11 August 2006

Alexandria

I am now in Alexandria, an ancient city named after Alexander the Great. It is now the vacation center for many Egyptians and other Muslims.

It was reccommended that we as Westerners not go to the beach, because mostly muslims use them. Although muslim men go in the water with only trunks on, the women go in in full dress, including their head gear. I coudln't imagine trying to prepare for the beach if I was going in full clothing!

A funny observation about how Westerners are treated here, we're treated like royalty. In the beginning I thought it was really convenient, but now I feel like it's very unfair. For example, on our overnight trains, hotels, and shopping malls, we don't have to go through metal detectors or normal security that Egyptian citizens have to go through. Additionally, it's forbidden for a man and a woman to stay in a hotel room togehter unless you show a foreign passport (which was the case for me and Debi). We skip lines at tourist attractions, and always get pushed to the front simply because we are foreigners. Occasionally, we get private armed security too.

OH well, I digress, Alexandria is still an amazing city. It's about 20 kilometers long on teh Mediterranean coast. Today, we went to many Roman ruins from the Ancient City, Climbed into the Catacombs which is a maze of about 300 graves and went to the now modern Bibliotech Alexandria.

The ancient library of Alexandria tried to store any type of information, and contained 500,000 ancient scrolls. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by Caesar. But, in 2002 they completed the modern Bibliotech. It's a massive library, ultra-modern, better than any library I've seen in NYC. The outside looks like some type of freak UFO, and on the walls are written phrases from EVERY KNOWN Language, ancient and modern (I couldn't find English). It was one of my favorite sites in Egypt.

Unfortunately, Debi had to go back to the States early in the morning, so she took the train back to Cairo tonight. I've heard that there are massive problems with flights into the States, i hope that there aren't too many problems back. Tomorrow, I head back to Cairo as well, and meet up with some friends from my tour. The plan is drinking and karaoke!!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Hey Jonathan. I am so happy for you that you're having such a great time. :)

Have fun and stay safe.