Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Alexandria, Egypt, Part II

Eva and I finished up our last night in Alexandria with dinner at one of the best seafood places in town, The Fish Market. Before we even had a chance to order, our table was filled with enough mezze (Arabian appetizers) to feed us for days!

To select entrees, there was no menu. You had to go to the freezer and pick it out yourself, specifying how much you wanted by weight. Luckily the chefs were friendly and helpful and we had fun hamming it up for the camera with them!

Dinner was tasty, but it was a little intimidating being served a whole fish and having to worry about things like scales and bones. I could definitely use a bit more practice in that department! Eva is a vegetarian, so she had no such problems.

After dinner, a group of gentlemen sitting near us sent over a round of Egyptian beer. They introduced themselves and we learned they were dentists on holiday from Greece. It was fun talking to them about their impressions of Egypt and also to hear a bit about life in Greece.

Yesterday we took a carriage (Hantoor) ride along the corniche from our hotel to one of the largest mosques in the city. The mosque was very ornate and we had to take off our shoes and cover our heads to go inside. There is a separate section for women apart from the main mosque and were were surprised to learn that photography is allowed and even encouraged.

From the mosque, we walked to Fort Qatibey, which looks almost like a sand castle sitting on the edge of the corniche.

We had to catch a train yesterday evening to Cairo in order to catch our sleeper train to Aswan. The sleeper car was very basic - two bunk beds and a sink - but much better than sitting upright in a chair for the fourteen hour ride! Dinner and breakfast were included, but inedible so we ate granola bars (thanks Dad!) and some of the multitude of nuts and dried fruit that I impulsively purchased in Doha (7 pounds of trail mix anyone?).

As we were rolling in to Aswan, some little boys caught our attention outside the train. They made motions of a camera with their hands and it was clear they are used to incoming tourists taking pictures of them.

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