in the distance!
We drove 66 miles from Alexandria to get to a war museum that had info about the battle of El Alamein
and other North African battles. By American standards it was somewhat run down, but it was fun nonetheless. There were old planes and military vechicles outside, and we had fun playing in those, except that it was really hot (big suprise) and that the gorgeous ocean was in sight. After being in Cairo
with the not-too-appealing Nile, I was stoked to see an ocean/sea/whatever. Being from Santa Cruz, I felt that it wasn't even summer without the beach.
After leaving the museum we headed to some kind of camp or something.
They let us swim in a pool, and a leader of the group, Jala, informed us that even though there was a clear blue, beautiful, white sand beach on the horizon we weren't allowed to swim in it. The pool was an awful substitute. We pouted and whined until and talked about how angry we were until lunch. Lunch was a buffet - a strange mixture of chinese, middle eastern, and indian. Maybe it was the hunger, but I thought it was excellent. Our pouting won - and we got to go to the beach. They would only let us swim at a hotel's beach. It was the best beach I've been to - ever. I could have stayed there forever. There are some good, clean hotels between Alexandria and Al Alamein, they are much cheaper than the ones in Alexandria and the beaches are FAR BETTER. The only problem with this beach was the jellyfish - every five minutes one person would curse and come running back to the sand.
the gorgeous beach....
They were little stings that resulted in small welts mostly on our upper legs. Even after I got stung I got back in the ocean, it was that nice.
We got back on our bus and made our way back to the city. The bus ride was long - but it was an obvious blessing in many ways. It gave us time to digest our experiences at the north shore and see more countryside. Our bus driver pulled over on the side of the road for 30 minutes so he could buy figs. I saw a little hut up on a hill, with 6 people inside. There was nothing for miles and miles around them. After the fig stop we continued on for another twenty minutes until the bus started to slow and slow. We had a flat tire out in the middle of the desert. We waited for two or three hours as our host families back in the city waited for us. We waited at a small store-like place in the dark where some Egyptians looked at us, but no one could really communicate because our Arabic was pretty awful.
We made it home finally, four or five hours late. My host mom was annoyed and we didn't get to eat dinner. My roomate and I let our sunburns settle in and knew that we needed to get up in four hours to start another day.