ROMANTIC ALEXANDRIA

Airports India - - CONTENTS - BY S. PANT

The barge she sat in, like a bur­nish’d throne, Burned on the wa­ter: the poop was beaten gold; Pur­ple the sails, and so per­fumed that The winds were lovesick with them”

Alexandria’s ro­mance for me has al­ways been first and fore­most about Cleopa­tra, and these lines from Shake­speare’s ‘Antony and Cleopa­tra’ were trans­lated into sweet re­al­ity as I gazed out at the deep blue Mediter­ranean sea that lies be­yond this famed city’s en­chant­ing Cor­niche. This verse by Shake­speare first in­trigued me in school as the grandeur of Alexandria comes alive in this paean to the world’s most pow­er­ful woman, back in Egypt’s hey­day when Cleopa­tra was ruler of all Egypt and lover of the pow­er­ful Ro­man no­ble­man An­thony, and Alexandria, the cap­i­tal of the glo­ri­ous land of the Pharaohs. Alexandria’s de­cline started after Cleopa­tra and An­thony died for their love, with Cleopa­tra killing her­self with the bite of a poi­sonous asp.

Founded by none other than Alexan­der the Great in 331 BCE and later the glo­ri­ous seat of power of Queen Cleopa­tra, the city of Alexandria (Al-isk­endariyya) is the stuff that leg­ends are made of.

After con­quer­ing Syria in 332 BCE, Alexan­der the Great swept down into Egypt with his army. He founded Alexandria in the small port town of Rhako­tis by the sea and set about the task of turn­ing it into a great cap­i­tal. It is said that he de­signed the plan for the city which was so greatly ad­mired later by the his­to­rian Strabo, though the palaces

and grand homes Strabo men­tions were built some­time after Alexan­der’s death. Although he was greatly ad­mired by the Egyp­tians (and was even de­clared a demigod by the Or­a­cle at Siwa), Alexan­der left Egypt only a few months after his ar­rival to march onto Tyre in Phoeni­cia. It was left to his com­man­der, Cleomenes, to build the city Alexan­der had en­vi­sioned. While Cleomenes ac­com­plished a great deal, the full ex­pan­sion of Alexandria came un­der the rule of Alexan­der’s gen­eral, Ptolemy, and the rule of the Ptole­maic Dy­nasty which fol­lowed. Un­der their rule, Alexandria ac­cu­mu­lated great wealth and cul­ture and be­came the most pow­er­ful city of the Ori­ent. After Alexan­der’s death in 323 BCE, Ptolemy brought his body back to Alexandria to be en­tombed and be­gan his rule of Egypt from Alexandria, sup­plant­ing the old cap­i­tal of Mem­phis. The city grew to be­come the largest in the known world at the time, at­tract­ing schol­ars, sci­en­tists, philoso­phers, math­e­ma­ti­cians, artists, and his­to­ri­ans. Eratos­thenes cal­cu­lated the cir­cum­fer­ence of the earth to within 50 miles at Alexandria. Eu­clid taught at the uni­ver­sity there. Archimedes, the great math­e­ma­ti­cian and as­tronomer may have taught there. The great­est en­gi­neer and math­e­ma­ti­cian of his day, Hero (also known as Heron), lived in Alexandria.

Alexandria’s har­bour was once marked by the tow­er­ing Pharos light­house (one of the Seven Won­ders of the An­cient World), be­gun un­der Ptolemy I, and its Great Li­brary was renowned as the ul­ti­mate ar­chive of all knowl­edge in the an­cient

world. Books from all con­quered lands and the en­tire world were brought here and any scholar who stud­ied in this li­brary was obliged to leave a copy of his writ­ings here.

