Our approach to Alexandria on the Nile Delta was delayed, so it was early afternoon by the time our ship – Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas – docked and we were given clearance to go ashore.
Our first view of Alexandria, with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina centre stage
Entering Alexandria’s Western Harbour
Ras el-Tin Palace across the Western Harbour
From just outside the port gates, we took a rather rustic horse and carriage into the centre of town. It was a great way to enter this historic country, but Rich’s allergies suffered for the rest of the day!
On the way into town
Bidding farewell to our rather dusty transportation, we made a beeline for the famous Bibliotheca Alexandrina, only to discover it was still closed for lunch. Alas, this wasn’t to be the last instance that day where timing wasn’t on our side.
The landward side of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina
An Ancient Egyptian statue near the entrance to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The reflecting pool on the seaward side of the library
Alexandria Planetarium, with the library in the background
We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the centre of Alexandria on foot.
Sheep penned up on the side of the street
An interesting park and column (not Pompey’s Pillar) in the centre of Alexandria
A mosque? An apartment block? Or perhaps both?
At Kom-al-Dikka we saw our first ruins in Egypt… which were Roman!
Roman ruins in Egypt!
We gradually wound our way back to the grand square called Midan Saad Zaghloul. From there we followed the shore of the Eastern Harbour around to Fort Qaitbey.
Saad Zaghloul Pasha and Cleopatra looking out to sea from Midan Saad Zaghloul
Alexandria’s Eastern Harbour
The Eastern Harbour, with the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque on the left and Fort Qaitbey on the right
View across the Eastern Harbour to Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque
Looking across the Eastern Harbour towards Fort Qaitbey
Monument to The Unknown Soldier
King of Mango!
Fort Qaitbey was built in the 1480s on the site of Alexandria’s Pharos Lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Infuriatingly, the fort was just closing as we arrived.
We did, however, get to see an enthusiastic and energetic parade on the causeway leading up to the fort.
With the Sun starting to set, we cut through the Ottoman District (Anfushi), past the gorgeous Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque. The sights, sounds and smells of this residential part of Alexandria were like nothing I’ve experienced before or since.
Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque
Entering the Ottoman District (Anfushi) of Alexandria
We had a wonderful day in Alexandria, but barely scratched the surface of the ‘Pearl of the Mediterranean’ . Hopefully, I’ll be able to return one day and delve much deeper!
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