safely followed us, we were asked “what is in our luggage?” Papa Canuck replied “clothing, toiletries, cameras and other tourist stuff. The customs official looked at Papa Canuck in shock and ... read more
Life on the Mediterranean Sea
Room with a view.
Pool view from hotel room

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