Alas, fate dealt the city a spate of cruel blows. The Pharos light­house col­lapsed. The lit­er­ary trea­sures of the Great Li­brary were ac­ci­den­tally torched by Ro­man sol­diers dur­ing the siege of Alexandria by Julius Cae­sar. Later, dur­ing Mark Antony’s reign, he plun­dered the sec­ond largest li­brary in the world at Perg­a­mon and pre­sented the col­lec­tion of 200,000 books as a gift to Cleopa­tra as a re­place­ment for the books lost to Cae­sar’s fire, but to no avail. To­day, no sign re­mains of the great Alexan­der him­self and the city of Cleopa­tra has been mostly swal­lowed up by the ocean. To add in­sult to in­jury, Egypt’s sub­se­quent Mus­lim rulers moved the cap­i­tal to Cairo, ig­nobly thrust­ing this once-in­flu­en­tial me­trop­o­lis into near ob­scu­rity for cen­turies.

In the 19th cen­tury Alexandria was re­vived by a cos­mopoli­tan makeover that flirted with Euro­pean-style deca­dence. The city’s re­nais­sance, as one of the Mediter­ranean’s key com­mer­cial hubs, brought with it a new, swag­ger­ing fame, lauded by writ­ers and po­ets. This re­vival though was cut short in the 1950s by Pres­i­dent Nasser’s na­tion­al­ism. To­day the peel­ing, faded and scarred rem­nants of this later pe­riod pock­mark the once grand seafront Cor­niche, in­grain­ing the city with an aching sense of aban­doned glory. (Alexandria’s Cor­niche, be­tween the city and the sea, runs for 32km and that’s where most of the head­line acts of the city are found. The road is dot­ted with casi­nos on stilts and rows of beach houses).

Alexandria is a cham­pion sur­vivor,

how­ever, and to­day, is again striv­ing to forge a new iden­tity as Egypt’s cul­tural cap­i­tal. Le­gions of young lo­cal artists and writ­ers are find­ing their voices here, and the mod­ern li­brary of Alexandria is the coun­try’s in­no­va­tive cul­tural land­mark.

There are nu­mer­ous guides clam­our­ing to show you the sights so choose wisely. If you take a Nile Cruise down to Alexandria the prob­lem is sorted as you will be given a guide to ac­com­pany you on the cruise. Some of the main sights to see in Alexandria are Qait­bay Ci­tadel, Bi­b­lio­theca Alexan­d­rina, the Kom Esh Shaqqafa Cat­a­combs, the Ro­man amp­ithe­atre, site of the an­cient Light­house, El Mon­tazha Palace, Pom­pey’s pil­lar and the Na­tional Mu­seum of Alexandria.

My first visit is to the famed Pom­pey’s Pil­lar, an 82 foot, red Aswan gran­ite col­umn, with a cir­cum­fer­ence of 9 mts, built pos­si­bly in mem­ory of the re­bel­lion of Domi­tius Domi­tianus and to honor the Em­peror Dio­cle­tian, who freed the city and brought food to its peo­ple. It was built at the end of the 4th cen­tury, and was orig­i­nally part of a colon­nade from the tem­ple of Ser­apis. Pom­pey’s Pil­lar is the tallest an­cient mon­u­ment in Alexandria. It is lo­cated on Alexandria’s an­cient acrop­o­lis — a mod­est hill lo­cated ad­ja­cent to the city’s Arab ceme­tery. The tale has

it that after his de­feat by Julius Cae­sar in the civil war, Ro­man Gen­eral Pom­pey fled to Egypt where he was mur­dered in 48 BC by Cleopa­tra’s brother. Peo­ple be­lieved Pom­pey must be buried here, and that the Corinthian cap­i­tal atop the pil­lar served as a con­tainer for his head. Be­neath the acrop­o­lis it­self are the sub­ter­ranean re­mains of the tem­ple of Ser­apis, God Of Alexandria. His­to­ri­ans claimed it was one of the grand­est mon­u­ments of pa­gan civil­i­sa­tion, sec­ond only to the tem­ple of Jupiter in Rome. Also here was the ‘daugh­ter li­brary’ of the an­cient Li­brary of Alexandria, which was said to have con­tained book copies and over­flow of texts. Its scrolls could be con­sulted by any­one us­ing the tem­ple, mak­ing it one of the most im­por­tant in­tel­lec­tual and re­li­gious cen­tres in the Mediter­ranean. In AD 391 Chris­tians launched a fi­nal as­sault on pa­gan in­tel­lec­tu­als and de­stroyed the Ser­apeum and its li­brary, leav­ing just this one lonely pil­lar stand­ing.

