About My Blog

I Spent six weeks in Egypt before spending a year in Germany. This blog covers the best summer of my life. If you are looking for my posts while I was in Germany ask me, and I'll be happy to share them but I have been asked not to share them publicly. Feel free to visit my brothers blog of his year in Germany or my new blog

Friday, July 9, 2010

The road to Alexandria

Arrived in Alexandria and I'm in love. A European city in Africa on
the Mediterranean where the people don't drive like crazy and there is
no pollution. After Cairo there isn't much more you can ask for. Don't
get me wrong, I love Cairo and I love Alexandria but comparing the two
is like comparing apples and oranges. They are so epically different
that it barely feels like Africa until of course the donkey carts roll
by, a pidgeon market, or a rabbit meat store where you pick the live
rabbit that you want for dinner that night.

We left Cairo at 8 30 and after a drive through the desert, a stop at
mcdonalds, and a bout of nausea we arrived in Alexandria. Driving
through it was amazing because as you get closer more and more
artifacts change and the smell of sea salt grows stronger. It seems
that every corner, square, roundabout, building has a random statue
commemorating something from some period of time. I saw a waterclock,
DNA model, Ramses, cleopatra, Alexander the great, boats, sphinx, and
other random people or places in statuette form. We got to our
housing, another monastery/church/school/who even knows and it's
really nice. We stayed long enough to drop off half of our stuff
before setting out for a twelve hour afternoon. We planned to arrive
at 11, see the catacombs at 12 eat at 1 30, go to the museum at 3,
library of Alexandria at 5, ice cream at 6, dinner at 8, and a show at
10 30 before being in bed at 1 30 am. Instead we arrived at 12 and
everything was pushedback, rescheduled, or shortened but it was still
perfect. The catacombs were awesome but sadly it's like David when
being compared to the Goliath that is the library of Alexandria or the
national museum. I lovedthe museum (for once the American foreign
service made a good decision and sold their beautiful consulate to the
Egyptians for half price so that a museum could be installed there.).
It was cool to see a modern museum with preserved artifacts compared
to the playground/war zone at the Egypt museum. The library was
beautiful! I had seen and heard about it from a documentary (thanks
Katja!) but it was even more impressive and gorgeous in person. It is
huge and just like a library should be. I'm glad that they did not try
to physically recreate the old library but they definitely recreated
what I imagine the spirit of the old museum must have been like.

When it comes to cameras I am the most unlucky person. It seems that
everytime I go on the most special part of an already special trip, my
camera dies. It happened last year at the homestay and DMZ in Korea
and this year in Alexandria. Luckily I got the pictures I wanted most
and some of us may come back for a day trip later in the trip. As it
turns out not having the camera was not at all a bad thing, most
places we couldn't take pictures and I enjoyed looking at the city
with my eyes and not through a lens. The architecture is beautiful,
the coast is breathtaking, the Mediterranean is.....salty. We sat on
the coast and looked down the shoreline and it as perfect, now if only
I had a functioning camera.

We went to a folk dancing show at 10 30 and it was good to finally sit
down but it was almost too good as some of us began to fall asleep. It
reminded me of the nutcracker with all of it's different dance numbers
except here there was no continuous story. It was hard to stay awake
through it but I'm glad I made myself because it was the perfect end
to a great night, day, and morning. It's now 2 15 am and in less than
4 hours I will be awake again and in less than 6 hours I'll be
swimming in the Mediterranean and for the first time in two weeks
breathing clean air, and making the most of my 20/20 vision before it
is rendered useless again by the smog of Cairo.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

As Katja would say "du bist mein Held!" Great that you find the energy to share all of your
experiences with us. Seems that we are both unlucky with our cameras - I lost mine in Alice Springs two years ago with (as I believe) the best pictures I took. But as you say, the mind recalls it all.