Since our last post, we spent more one day in Cairo during which we spent the morning seeing Coptic Cairo (the small Christian part of the city, picture to the left), which had a couple of nice churches, as well as Egypt's oldest synagogue. Afterward, we took the metro back into downtown and spent the next 3 hours at the Egyptian Museum (the red building), where most of the ancient antiquities that were excavated are actually housed. The highlight there were seeing the actual mummies, as well as King Tut's tomb. However, most things were not very well labeled, so there wasn't tons of reading on there.
After the museum we grabbed a late lunch of Kushari, which is a bowl of noodles with lentils, chick peas, dried onions, and tomato sauce. It was really good, and lunch for two cost less than $2.
We arrived in Alexandria on Monday night and right away liked it much better than Cairo. It is way less hectic and crowded, and smells much better. The pollution in Cairo was getting to be a little too much. The whole city smells like an exhaust pipe. Alexandria on the other hand, is located on the Mediterranean, north west of Cairo and is a city closer in size to Toronto. The people here don't hassle us as much, so we're able to just walk around and enjoy the city.
During our first full day here, we walked along the waterfront to see the old fort (the white brick building) that sits at the tip of the bay, and afterward just went to get lost in the streets. We found a bustling souq (market) which had tons of fish, seafood, meats, fruits and vegetables. There were also some live chickens and rabbits, freshness is key! After grabbing some felafel and fuul (beans) we went to see the Alexandria Library, which was recently built and is the new cultural centre of this city. It was really nice and also had a planetarium. Unfortunately we arrived too late to catch a film there, but we still enjoyed it. Last night we went to smoke sheesha (apple-flavoured tobacco in a water pipe) and play backgammon for a couple of hours. Sadly, Tara kicked my ass... plenty of time for redemption still.
Now you're basically caught up. Tomorrow, we're leaving to go to the Western Desert and staying at an oasis. Not sure what internet is going to be like there, so the next post might be a long one like this.