Just 15 min­utes from Pom­pey’s Pil­lar in Car­mous are the cat­a­combs, the largest known Ro­man burial site in Egypt, which dates back to the late first cen­tury AD. One of the old­est Ro­man tombs, with a strange mix of Greek, Ro­man and Egyp­tian art, the site con­sists of three tiers of burial shafts carved into the rocks, 100 feet be­low ground. It was the fi­nal rest­ing place of hun­dreds of Ro­mans, from no­ble­men to glad­i­a­tors. No bones can be seen to­day be­cause most of the graves, like much of Alexandria, went un­der wa­ter. These haunt­ing cat­a­combs or Kom Esh-shuqqafa, as they are called, lies in the old­est part of Alexandria, at the site of

the vil­lage and fish­ing port of Rhako­tis, which pre­dates the in­va­sion of Alexan­der the Great. Descend be­low to ex­plore the an­cient tombs and the con­nected Cara­calla hall. Friendly guides, who ac­cost you by the dozens in Egypt, will re­gale you with in­cred­i­ble tales. Ours told us that even the Three Mus­ke­teers were buried here!

Then we drove on to the Ro­man Am­phithe­atre. Ev­ery town in the an­cient Ro­man em­pire had an am­phithe­ater and Alexandria was no dif­fer­ent. This site was dis­cov­ered when foun­da­tions were be­ing laid for an apart­ment build­ing on a site known un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously as Kom al-dikka (Mound of Rub­ble). In Ptole­maic times this area was known as the Park of Pan, a plea­sure gar­den where cit­i­zens of Alexandria could in­dulge in var­i­ous lazy pur­suits. The ru­ins re­main a pre­served ode to the days of the cen­tu­rion and in­clude the 13 white-mar­ble ter­races of the only Ro­man am­phithe­atre found in Egypt. In the same com­plex is the Villa of the Birds , a wealthy ur­ban dwelling that dates to the time of Hadrian (AD 117–138). De­spite be­ing re­dec­o­rated at least four times in an­tiq­uity be­fore be­ing de­stroyed by fire in the 3rd cen­tury AD, its floor mo­saic of pi­geons, pea­cocks, quails, par­rots and wa­ter hens re­mains as­ton­ish­ingly well pre­served. Ex­ca­va­tions con­tinue to un­cover more in the area. In early 2010 the ru­ins of a Ptole­maicera tem­ple were un­cov­ered along with stat­ues of gods and god­desses, in­clud­ing a num­ber of the cat god­dess Bastet. Though this am­phithe­ater is not as ma­jes­tic as The Colos­seum in Rome, you can still close your eyes and imag­ine the glad­i­a­tors and wild beasts fight­ing for their lives, as the echoes of the char­i­ots and crowds go­ing wild waft in on the Mediter­ranean breeze.

An in­cred­i­ble $150 mil­lion mu­seum in Alexandria is now be­ing planned be­neath the Sea, al­low­ing tourists to view sunken Egyp­tian relics and an­cient cities. Plans have been drawn up for a unique view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of the 2,500 arte­facts that lie on the Mediter­ranean seabed. The mu­seum will fea­ture four tall build­ings with fi­bre­glass tun­nels to the 22-foot­deep view­ing plat­forms, along with glass sub­ma­rine tours and the op­por­tu­nity to dive around the site for a closer look at the relics. Ru­ins from en­tire an­cient cities have sunk there and the Min­istry of An­tiq­ui­ties is hop­ing to open up this fan­tas­ti­cal site through this unique un­der­wa­ter ex­pe­ri­ence which will re­new tourist in­ter­est to the re­gion after a long re­ces­sion.

