Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Conquering Alexandria In Egypt With Weapons of Inquisitiveness and Fun

Alexandria Library is the biggest library in the world in terms of size. It has a very interesting architrctural structure from outside and when we went inside, the massive expanse was a breathtaking sight. The tall roof, thousands of books and quietness that makes libraries such a sacred place to be in. Unforgettable.

After a satisfactory night's sleep we headed towards Alexandria in the morning. Thankfully we started more or less on time. We had interesting discussions on middle eastern politics, the complex divide between Sunnis and Shias and how countries like Libya, Lebanon and even Egypt suffered because of the misgivings of their own people. We stopped over for tea. Interestingly an armed guard was accompanying us. It was a precautionary move because of the current political situation in Egypt. To be honest I haven't witnessed anything untoward in Egypt so far. Everything seems normal. People may not be rich but they are pleasant and very hospitable.

The Citadel of Quaitbay has a majestic appeal. It was built in 1480 AD on the same sight where the Lighthouse was destroyed. The lighthouse was amongst the seven wonders of the Ancient world. The Mediterranean sea adjacent to the Citadel has a delightful tinge of green-blue water with waves playfully hitting the stones at the shore.

The statue of Pompey was built in 210 AD. It holds a regal class the moment you set your eyes on it. French rulers Louis 14th and 15th tried to excavate this statue and take it along with themselves to France but the people of Alexandria refused. Ironically, shabby housing colonies have been built in the immediate vicinity of this glorious Statue. It somehow robs it of its sheen. Also, the area around it isn't poprerly maintained. Somehow I can equate this with the sorry manner in which the great monuments are maintained in India. In fact the situation in India is much worse.

The journey back to Cairo was marked with varied discussions on movies, peppered with fun asides. It is wonderful that the bunch of journalists are all chilled out. Also the officials from Egyptian Tourism have been very professional and heartwarmingly friendly. I am writing this at 3 am in the morning as we are speeding towards the airport. We've got an early morning flight to Luxor today. Hopefully it would be fun.