A brief meeting with Alex

Sun, 21 Apr 2002 12:58:49 +0900

I arrived at Ramses Station in Cairo abot 6:30am, this morning. After weighing the options, I decided to hop straight onto a train to Alexandria. I arrived in Alexander's fabled city about 10:00am. I considered going straight onto the 11:00am bus to Siwa. But following up 11 hours of rail travel with an 8 hour bus ride didn't appeal.

So, I spent the day wondering around Alexandria, seeing what there is to see. There's not much. Very little of the ancient city remains. There is a small Roman amphitheater. I snapped a few photos there and a few more of the harbor. You can almost see how the harbor might have looked, aside from the lack of any structures from antiquity. Along the harbor is a fort built by the Arabs in 9th century.

I didn't make it to the outer beaches (where Egyptian women swim fully clothed) but maybe catching spray qualifies as touching the Mediterranean.

Food is good here. That actually weighed in my decision to stay over. Good Greek food. Good sea food. Food in Luxor is best described as frustrating. Restaurants serve rather lame middle eastern food and that's from someone who *likes* middle eastern food. When they try Western dishes, one wonders if they cook is paying any attention at all. One place defines "calzone" as a sausage and egg pizza. Another, when I ordered mousaka, served some kind of stew. Tandori chicken without a hint of tomato.

Oh well. I real mousaka today. I can deal with the desert tomorrow. I will be in Siwa some small number of days. I expect there is no Internet there. But, you never know.