Guests will be able to ad­mire the sunken Pharos Light­house, and also on view will be the Royal Court or Cleopa­tra’s Palace, of which more than 60 pieces have sur­vived in­clud­ing a sunken sphinx. Many of the trea­sures in Alexandria were sub­merged in the Mid­dle Ages due to earth­quakes. Since ex­ca­va­tions in the east­ern har­bour be­gan in 1994, divers have brought up thou­sands of his­tor­i­cal ob­jects. The Guardian news­pa­per re­ported that these in­clude 26 sphinxes, sev­eral vast gran­ite blocks weigh­ing up to 56 tonnes each, and even pieces of what is be­lieved to be Alexandria’s light­house.

Most of the trea­sure lifted from the seabed is on dis­play at the Egyp­tian mu­seum in Cairo. The sea is en­twined with the his­tory of Alex and ar­chae­ol­o­gists have been ex­plor­ing her depths for years. Re­cre­ational div­ing, view­ing sunken trea­sure, is now the in-thing. There are some div­ing schools in the re­gion but the nearby re­sort town of Sharm el-sheikh on the Red Sea is THE div­ing des­ti­na­tion.

We had lunch at a lo­cal restau­rant, the best sea-view restau­rant in Alexandria, and then we were off to see the Qait­bay Ci­tadel, built over the re­mains of the an­cient Pharos light­house by the Mam­luk sul­tan Qait­bey in 1480. The East­ern Har­bour is dom­i­nated by its bulky walls. The light­house, in use for some 17 cen­turies be­fore it was de­stroyed by an earth­quake, lay in ru­ins for a cen­tury be­fore Qait­bey or­dered the for­ti­fi­ca­tion of the city’s har­bour. If you get close to the fort’s outer walls you can pick out some great pil­lars of red gran­ite, which in all like­li­hood came from the an­cient light­house. Other parts of the an­cient build­ing are scat­tered around the nearby seabed. Finely re­stored, the fort has a war­ren of rooms to ex­plore, and the walk here from Mi­dan Ramla is a 45-minute stroll along the Cor­niche, with spec­tac­u­lar har­bour views along the way. Al­ter­na­tively, take yel­low tram 15 from Mi­dan Ramla or flag down a mi­crobus along the Cor­niche.

Then it was time for a photo stop at Abou El Ab­bas Mosque, lo­cated near the Ci­tadel of Qait­bay. The at­trac­tive Mosque, the tomb of a 13th-cen­tury Sufi saint from Mur­cia in Spain, was re­designed and built in to­day’s cur­rent form by Eu­ge­nio Valza­nia and Mario Rossi (1929-1945). Visi­tors can join devo­tees who still flock to Al-mursi’s shrine un­der the main floor. On sum­mer nights a car­ni­val-like at­mos­phere sur­rounds the mosque, with pony rides, bumper cars and merry-go-rounds.

You can also visit one of the largest syn­a­gogues in the Mid­dle East, the Ital­ian-built, mag­nif­i­cent Eliyahu Hanavi Sy­n­a­gogue served Alexandria’s once thriv­ing and cos­mopoli­tan Jewish com­mu­nity. The in­te­rior fea­tures im­mense mar­ble col­umns and space for more than 700 peo­ple, with poignant brass name plates af­fixed to the reg­u­lar seats of male wor­ship­pers. Since the wars with Is­rael and the 1956 Suez Cri­sis, the com­mu­nity has dwin­dled to a hand­ful and you need per­mis­sion from the rabbi to look in­side.

