Egypt
Alexandria

Here you’ll find travel reports about Alexandria. Discover travel destinations in Egypt of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

9 travelers at this place:

  • Day16

    More in Alexandria

    January 24 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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  • Day128

    Alexandria, Egypt

    April 21, 2018 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 72 °F

    Today we saw Alexandria, Egypt the way the locals see it. While we were in the Valley of the Kings, Chuck had an eye issue develop. His right eye suddenly had lots of floaters on one side. We waited to see if they would clear up and when they did not, he went to the medical center onboard. While the doctor onboard did not see anything obvious, he could not check for a detached retina. Since we have two sea days coming up, today Viking arranged for us to be picked up by a driver who took us to an ophthalmologist in Alexandria. Our driver Mohamed took wonderful care of us as he got us to the doctor, translated questions and answers, took us to the pharmacy and then delivered us back to the ship. It was fascinating in the waiting room. A child was there whose eye had swollen shut. Another kid looked as though he had been kicked in the eye by a horse. And while we all waited to be examined, we looked at a TV screen that showed a live feed of pilgrims circling the Ka’aba at Mecca. It was great. The young ladies working at the front desk all giggled demurely when I commented, through Muhammad’s translation, that I loved the many different, beautiful ways they had tied their head scarves. All is well and there are no serious issues. Just more floaters for a while. Everyone from Viking and in Alexandria was absolutely wonderful to us.Read more

  • Day31

    Day 30: North to Alexandria

    April 4, 2011 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    We arrived back in Cairo late morning after our overnight train from Luxor. Hopped onto the minibus which took us many hours north to Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast, arriving in the late afternoon.

    Our hotel was right on the waterfront, where there's a long promenade around a bay. It almost felt like being in Europe, Nice or Naples or somewhere like that. It's also a bit different demography-wise, since the large student population means attitudes are a little more liberal than in Cairo and the south - not as many women in hijabs, for example.

    Went out for a brief walk along the promenade but there wasn't much to see, plus it was a little cold and wind-swept so I retreated to my room and probably wrote several diary entries. Went out for dinner with the group to a reasonable restaurant.
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  • Day15

    Beware: Of Horse Carriages & Knifefights

    January 23 in Egypt ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Okay, drama time. Note, all's well that ended as well as it could have, but this is one evening no leader would ever want.

    Let's start with the lady who went on the horse carriage ride. It was supposed to be an hour. We left her just before 4pm and no one had seen her. Strange and worrying as she'd inquired about being dropped off at the hotel after. I had a picture of her and the driver, but it's only a false comfort. What to do...

    Then back in our room, I get a message on Facebook from another girl on our tour. She asked if we were at the hotel, which we were. She said, good. Don't go out, there's something happening in our lobby. I didn't know what was going on and whether she meant the building lobby or the hotel lobby. I checked the hotel lobby but all was calm, so my roommate and I sat there waiting for the lady who'd gone with the carriage.

    Moments later, our tour leader hurried past us. Strange we thought, what was going on? Minutes later (and some recapping) we found out what was happening. Some locals were gathered in the lobby of the building (I did say it looked sketchy looking), arguments ensued a knife was pulled. Boy, our safety travel bubble was popped. I can't begin to imagine the scene that unfolded. But it was distressing enough for the rest of the girls to call the tour leader and ask if he could escort them up. Needless to say, they didn't go out again that night.

    Time goes by, our carriage friend still had not turned up. We made the choice to knock on the tour leader's tour to voice our concern, but he has no way to contact her. We'd find out later she didn't bring her phone either. But there was little we could do but wait. When we saw her later, about 730, you cannot imagine our relief. Apparently the carriage driver had gotten "lost" and took her around the city, even trying to get her into shops, his place, and a restaurant for dinner! On top of that, she now owed him $50 US instead of the $5 US, wow, scammer! So friends, please do not get into a carriage and if your companion is considering it, discourage them like we should have done. If you want a carriage ride, it sounds like Aswan or Luxor is the place.

