On our last full day in Egypt, we did another tour with Mahmoud up to Alexandria. It has it’s own history with some catacombs, which they only found about 100 years ago on accident when a donkey fell into a collapsed hole. The Lighthouse, which was one of the original wonders of the world, use to stand there (the fort now stands there). And the infamous Alexandria Library, which was destroyed and they have no record of it, but replaced it with a state of the art $225 million new library which is the nicest one I’ve ever seen. Do note, I haven’t been in many libraries, but for the ones that I have been in, this was pretty spectacular. There wasn’t much to see from the road on the way up to Alexandria, which is about a 3 hour jaunt from Cairo. The air is more clear, which is nice, and there is no honking…but that all ended once we got into Alexandria. The city is more modern that Cairo by far, and has a different flair as it’s a city on the water, and has a very strong European influence. Until recently, many considered Alexandria to be a European city because of it’s history and architecture.

from the fort in Alexandria looking out over the Med

from the fort in Alexandria looking out over the Med

While we were there, we saw some catacombs, some more ruins, and a small sites which would remind of you of being in Greece or Rome. We drove out to where the Lighthouse once stood, and checked out the fort. It’s pretty much a huge building that has more torture chambers than anything else, but gives you the best view of the city from a seascape, as it’s out on a peninsula for the most part.  Honestly, there wasn’t all much to see in Alexandria except what has been mentioned, but it is a nice city right on the beach, and one of the main vacation spots for the people of Egypt.

On our way back we had the usual daily debacle, today at FedEx, where it was a nightmare to get my package back to the states, but we made it work. The cost of doing this is another story, but I will argue that once we get back home. All in all, we are glad we came to Egypt to see the Pyramids, the Egyptian Museum, the Carpet and Papyrus Shops, and finally Alexandria. Will we come back? Probably not, at least not to Cairo. With touts all over the place, the smog and pollution, and the lack of any kind of order on the streets, it reminded us of Beijing quite a bit, which we were also not a fan of, besides seeing the Great Wall and having some Peking duck.

View of the Nile from our room

View of the Nile from our room

With guys walking around with machine guns pointing out of their cars, and the fact that women really are second class citizens there, only added to the fact that Cairo is at the bottom of our list as a return destination. By the end of the day after we got back from Alexandria, we were both pretty excited about heading to Europe. There is just a comfortable part about Europe that we both think agrees with us, hence our desire to live there for a couple years. Seeing the Mediterranean while in Alexandria also reminded us how much we liked Barcelona and the fact that’s it located on it as well.

But how could I end this post without a little Egyptian reminder. So we headed to the airport, and argued a price with the cab driver to take us there for 80 Egyptian pounds (about $13). They refused, we walked about 10 yards, they agreed. We get to the airport in record time, only to be dropped off at the wrong terminal….on purpose! Of course I planned this into our finances, so we didn’t have any Egyptian pounds left. The shuttle bus to the other terminal never came around in 30 minute period, so we paid a taxi to take us there….and I gave him $10.00 (equivalent to 56 pounds) LOVELY.

How fitting to leave Egypt knowing you were had on your way out. The charm of Cairo. We’re outta here!

Next update will be from Budapest on our 24 hour whirlwind adventure in Athens.

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