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  • Day16

    More in Alexandria

    January 24, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    A few more included activities today: The Citadel at Qait Bey for photos, The El-Mursi Abul-Abbas Mosque and of course the Library of Alexandria. Those on the lookout for the Alexandria lighthouse will be disappointed as it was damaged over several earthquakes before disappearing in 1480. Today, the Citadel of Qait Bey sits above the ruins. Our tour leader is an Egyptologist and gave us the lesson on recent Egyptian history. No more pharoahs and pyramids, but rather the invasion of the Turks and another chapter in Egyptian history. At the mosque, he explained the 5 pillars of Islam.

    Next stop, Biblioteca Alexandrina (www.bibalex.org for a fantastic virtual and literary visit). The original library is no longer than but the new modern one is a sight to behold. It's part of a giant learning complex including a planetarium and numerous displays. It is an architectural beauty designed for natural light and an airiness that there is still greatness to be learned and discovered. Our visit was every too brief even though we did get 15 minutes more.

    More free time to wander around again (probably would've been good to get out to Montazah Palace & Gardens, but it was a bit of work as no transport goes though and we were tired of bargaining for anything, including taxis). No more drama today as we veered off the Monument of the Unknown Soldier and found ourselves mixing with the locals in their markets. Shoes, clothes, purses, accessories, there are stall walls, just tables and tarps in the streets and sidewalks.

    Later on, we would get to the Roman Theater (surprisingly close to the hotel), then a city park and the train station. Our walk also took us back past the football stadium we'd seen on our first day. No tourists anywhere, all locals as we followed our feet before turning back towards the water onto a street of restaurants.

    Tonight, we simply sat on the rock wall of the Corniche, looking out at the Mediterranean. The night city came alive as locals emerged and sat with us, soaking it all in. Our time in Egypt is coming to an end.
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