Alexandria’s an­cient li­brary was one of the great­est of all clas­si­cal in­sti­tu­tions, and while re­plac­ing it might seem like a Her­culean task, the Bi­b­lio­theca Alexan­d­rina, which I had longed to see, man­ages it with aplomb. Opened in 2002, this im­pres­sive piece of mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture, which cost around $250 mil­lion to build, is a de­lib­er­ate at­tempt to rekin­dle the bril­liance of the orig­i­nal cen­tre of learn­ing. It has be­come one of Egypt’s ma­jor cul­tural venues, a stage for nu­mer­ous in­ter­na­tional per­form­ers, and is home to a col­lec­tion of bril­liant mu­se­ums, a plan­e­tar­ium and a huge

ar­ray of other di­ver­sions. The build­ing takes the form of a gi­gan­tic an­gled dis­cus made of Aswan gran­ite and em­bed­ded in the ground, evok­ing a sec­ond sun ris­ing out of the Mediter­ranean. The ex­te­rior walls are carved with let­ters, pic­tograms, hi­ero­glyph­ics and sym­bols from more than 120 dif­fer­ent hu­man scripts. The jaw-drop­ping main read­ing room can ac­com­mo­date eight mil­lion books and 2500 read­ers un­der its slop­ing roof, with win­dows spe­cially de­signed to let sun­light in but block rays that harm the col­lec­tion. The Bi­b­lio­theca Alexan­d­rina In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val is a month-long pro­gramme of con­certs and is Alexandria’s prime sum­mer event, or­gan­ised in Au­gust and tak­ing place in the con­cert halls and per­for­mance spa­ces of the li­brary. It takes in the breadth of mu­si­cal gen­res, from or­ches­tral to tra­di­tional folk troupes.

At the fan­tas­tic Selsela cafe across from the Bi­b­lio­theca Alexan­d­rina, you can sip tea and smoke shee­sha to the sound of waves rolling in, and smell the sea air. Directly on the wa­ter, it has palm-frond shaded ta­bles re­plete with twin­kling coloured lights, set on a small curv­ing beach. It’s a great place to re­lax in the sul­try breeze, en­joy­ing the Mediter­ranean vibe. To find it, look for the sculp­ture with three white nee­dles, across the Cor­niche from the li­brary. Walk past the sculp­ture to­wards the sea; the en­trance is down the steps to the right.

We also ex­plored the arte­facts at the Na­tional mu­seum of Alexandria set in a beau­ti­fully re­stored Ital­ianate villa. It stocks sev­eral thou­sand years of Alexan­drian his­tory, with arte­facts from the Egyp­tian, Greek and Ro­man em­pires, ar­ranged chrono­log­i­cally over three floors. This ex­cel­lent mu­seum bril­liantly sums up Alexandria’s past, and high­lights in­clude a sphinx and other sculp­tures found dur­ing un­der­wa­ter ex­ca­va­tions at Aboukir.

On our way back we vis­ited the mod­ern mon­u­ments such as the tomb of the un­known sol­dier in Alexandria, the statue of Alexan­der the great, and fi­nally drove along the Cor­niche to see the whole city pass­ing over Stan­ley Bridge, that land­mark of mod­ern Alexandria.

Along Alexandria’s western shore,

past the ship­yards, you’ll spot Ras el-tin Palace. Orig­i­nally built in the 1830s for the Ot­toman ruler Mo­hammed Ali, it’s now part of a naval base and was an of­fi­cial pres­i­den­tial res­i­dence. It was here that King Farouk signed his ab­di­ca­tion pa­pers in 1952. It’s not open to visi­tors now.

Also over­look­ing the Cor­niche is the re­gal Mon­taza Com­plex, which was most re­cently used by for­mer pres­i­dent Hosni Mubarak. Khe­dive Ab­bas Hilmy (1892– 1914) built Mon­tazah as his sum­mer palace, a refuge for when Cairo be­came too hot. It’s de­signed in a pseudo-moor­ish style, with a Floren­tine tower mod­elled on Florence’s Palazzo Vec­chio. The palace it­self is off-lim­its but the sur­round­ing lush gar­dens are prime strolling ter­ri­tory. The sim­plest way to get here is to stand on the Cor­niche or on Sharia Tariq al-hor­reyya and flag down a mi­crobus.

