The first thing that popped up when I first heard about the city of Alexandria was whether it was related to Alexander the Great. A little bit of research cleared my doubt that yes he discovered this city. Excited as ever to visit and experience a new city, we set forth for our next big adventure: Alexandria.
Just four hours drive to the north from Cairo, the landscape of the city changed entirely as we reached Alexandria. The Mediterranean coastline appeared from behind the huddle, giving this city a distinct appearance. As we moved parallel to the coastline, it connected me to Mumbai, specifically Marine drive as that entire portion of Alexandria can be called as a replica. It was difficult to say at this juncture whether I was in Alexandria or in Mumbai.
After doing away with the accommodation formalities we freshened up and moved towards our first spot: The library of Alexandria. This library is the 4th largest library in today’s world and was the largest and the most significant library in the ancient world. It has a collection of books, few records of ancient writings and is well equipped with internet facility. This library was burned down years ago which lead to loss of several ancient and historic writings and maybe ancient formulas about the elixir of life. We got an opportunity to go inside the library and witness all the collection, which left us stunned at the amount of knowledge which was available there at that moment around us. It was certain that one lifetime wouldn’t be enough to gain all the knowledge in those books.
The fortress and our next spot to explore lied at the extremity of the coastline: Citadel of Qaitbay. I imagined about the time when it was built while being thoroughly engrossed into the history and architecture of this mighty citadel. Walking inside the citadel into different rooms and hallways I sensed the vibes as if all the activities of the ancient times were happening live. From the top of the citadel, one could observe people getting a thrill out of various water activities. The sea breeze steadily touched my cheeks as I stood on the top, taking all those vibes and capturing memories.
That evening we went to montazah palace in Alexandria. This palace was built overlooking the sea and has vast gardens around it. We could view it from outside and linger in the gardens, because entry inside the palace was restricted. That evening the sunset was impeccable with hues of colours as if nature was enticing us with its beauty. What a lucky king he must have been to watch sunset’s everyday from his palace! For a moment everyone fell silent and all eyes were towards the sun admiring the scenery and contrasting colours of the nature. Everyone had just ‘WOW’ on their lips irrespective of the various languages that were spoken. How fortunate were we! Maybe I had witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets of Alexandria.
Next day, our last and final spot in Alexandria was the Roman amphitheatre. This theater was discovered during excavation due to which most of the part is in ruins. Hence the amphitheater was alright and can be missed if you have lack of time for Alexandria.
In conclusion, Alexandria has hustle and bustle of the big cities along with blend of history and the Mediterranean coast. It can also be termed as the pearl of Mediterranean. Also there’s a lot to explore, lot to learn and to experience. In addition, one can combine Alexandria with other coastal towns on the Mediterranean for a beach vacation. In any case, this two day Alexandria trip was a beautiful get-away from Cairo and absolutely recommended one!