Near the end of our trip, we spent a few days in Alexandria. The city is right on the coast of the Mediterranean and our hotel looked out onto the water. We enjoyed touring and exploring the city in our free time.
–On the way to Alexandria, we stopped at two Coptic monasteries and were given very interesting tours through the churches and the monks’ cells there. We even got to sit in on part of a service, where lots of monks were chanting and swinging incense. It was very cool and interesting to see!
–My favorite part of Alexandria was going to the catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa. Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages, this necropolis consists of a series of tombs and archeological objects that meld Egyptian style with Roman and Greek influences. We unfortunately weren’t able to take pictures in it, but it was truly spectacular. The tombs were huge and expansive, and were very interesting to explore.
– While we were at the Qaitbay Citadel, a small group of schoolchildren arrived shortly after us on a tour. While we tried to pay attention to our guide, they ran around the huge fortress all the while shouting at us “WHAT’S YOUR NAME?!”, most likely the only English phrase they knew. We got a kick out of it!
– We also went to Pompey’s Pillar (the largest Roman triumphal column constructed outside of Rome and Constantinople) and Kom al-Dikka (also known as the ROman amphitheater).
– the library of Alexandria was huge, beautiful, and had a lot of interesting art exhibitions. We didn’t have nearly enough time to explore it all, but I thoroughly enjoyed it regardless.