    In the end, our tour leader brought down 300 Egyptian pounds to the driver who was waiting downstairs because the lady didn't have that much cash with her. A good thing, so he has to take her back to the hotel if he were to get paid. 300 Egyptian pounds is about $18 US. The guy refused at first because of the difference, citing a 6hr ride (which made no logical sense) and that he had bought her dinner and beers (a lie, she paid for dinner and he the beers). Luckily we had our fearless tour leader, who talked him down starting with the discrepancy in time. We left her before 4, it wasn't even 8pm, how could it be 6 hours?
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  • Day15

    Hello Alexandria

    January 23 in Egypt ⋅ 🌫 10 °C

    Leaving Cairo again, this time, northwards towards the Alexandria and the Mediterranean Sea. No more pyramids or ancient sites as we start hurtling through time up until the present. Named after Alexander the Great, we were looking forward to the change in pace and style. There are no tourist markets here so you get less harassed. You can even walk along the Corniche in peace.

    We only have 1 included activity today, the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa. No pictures are allowed, but it was an interesting visit as we descended below ground. This used to be the private catacombs for a local wealthy family and was discovered (like in the Valley of the Kings) by a donkey who fell into a shaft. There are several chambers to explore and you can see art mixing Greek and Egyptian beliefs.

    Free time this afternoon after checking into our hotel. I rarely write about hotels, but the Misr Hotel is a hidden gem on the 9th and 10th floor of a building you would probably not walk into. There's a story to come later. But yes, don't judge this book by its cover. All our rooms had windows overlooking the Mediterrean Sea, and we also had a balcony that you could step out and look at the sea as well. The room was pretty nice, the only thing to note that the noise doesn't stay out though, and similar to other Egyptian cities, the traffic continues well into the night.
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  • Day15

    The Quest for Ice Cream

    January 23 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Free time in Alexandria, and lots of stories to tell - eventful, so bear with me as we get through Alexandria together. We probably had too much free time in Alexandria. I would've liked to have gone to Montazah Palace (which is included with the comfort tour), but wasn't quite up to figuring out to get there on my own. One lady on our tour would manage this the next day and had quite the adventure and fun times.

    I'd read about Alexandrian ice cream and was super keen to try it. Apparently it's only made here and Greece. It's like soft serve but "stretchy", and super yummy. The best places to try it are actually out by the citadel aka Qait Bey on the far end of the Corniche. It looked far from our hotel, but in actuality was only 2.5 km. We grabbed a quick lunch of falafels first from Gad's nearby, eating by the water. One of our tourmates joined us, but wasn't too keen on walking that distance. She would decide to take a horse carriage ride, but more on that later, while my roommate and I continued on.

    Our hotel manager was quite funny when we asked about how long it would take to walk to the citadel. He said we should go right away because it was closing soon, but when we explained we were after the ice cream, he gave us a big smile and "ah ha", yes you are smart to know where the ice cream is! It's the best and we should go to Azzaz and have the vanilla flavor. His recommendation was spot on and made it a lovely afternoon before the evening drama that would later unfold.

    The employees at Azzaz were super friendly and happy to have foreign vistors, they gave us cones on top of the ice cream we'd wanted in cups. If you're in the area, stop by. I think there are 2-3 locations, we went to the went just on a corner near Cafe Azzaz which looks quiet.
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  • Day69

    My God! It's worse

    May 7, 2012 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

    Alexandria has taken over from Cairo as the dirtiest place I've seen.
    In it's defence though Egypt has had a revolution and the infrastructure has collapsed quite a bit, so rubbish collection etc is virtually non - existent.
    Another thing, the taxi drivers are just about the pushiest I've seen anywhere in the world, the almost try and drag you into their cabs, anyone on their own, especially women would be quite afraid.
    Once you get past them though if you turn down the side streets the people are very friendly. We had lots of them saying hello and waiving.
    Children were coming up to us asking our names and not one person tried to sell us anything or ask for money, which made a pleasant change, in fact one little girl offered to share her ice cream with me.
    So all in all despite being a grubby and dirty town, the Egyptian people we met were lovely.
    We are just transiting the Suez canal at this moment and it's quite impressive and totally different to the Panama canal.
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  • Day4

