100 Days in Egypt, Alexandria 2/5

It’s been a little over 100 days since I left France, the right moment to tell you a little more about the places I visited here. So I decided to write a small serie of articles about my excursions. Subscribe here, if you want to be warned when a new article in the serie is published. And here, if you want to read the articles from the beginning.

Alexandria, the reborn

Too short, far too short. I only spent two days in Alexandria with my mom. We focused on the sites near the Corniche. Cornice in Egyptian means the road that follows the coast or the bank. So there is also the Corniche in Cairo that follows the Nile etc.

So we visited Fort Qaitbey, built in 1480 by Sultan Mamluk of the same name, west of the Corniche. I loved it. It is this type of monument open to visitors but with very few informative signs or staging. Basically, you can go everywhere, and you get lost. It reminded me of my palace visits in India. On the first floor there is a hallway overlooking dozens of rooms. This corridor makes the tour of the fort, but not in a completely rectilinear way so you can easily do several times the tour of it without realizing. Or I might have a really very bad sense of direction! Once you have visited the interior, you’ll go to the outside, you can go around the guard road and go to the terraces facing the sea. The view, on the fort, on the sea, on the harbor, on the city… Everything is beautiful.

We took a big half day to visit the Library of Alexandria. The architecture is really modern. It’s beautiful and it’s thought to be both a place of study and a place to visit. As so, the many glass walls allow to isolate the workspaces while being able to observe them from outside. The openings in the roof, above the library space are eye-shaped. This is the free Francophone guide who told us:) Just ask the reception to have a presentation visit to the library (about twenty minutes). Besides the collection of books, part of which comes from the National Library of France, the building houses several museums, including the old manuscripts’one. A must see. It’s small, very nicely staged and, here too, a free guide gave us interesting information about the evolution of writing and manuscripts through History.

Crossing the Corniche to get to our hotel, we quickly realized that it is better to walk than to take the taxi. Seriously on the ledge, traffic is worse than in Cairo. And to cross, to be on the sea side, better not to be faint-hurted. But the sunset is well worth the effort. In general, the color of the sky is so beautiful in Egypt, I do not know if there is a reason for it? Dust in the air maybe?

Last nice spot, Stanley beach. We couldn’t go to Alexandria without walking barefoot in the sand. And if I chose to go specifically on this beach there, that’s because there is a bridge for automobiles crossing the beach squarely. Original! Just 2 min on the beach and we were invited to have breakfast with the kiosk owner and his friends. Then play dominoes. Life is beautiful.

What to eat in Alexandria? We tasted the Egyptian pizza, the fiteer, not only it’s good, but installed on the first floor of the Taverna, we were able to admire from above, the chef prepare his dough, much more impressive than an Italian!

Of course, I look forward to returning to Alexandria with some of my friends to visit the less tourist spots.

End of this second article on my visits. The next episode will be released next sunday!  Subscribe here, if you want to be warned when a new article in the series is published.

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