Cairo Day 6: Alexandria Part 1

The writing style might be a bit different today, Steve is writing it.

On day 6 we went to Alexandria. We went to the Roman Amphitheater, the Alexandria National History Museum, Fort Qaitbay, a little "aquarium", and Pompey's Pillar.

We managed to wake up early enough to make the 8am train to Alexandria (just "Alex" to the locals), from the Ramses train station. Tickets were very cheap, 35 pounds, about $6, per person each way. The trip lasted about an hour and a half. Immeadietly after walking out of the station in Alex we bumped into a group of students from our university. We chatted a bit and went over to the Roman Amphitheater with them. The acoustics were pretty good, and there was in impressive line of standing columns (does it become a row if it falls over?).
The view overlooking the Roman Amphitheater


Steve in front of the theatre seats

Standing columns

Corinthian column detailing

Then we went off on our own to look for the Alexandria National Museum. It was quite difficult to find, we ended up walking about for half an hour, and then just taking a cab to the address we had. Finding a taxi driver that spoke English was difficult, much more so than in Cairo, and the one we did find had never heard of the museum.  On the way the driver stopped to ask several  people how to get to the museum, but we eventually navigated our way there. This little museum is almost the opposite of the Egyptian Museum; everything was wonderfully displayed, well explained, and well taken care of. The museum itself looked fairly new, housed in a converted mansion. The planning for the museum was excellent, even using the wine cellar as a sort of tomb, with a sarcophagus down there. The greco-roman artifacts were very interesting, and on the top floor there were artifacts from the early Islamic period.  Unfortunately, photography wasn't allowed, so no pictures from there.

Then we took a cab out to the tip of the peninsula beside the harbor, to Fort Qaitbay. The fort, which was built a long time ago, is really big. It was crowded with locals, who only pay about 50 cents to get in, and some of the younger boys took great interest in us. One group of tweens just wanted to test their English curse words on us.

The Harry Potter transport van we saw outside of the fort! So cool!


Exterior of the Fort.  It was very impressive.

Entrance to the Fort.

Tiling on the floor inside the Fort.

View of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina from the Fort.  Unfortunately we didn't get to go due to time constraints, however we heard later it was closed because of Eid.

Steve looking dashing in the Fort.

A very common question in Egypt was "Where you from?," and I had gotten bored of ignoring people, so I started naming off the moons of Jupiter. This led to some confusion, and so it was that one young boy became convinced that my name was "Ganamie" (a mispronunciation of Ganymede). I decided that his name should be Stanley, and his two friends should be George and Micheal. It was pretty funny to argue with them about their own names. We had a really good time humoring these boys for almost an hour. Here is an example of how the conversation went:

Stanley: Hey Ganamie! How you like Egypt man!? You have a good time?
Ganamie: Yes, we are enjoying ourselves pretty well. How are you?
Stan: OH MY GAWSH! It is so beautiful here! You like WWE?
Gan: Huh?
Stan: WWE, John Cena, The Undertaker, Triple X!
Gan: Oh, like wrestling? No, not really.
Micheal: Hey! Look! (gives me a thumbs up and a big grin)
Gan: Ha Ha, very good! Shouldn't you be in school?
Stan: OH MY GAWSH! No way man, school is no good. Hey, take our picture. You know Obama?

One group of boys who followed us around inside the Fort.

George, Michael, and Stanley clammoring to follow us on the Fort grounds.

They followed us around wherever we went. I had to tell them that Abby was "my woman", and "no, don't touch her, she is mine" in order to get them to give her some space. Eventually they got themselves in trouble with the security by climbing on the crenelations, and we lost them in the crowds.  We had several other photo ops with the locals while at the fort, it was like a day of being a mini-celebrity.

A group photo with some of the boys.  The two in the middle are Stanley and Michel.  George is behind Stanley's elbow, and the other kids just jumped in when they saw us taking a picture.

Another view from the Fort. 

The Fort was so crowded.  This is the pier outside of the fort.

We tried really hard to get more photos of both of us together on this trip!

Our trip to Alex ended up being jam packed full of awesome fun and pictures, so we'll have to finish the day in the next post!

Catch up on the rest of our trip:
Holy Mother of Chaos
Cairo Day 0
Cairo Day 1