    Oh oh, Complaints

    May 10, 2013 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

    What is it with Royal Caribbean nowadays?
    Their entertainment standards seem to be slipping.
    Last night the act was advised as Soul Sisters and Kings of Pop, but instead of Aretha Franklin or Michael Jackson, tributes or the like.
    We got two girls and two guys from Spain who tried to sing soul in very heavy Spanish accents.
    They were actually better when they sang song's in Spanish, even though we couldn't understand the words.
    Seems like RCCL are cutting costs wherever they can.
    One saving grace is that Karl Lornie is boarding today with the Beatles Celebration tribute band and they are brilliant.
    Anyway we're in Alexandria today, which is a bit of a shit-hole, so probably won't be getting off, unless Ken wants to have a look around, as he's not been before, then I'll go with him.
    Btw, the weather has been brilliant and today we're expecting 27°so I'll be hammering the P20 sun screen.
    We got the Wigan vs Swansea result yesterday, what a disappointment, it looks like they'll be relegated which is a big shame after 9 years in the top flight.
    It's really disappointed Ken, and doubly cheesed him off as it looks like we'll not get to see the FA cup final either, because of the lack of satellite coverage or so they say.
    In my cynical opinion I think RCCL will not pay for the coverage.
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  • Day68

    Alexandria, Egypt

    May 6, 2012 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 75 °F

    I love the diamond lounge, and not just for the free drinks, but for the people you meet.
    Last night I was chatting to Egbert an ex German Airforce piolet and Arthur a Scottish ex North Sea fisherman.
    Really interesting people
    Btw we are docked at the Egyptian port of Alexandria, we stopped here overnight and we leave for Suez at 3pm.
    So I think Jean and I will get off for a look at the town, which I believe is filthy.
    If it's any thing like Cairo which is just about the dirtiest place I've seen, we won't be staying long......
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Alexandria, Alexandrië, እስክንድርያ, Aleixandría, الإسكندرية, ܐܠܟܣܢܕܪܝܐ, اسكندريه, İsgəndəriyyə, Искәндәриә, Горад Александрыя, Александрия, আলেকজান্দ্রিয়া, ཡ་ལི་ཧྲན་ད, আলেক্সান্ড্রিয়া, Aleksandria, Aleksandrija, Искандри, ئەسکەندەریە, Alexandrie, Αλεξάνδρεια, Aleksandrio, Alejandría, Alejandria, اسکندریه, Aleksandrje, Cathair Alastair, Alexandría, એલેક્ઝાન્ડ્રિયા, אלכסנדריה, सिकन्दरिया, Ալեքսանդրիա, ALY, Iskandariyah, Alessandria d'Egitto, アレクサンドリア, ალექსანდრია, Taskendrit, ಅಲೆಕ್ಸಾಂಡ್ರಿಯ, 알렉산드리아, Ӧльӧксандрия, Alexandria Magna, Александрий, Александрија, അലക്സാണ്ട്രിയ, अलेक्झांड्रिया, Iskandariah, အလက်ဇန္ဒရီးယားမြို့, Alessandria e Naggitto, Alexàndria, ਸਿਕੰਦਰੀਆ, اسکندریہ, Iskandariya, Lisàndria dEgittu, Alessandria dEggittu, Aleksandryjo, அலெக்சாந்திரியா, అలెగ్జాండ్రియా, อะเล็กซานเดรีย, Alehandriya, İskenderiye, Александрія, Aleksandriya, Ałesandria dEgito, Aleksandrii, Alegsàndiri, 亚历山大港, אלעקסאנדריע, 亞歷山大港, 亞歷山卓

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