Thursday, 19 June 2008

A few days in Alexandria

Hi from Clare, Thursday 19/6 Photo 1 - Montaza Palace Photo 2 - Alexandra Photo 3 - The beach along the corniche Photo 4 - Picnic lunch out of town We have spent the last few days in Alexandria visiting The Montaza Palace and Gardens (one of the old Egyptian King's residents), strolling along the corniche (boulevard) that runs along the Mediterranean coast, shopping in the chaos of the city, visiting Patrick's old school (which hasn't changed much since he attended some thirty years ago), touring the war museum and cemetery at Al-Alamein (site of a Second World War battle for control of North Africa), eating out at a lovely roof top Chinese restaurant and having a picnic on the beach. For most of the time, Kathryn has been busy at work each day and so we have had the benefit of her company car and driver. Talk about thoroughly spoilt, a clean, modern, air conditioned car with a safe driver is a luxury. We have seen enough of the speeding traffic on the freeways and the congestion in the narrow back streets to know this is not the place to hire a car and expect to live. Alexandria, with a population of 5 million, is the second biggest city in Egypt. In the summer months people from Cairo come here to the beach. The water is lovely and warm and once out of the city the sandy beaches are good. In Alexandria however the beach is a strip along the corniche, it is packed with people and heavily polluted by the constant stream of traffic. I couldn't help but think how lucky we are in Australia to stroll along a deserted beach in total peace. After spending 5 weeks on the EMYR rally this last few days in Alexandria has been very relaxing. It has given us the opportunity to slow down, catch up on some sleep and get ready for the next adventure. Today we will travel down to Cairo to catch the overnight train to Aswan. We will take a four day cruise on the Nile stopping each day to do some site seeing and then on to Sharm el-Sheik for some snorkeling and diving. Over the next week I will write whenever I can get internet access. love CANDY