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Written by Shiv_aroor |
December 22, 2006 4:12:21 pm

That Al-iskandariya, the more fetching name in Arabic for Alexandria, was founded 2,300 years ago isn’t something that stands up and smacks you in the face as you pull off the 221-km desert highway from Cairo, but that didn’t bring me down a whole lot. With a fortnight of being unremittingly drunk on arcane civilisation (and locally brewed Sakara lager) in the Nile Valley behind me, I was prepared to welcome, a little irrationally, a head-on plunge back into that profound vagueness we call the real world. But like almost everything else in Egypt, nothing is quite as it first seems.,tennis only wa

blackjack ballroom casino no deposit bonus,The most immediately arresting aspect of Alexandria is, quite simply, the 10-km long Mediterranean esplanade along its Eastern harbour, margined with short intermittent patches of white beach and treacherous sea-sprayed rock, all of it flanked on the other side of the road by high-rises, cafés and hotels, which collectively fortify the magnificent sea face from the inner recesses of the city. Think of it as Marine Drive, about six times over. If Alexandria were to be visited just for this, it would be worth it.

The obvious draw, after I trawled through kitschy tourist flyers, was Alexandria’s ancient library, built in the third century BC by the Greek Pharaoh Ptolemy II, the destruction of which continues to occupy Egyptologists with a controversial vitality that is deeply reassuring. With no one really still clear about how the library disappeared, in its known place in the city’s Palace quarter, now stands the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a tasteful 160-metre long sundial shaped structure inaugurated in 2002 with a capacity for eight million books and a superb manuscript restoration laboratory. You quickly learn that President Hosni Mubarak, with fat donations from a handful of Arab states, wants to recreate for the city the academic vitality that drew the finest European scholars from across the Mediterranean 2,000 years ago. Until, of course, the sixth century AD when Ottoman rulers founded Cairo and reduced Alexandria to a paltry fishing hamlet with a crooked courseline of piers in what is now the Eastern Harbour.,free casino apps

pba live score,In a post-9/11 world where Egypt copes with being a resolute US ally and the native land of Mohammad Atta who piloted American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower, the Egyptian government considers Alexandria a valuable political asset, adequately “westernised”, relatively unscathed by the resurgent national fundamentalism, and quite boldly externalised from the conservatism that pervades much of the rest of the country. So while wearing shorts to the Giza Zoo in Cairo is a no-no, in Alexandria, if it wasn’t for beautifully cold December, bunches of pink Europeans manoeuvre the esplanade in a brevity of clothing that Egyptians, quite frankly, still cannot stomach. But Alexandria, it’s like a licence-free zone.

The city is liberally peppered with Greco-Roman antiquities, the most well-known among them Pompey’s Pillar (you’re told, with a touch of embarrassment, that it had nothing to do with Pompey, the ancient Roman military leader, but rather Emperor Diocletian), sole survivor of earthquakes that have claimed almost all of the ancient city.,games online free

game texas holdem poker,Closer to the palace quarter near the sea-front is Alexandria’s most rewarding excavation — the ancient Roman amphitheatre, called Kom al Dikka.

cro vs rus,At 200 Egyptian pounds a pop, there’s something in Alexandria that even Alexandrians, by and large, haven’t seen — the astounding underwater excavation of the ancient Royal Quarter that was dragged down by a mini tsunami in the fourth century, and with it the Palace of Cleopatra. It was here, apparently, that the Queen stuck her hand into a case full of asps before the Byzantines swept in and heralded a few centuries of Roman rule. The underwater museum is probably one of Egypt’s best-kept antiquities, possibly because it is maintained with funds raised by some European called Franck Goddio. In summer, they’ll even allow you to snorkel above, so I’ve decided to go back in June.

What I could not miss, especially since it had been hammered home repeatedly by loquacious and unsolicited stranger guides, was the seafood of Alexandria. Near the fishing boat docks, I found one of Alexandria’s best called Fish Paradiso. It had begun to drizzle just a little and across the road in the sea, biliously coloured fishing boats were pulling back to shore. Through the glass façade, an old couple was pulling on cigars, while an Arab youth tossed some fresh catch onto a cake of ice. I ducked inside, the smell of fresh fish like a sledgehammer, and in half an hour for , was served a full grilled mackerel, a full fried red mullet, batter-fried calamari (it is better here than anywhere else in the world, and you must trust me on that) and lemon-marinated shrimp in the shell.,bet365 online sports betting live

porto b fc,One thing I’ll recommend outright is speed-walking down Alexandria’s underbelly, its dingy crowded market quarter, through miles of bakery and sea-food vendors full with stringy tentacled fare, where Harleys thunder past horse-carriages, emerging out onto the sea-front for about four kilometres, and then, when you’re sort of breaking a slight cold winter sweat, sitting down at one of the sea-facing outdoor cafés, getting a hibiscus tea and an apricot hookah, and reminding yourself that you’re here.

for want of a better word meaning,I’m told it has never ceased to work.

casino royale wallpaper,How to get there

fortunes of sparta slot,From outside Egypt, international flights to Cairo. Internal flight from Cairo or a train from Ramses Station. Buses depart from the Abdel Mouneem Riyad termainal. Those with private transport can take a direct road from Cairo to Alexandria.

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