Caitlin Coyle’s Blog

Alexandria.

Posted in Uncategorized by caitlincoyle on May 19, 2009

What I can tell you about Alexandria is this: Make a hotel reservation before arriving. Though there are a number of places to stay throughout Alexandria, the term “hotel” is used rather generously. In reality, most hotels are really hostels, with more rats and cockroaches inside than guests.

Members of our group learned this lesson the hard way. We were dropped on a side street in front of a place that I have renamed “hotel hell”. I wont get into the details, but as you can gather from the name, the place was far from pleasant.

Of course, there are a number of beautiful hotels throughout Alexandria if you are able to spend the extra pounds.

Alexandria itself is an enchanting city. We shared a delicious dinner at the well-known restaurant Fish Market that sits right on the Nile. There is a fresh selection of fish sitting on a bed of ice as you enter the restaurant. When ordering, you walk up to the counter and select the raw piece of fish to be grilled, fried or steamed.

Hands down, the best fish I’ve ever had.

The next morning was spent along the Mediterranean. After weeks of covering a majority of our skin, we were finally allowed a little freedom. The girls were able to lie out and let their shoulders and backs be exposed to the warm sunlight.

We learned that the beach was also popular spot for young couples to meet under the umbrellas. While there we noticed a number of couples flirting and enjoying some privacy under the large beach umbrellas.

The Catacombs of Kom el-Shukafa and the Attarine Mosque followed the beach. I walked deep inside the catacombs, while trying not to focus on the fact that I was walking among the dead. The Attarine Mosque was serene and peaceful. I feel a sense of tranquility inside every mosque that I have the pleasure of visiting. Their enormity and exquisite detail astounds me as I consider the countless hours of work devoted to a place of worship.

Even for an unreligious person, the experience is moving. 

 

 

A glimpse of the ceiling in the Attarine Mosque in Alexandria

A glimpse of the ceiling in the Attarine Mosque in Alexandria

 

Notice the detail on the hanging lanterns.

Notice the detail on the hanging lanterns.

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2 Responses

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  1. Aunt Kiki said, on May 20, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Oh, Caity you are really getting an education. What an adventure: “hotel hell!” And your description of catacombs reminds me of the only ones I have ever been in, right here in Balimore where Edgar Allen Poe rests! SPOOKY!

    Ok, there will be a package waiting for you when you get home to Maine!

    Love, and safe, safe thoughts being sent your way!

  2. Sandy Raymond said, on May 20, 2009 at 6:22 am

    “Hotel Hell” seems to be a common thread for all who stayed there. As disgusting as it was (and it did sound disgusting) it will still be a colorful memory of your journey. Glad you were able to rise above it and enjoy Alex.

    Sandy


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