Friday, April 9, 2010

We had another early start today, up at 5:40am to have breakfast and leave at 7am.

We drove to Alexandria, stopping at a very nice roadside stop along the way, where my girls each bought their favourite things: shoes for Rox and a book for Paula.

As we drove to Alexandria Wael spoke to us about life in modern Egypt. He told us all about the school system, housing, the Muslim religion, married life etc etc. He gave us personal insights into his life, which I found so interesting.

On arrival at Alexandria we went directly to the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa.

Unfortunately, cameras were not allowed

Quite an extraordinary place, I found it a bit creepy. What I found even more creepy were the toilet facilities outside. Honestly, if you ever have the good fortune to be able to spend some time in Alexandria, find somewhere else to go to the loo! Trust me on this!

Then it was on to Pompey’s pillar – quite a nice place to take a walk around (and it has good loos!) but after the temples we had seen, this felt a little ho-hum!

We then headed off to the Roman Amphitheatre.

Again, it was quite impressive, but I always get to the point on a tour where I compare everything I am seeing to what went before. Had I seen this amphitheatre on Day 1, I would no doubt have been all “Wow! Awesome!” – I am ashamed to admit it, but today I found the little kitten that was strolling about way more interesting than the amphitheatre.

Rox in " Cleopatra's bath"

Next stop was the Alexandria Museum.

 I found the signage in this museum far better than at the Egyptian museum, it was also less crowded, so easier to get around. Dad was extremely clever and while we were browsing the museum he wandered off and found a bakery (apparently you exit the museum and turn left) where he bought us THE most delicious savoury nibbles.

Final stop was a beautiful mosque – this was a first for our family.

The mosque was in use at the time, so we had to be very quiet and unobtrusive, so as not to disturb the people who were praying and doing a type of religious dance. The men had to enter one side and the women another – we were able to see through into the men’s side from our side.  All very interesting.

Not my most gorgeous moment!

We finally drove to our hotel right on the Med. It’s a lovely hotel and all the rooms have very good views.

Some members of our tour were lucky enough to be allocated the presidential suite and a couple of the executive suites. Seeing as it’s Grant’s birthday I really feel we should have got one of those ;-) Walter has been given the Presidential Suite!

The setting for our evening meal was absolutely gorgeous and the meal was lovely. Our tables were laid out alongside a pool, which was very beautiful, but it did get quite chilly.

 Jose’ and Alexandria announced their engagement over dinner, so that was very exciting. A great big cake was brought out for Grant’s birthday, and for the happy couple.

Walter invited up to his suite for a drink after supper. We had such fun seeing how the other half lives! We couldn’t find the glasses, so there we sat in the Presidential Suite, drinking Amarula out of toothbrush mugs! Walter decided he needed to record his moment of importance on video, so he planted himself behind the desk, assigned Dad as his Personal Assistant and began to dictate matters of national importance, in-between answering “phone calls” no doubt from heads of state, while Grant filmed the scene. I don’t know whether it had anything to do with the Egyptian wine (Omar Khayyam, nice!) we had with dinner, but we laughed till we cried.

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