Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Day 5: Alexandria

We got out in Alexandria and immediately noticed a difference in the air. Cairo has a distinctive smell, dusty and sharp - it's quite polluted and smoggy - and dry, at least by my standards though it's wet for Egypt. Alexandria, however, was actually muggy, and often there's a tang of salt in the air. This city feels quite Mediterranean, in fact - which it is, having been built by the Greeks and occupied by the Romans.

In fact, our first stop was a Roman amphitheater


dating to the fourth century AD (we pooh-pooed these newfangled ruins - only 1600 years old? That's yesterday!) which was discovered in the sixties by some folks who were planning to put a public park on the site. It has to be frustrating - there you are, laying out where the playground and the sandbox are going to be, someone gets his foot stuck in a hole and lo and behold: another @*&%%! ruin. The antiquities guys come out and dig up a Roman amphitheater complex, and now where are we gonna put the swingset? C'mon!

This amphitheater was very lovely indeed, and I fooled around sitting on the bleachers and pretending to go to a show.

IMG_0507 alexandria

The view was quite fine


though it looks like the stage would have to have been pretty small.

There was also a bath complex with comfy marble bathtubs. Dad admired the wavy-marble pillars:

IMG_0512 alexandria

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