My trip to Alexandria Egypt was back in 2008. Lately, when I was looking through the travel notes, I lost myself in reading about that great trip and decided to publish it on my blog. What makes it so special are the honest impressions of a first time traveler – it really was my first real solo trip. In fact it was a business trip – I was working in a travel agency at the time and was sent over to learn about the destination. Alexandria Egypt and Mediterranean coast made a huge impression on me and infected me with a travel bug for many more journeys ahead.
Day I : Arrival in Alexandria Egypt
I’ve never flown that long in my life. I mean, 4 and half hours isn’t really long, but it seemed like eternity. We landed in total darkness. It’s a really small place – El Alamein International Airport. I have no idea how these crazy pilots find their way around? Never seen any place so dark like the desert! There were no problems at the border, our guide recognized me immediately. It took us only 20 minutes to arrive in Al Alamein hotel.
The hotel is spectacular! The rooms are huge, 4 people could easily fit in here. There is a good reason for that – it’s in the middle of nowhere! Next hotel is hardly to be seen. Everything is very pretty, marmot floors, the terrace is looking over the bay. Wish I could go straight to the beach, but it’s really dark right now. Now I understand where the 1001 nights (collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales) comes from – it gets dark already around 8 pm. That’s why everyone wakes up so early.
The weather is heavenly: +26 C during day time, +20 C at nights. True paradise! I realized how important is to have an AC in the room
(edit on May 12th: AC= diarrhea, headache, fever etc. but I found out about that later).
Day II : Paradise
Wow! Unbelievable! My idea of paradise found a form. No kidding – I have never ever in my life seen such a clear blue water. Others, who have traveled a lot might say there is better, but for me this one is THE prettiest blue water ever. Sadly I must admit I have had too much sun today. Anybody coming from the North like myself, would want to get a nice tan. At least the sun is for free here (unlike jet ski, which I silently dream about trying out).
What bugs me here a little is how the locals stare at women.There are many Italians here, too. Right now I can hear some Italian music.
I’m starting to realize why our Egyptian boss requires us to work so hard back at home. I can see how our local reps struggle to make a living. It’s hard work – keeping the visitors happy. The nature of tourism industry is making it look easy and fun, when in fact the job is stealing your personal life, because you have to work long and exhausting hours and always be available.
It’s still crazy hot in the room and I don’t think I’ll get the smell of chlorine from the pool out of my hair any time soon.
Day III : Alexandria Egypt
Today we visited Alexandria Egypt. What a crazy city! It took us 1 and half hours to get there. The traffic was really quick and I was made fun of when I asked about safely belts. You are not in EU anymore, girl! Every time someone was in the way, our bus driver just pushed the horn. My nerves were about to give up, so I just stared out the side window.
The city streets were almost exactly like in the Aladdin cartoon – I could practically see him jumping the roofs. Traffic is a total chaos – from two lanes Egyptians were making five. Everyone is pushing forward, beeping and doing whatever the hell he wants! Our guide told us that there are traffic lights in Alexandria and they work, too. But in reality no one is paying much attention to them. That’s why there is an armed police officer on almost every intersection and directs the traffic. Not an easy job for sure! As I found out later, there is a reason why there are so many armed forces on the streets – due to terrorist attacks in Sharm el Sheikh resort two years back.
When we stopped for a quick shopping I found myself on a street, alone, for a moment. I really felt uncomfortable – all the stares directed at me, men asking where I’m from, how old I am etc. I kept talking to one guy, but to me they all seemed the same.
To sum up – very unusual for me, unique, beautiful ancient city that is in the same time very modern and European.
Read next – Cairo and Siwa Oasis