In which we are all touristy and go sight-seeing!
Alexandria Travel Blog› entry 18 of 20 › view all entries
April 19th, 2010 – by: anupa_rk
Until we were caught :D
We had climbed onto a ledge that was supposedly out of bounds. In our defense, nowhere did it say that the ledge was out of bounds! It was a high sort of a ledge that looked out onto the city. An awesome awesome view. How could we miss that?! It had taken P all his might to pull me up to the ledge, and I wasn’t going to get off before clicking a few pictures!!
And so, P cajoled the security guy into turning a blind guy for a few moments and I oooh-ed and aaah-ed over the amazing sight before me.
As we jumped down, a caretaker attached himself to us and began explaining the history and the architecture of the citadel to us. In Arabic! And so, P had to play translator for me. But in all fairness, the guy was quite knowledgeable and his stories were much more believable than the ones P and I had cooked up on our own ;)
After a long walk around the Citadel, we stepped out and grabbed some ice cream from what P claimed was the best ice cream shop in the whole of Egypt! (It’s just outside the Citadel... I don’t know the name). I had imagined that I would be asked what flavor I wanted.. in what size.. etc etc. But all I was asked was whether I wanted a cup or a cone. And then this ice cream guy expertly filled up my cone with ALL of the flavors available!! So I had this super cool multi colored multi flavored cone of delicious ice cream! I am usually not a vanilla-strawberry fan.
The sun was high in the sky and hunger pangs had begun attacking us mercilessly. And so we decided to put the sightseeing on hold for a bit while we appeased our appetites! :D
Alexandria.. the coastal city on the shores of the Mediterranean... What better meal to have here than some lovely sea food?!! We hopped into this joint famous for shrimps. And was it yummm or what! Most delicious shrimps I have ever tasted! I wish I could've eaten more.
That was the story with all the food I had in Egypt, you know. I wish I could've eaten more! I would eat till I was stuffed.. and then, later in the day, I would remember the deliciousness and wish that I could've eaten some more!
Right now, as I sit at my desk back in my office in India.
Anyways, lunch done, we decided to go see the famous library of Alexandria. The story goes that the ancient library of Alexandria was one of the best in the world. And it was destroyed, in part, by Caesar. For which Cleopatra was mighty pissed with him! Anyhow, the present library of Alexandria is a dedication to that ancient marvel and is the pride of Egypt! It houses some of the oldest scripts found by mankind.. including the oldest papyrus. And it is highly modernised, with all its content available online. Apart from being a library, it also serves as a museum and a gallery.
It was pretty awesome to see this achievement that has been lauded world wide. Apparently, the French were so pleased with this undertaking, that they donated half a million French books to the library, making it the largest collection of French literature outside of France.
Lovely as the library was, we couldn't hang around for very long. We had joined up with this tour group where the lady guide was explaining about the history of the library and how it came to be. And her voice was so monotonous.. and the temperature of the building was so comfortable.. I knew I would fall asleep right there if I stayed!
So we set out once again. The sun and the lack of sleep were getting to P and he said he couldn’t walk another step unless he had downed some more coffee. Usually all the streets in Egypt seem to be littered with coffee shops. There never seemed to be a dearth of these joints. But this time, when we set out looking for one, there were none to be seen!! We walked on the main road... cut into the side alleys.. searched all we could.. But there was no coffee shop to be found! Now even I had begun to get frustrated! The sun was burning hot and my feet were beginning to protest.
Finally, like an oasis in a desert, we saw a dim sign saying “Coffee”!! The shop was a run down establishment.. we were the only people who dared enter it.. the staff didnt really seem to care... But they served coffee!
And so we sat down. And over the next few hours, we chatted away like the best of friends.. about life.. about dreams.. about desires! Yup, lack of sleep and loads of coffee makes you feel quite profound .. And builds friendships like nothing else!! :D
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