Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Alexandria (March 19-20)

There really isn't a lot of History to see in Alexandria. Very little Greek and Roman is left. We did go into Roman catacombs and a Roman Amphitheater. The catacomes are a series of tunnels, shafts and rooms mined out of sandstone where Romans had been buried. The art carved into the walls was a strange mix of influences from ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman. In includes art of the mummification process--that gets it wrong.

The Alexandria National Museum includes sections on the Pharaohic periods (Old, Middle and New), the Coptic and the Muslim periods. A great, relatively small museum. It includes some of the treasures found off the coast near where the Ancient Alexandria Lighthouse was.

Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt--about 2 million people. Traffic is not quite as bad as Cairo but still chaotic. It is a beautiful setting on the Mediterranean. It is the largest industrial port in Egypt (which we didn't see).

Had a chance to walk around the downtown shopping district. It is a series of small shops. We seem to at first be in the shoe section--shop after shop selling shoes. We then get into the cell phone section--again, shop after shop selling cell phones. Did pass two appliance stores--they have a much greater variety of colors for major appliances--bright red, blue and yellow are options. Otherwise, selection looks similar to US (except it seems to be on the smaller size end--no mammoth refrigerators, only apartment size clothes washers.

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