Now I feel like I can wave my hand to greet my European friends on the other side of the Mediterranean.
Alexandria is the second biggest city in Egypt, with almost 5 million people. I stayed here with couch surfer Omar, a very smart and friendly Alexandrian. This is a normal city, some parts pretty, some others not so much. Altogether it’s a very enjoyable place. In some streets the shops display their goods outside, any as they may be, bread, spices, chickens, etc.
The food I tasted here was great. From local kofta, shawarma and koshari (which is a mix of pasta, rice and chickpeas) to hamburgers and even a potato-pizza that was delicious. Food in Egypt is usually inexpensive, and you can get a freshly squeezed juice for 0,25 USD in most streets.
Alexandria was not Arab on its origins, it was founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great and conquered by Rome in 30 BC. It was finally conquered by Arabs in 641 AD. The former World Wander Lighthouse of Alexandria was built around 250 BC and it collapsed before the 15th century AD due to earthquakes. In its place they built the Citadel of Qaitbay, whose fortress protected the city against the Turks.
The fortress is still standing on its entirety, and the views of the city and the sea from there are really great. The hole area is vivid and nice to walk by.
Then there was the Ancient Library of Alexandria that was burned and destroyed through time before the 7th century. Nowadays there is a modern yet impressive library that holds a great collection of books and small exhibitions including old and ancient books and papyrus scrolls.
This city didn’t let me down a bit, I really enjoyed my time here. I go back to Cairo then to prepare for the next trip.