There’s an at­trac­tive sandy cove near Mon­tazah with a semipri­vate beach good for kids, and an ec­cen­tric Vic­to­rian-style bridge run­ning out to a small is­land of py­lons. Spread over 360 acres, over­look­ing Al Mon­taza Gulf, with five beaches for swim­ming and all sorts of ac­tiv­i­ties, it’s a pleas­ant es­cape from the city cen­tre. You can go for boat rides, wa­ter-ski­ing, div­ing, snor­kel­ing or jet-ski­ing. A sec­ond royal res­i­dence on the grounds, known as the Salam­lek, and built in an Aus­trian style, has been con­verted into a lux­ury ho­tel. There are a lot of food op­tions here.

About 1km east of Mon­tazah, Mamoura is the ‘beachi­est’ of Alexandria’s beaches. There’s a cob­ble­stone board­walk with a few ice-cream shops and food stalls, and un­like other beaches there’s no noisy speed­way be­hind you. A much less crowded pri­vate beach is next to the main beach, with nice frond um­brel­las and a E£40 en­try fee.

If it’s food that gets your juices flow­ing hit the Cor­niche. The Greek Club’s wide ter­race is just the ticket for catch­ing the evening breeze and watch­ing the lights along Alex’s leg­endary bay. The mous­saka and the sou­vlaki are both easy menu win­ners, and the seafood se­lec­tion (priced by weight) is ex­cel­lent, too.

An Alexandria in­sti­tu­tion for the hoity­toity set, Fish Mar­ket’s din­ing room is in a prime po­si­tion slap on the Med and is one of the city’s most pop­u­lar spots for a seafood splurge. Choose from a daz­zling ar­ray of fishy mains dis­played in the cab­i­nets and dive into the fan­tas­tic mezze (served with ex­cel­lent Le­banese-style bread) while you wait.

Or take your pick from the fresh fish at Qadoura, pro­nounced ‘Adora’, one of Alexandria’s most au­then­tic fish restau­rants, where food is served at ta­bles

in the nar­row street. Pick your fish from a huge ice-packed se­lec­tion, which in­cludes sea bass, blue­fish, sole, squid, red and grey mul­let, crabs, prawns, and a lot more.

Abu Ashraf is an­other great place for fresh fish. Make your se­lec­tion from the day’s catch, then take a seat un­der the awning and watch it be­ing cooked. Price is de­ter­mined by weight and type of fish, rang­ing from grey mul­let at E£45 per kg to jumbo prawns at E£200 per kg. Sea bass stuffed with gar­lic and herbs is a house spe­cialty here.

Farag is a very lo­cal eat­ing spot deep in the heart of the souq. Sit out­doors un­der the awning or in­side in the air-con­di­tioned din­ing room to feast on per­fectly cooked and sea­soned seafood. It’s a bit hard to find – the sign is high above street level. If you miss it, just ask around; ev­ery­one knows it.

Owned by Zizi Salem, the re­tired queen of the Alexan­drian belly-danc­ing scene, Sa­mak­mak is one step up from other fish eater­ies. The fish is as fresh as else­where, but cus­tomers flock to this place for its spe­cials, in­clud­ing cray­fish, mar­vel­lous crab tagen (a stew cooked in a deep clay pot) and a great spaghetti with clams.

If you want some Syr­ian shawar­mas with spicy chicken in gar­licky may­on­naise and pick­les head to Abu Faris. Mo­hammed Ahmed is the undis­puted king of spec­tac­u­larly good and cheap Egyp­tian stan­dards. Select your fuul or fava bean paste (I rec­om­mend iskan­darani), add some fe­lafel, choose a few ac­com­pa­ny­ing sal­ads, and let the feast­ing be­gin. The tahini, banga (beet­root) and tor­shi (bright­pink pick­led veg­eta­bles) are all good choices to add to your meal.

By day, Malek-es-se­maan is a small court­yard clothes mar­ket; by night it’s an open-air restau­rant serv­ing de­li­cious grilled or stuffed quail.

Has­san Fouad is a tiny and in­cred­i­bly tidy mar­ket that of­fers beau­ti­fully dis­played pro­duce, such as grapes from Le­banon and tasty Egyp­tian man­goes, and a good se­lec­tion of im­ported sta­ples such as di­ges­tive bis­cuits. There’s no sign in English; look for the place with art­fully stacked fruits and a bright-red sign.

El-sheikh Wafik is an unas­sum­ing and breezy cor­ner cafe that serves up some of the best desserts in town. You can get the usual ice creams in sev­eral flavours, but the real treats are Egyp­tian clas­sics such as cous­cousy – a yummy mix of cous­cous, shred­ded co­conut, nuts, raisins and sugar, topped with hot milk.

Tav­erna is a de­servedly pop­u­lar es­tab­lish­ment on the cor­niche that serves up some of the best shwarma in town plus ex­cel­lent hand-thrown sweet or savoury fi­teer (Egyp­tian flaky pizza) – I was rather par­tial to the choco­late and ba­nana one. It also does a fine pizza if you’re han­ker­ing for some Ital­ian. When the weather is good, the whole Cor­niche be­comes one great strung-out ahwa (cof­fee­house). And hav­ing a shee­sha, along with some strong Egyp­tian cof­fee as the sea breeze hits, its the per­fect place to while away a hot af­ter­noon or lazy evening. For many visi­tors, Alexandria re­mains a city more ad­mired for its am­bi­ence than its sights. After you’ve de­ci­phered its mind-bog­gling his­tory amid the mu­se­ums and mon­u­ments, the cor­niche is the ideal place to spend time sip­ping ahwa in old-world cafes, and me­an­der­ing the har­bour area to gaze up at belle époque ar­chi­tec­ture and pon­der the ghosts of the past. The fa­cade of this city may have tar­nished down the cen­turies but its al­lure can never di­min­ish.

The coast­line of the an­cient city of Alexandria

Mon­taza Palace

Alexandria’s Na­tional Mu­seum

Mon­u­ment to the Un­known Sol­dier in Alexandria

Abu el Ab­bas el-mursi Mosque

Ro­man Amp­ithe­atre, Alexandria

Ras el-tin Palace, on Alexandria’s western shore

Eliyahu Hanavi Sy­n­a­gogue

Dusk sets in on Stan­ley Bridge in Alexandria

En­trance to Cara­calla hall

Descend­ing into Qom Eshshaqqafa cat­a­combs

Cara­calla Hall and Ro­man cat­a­combs

Alexandria’s ma­rine drive

Horse goes to mar­ket

Alexandria’s tram

Alexandria’s dou­ble decker bus

Kafr Ab­dou lo­cal­ity

Crowded street

Man on a Felucca boat

Cruis­ing to Alexandria

Souk sell­ing an­tiques

Lunch in Alexandria

Lo­cal mar­ket

Egyp­tian bread cart

Roasted maize on sale

Lo­cal cafe

Light­house in Alexandria

Ro­man ru­ins and cat­a­combs

Sphinx statue un­der­wa­ter in Alexandria’s har­bour

View of the Cor­niche

In­te­rior of the li­brary

Bi­b­lio­theca Alexan­d­rina, the mod­ern li­brary

Sculp­ture in front of the Li­brary of Alexandria, near Selsela cafe

Pom­pey’s Pil­lar in Alexandria

Alexandria’s sky­line viewed from the bridge

Qait­bay Ci­tadel on the seafront

Har­bour of Alexandria

Many of the trea­sures in Alexandria were sub­merged in the Mid­dle Ages due to earth­quakes

Planned un­der­sea mu­seum in Alexandria

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