Cairo in the summer can be suffocating with the dry heat and the dust. So Peter and I spontaneously decided one Thursday night to travel to Alexandria for the weekend. It’s only a 2.5 – 3 hour train ride, and the ticket costs 30 EGP, or $1.50 one way.
Since we had already done the necessary sight-seeing in Alexandria, we opted for a relaxing weekend by the Mediterranean Sea. Our hotel was right on the Cornish, and the room was very refreshing with a balcony facing the sea. We had a late lunch on the rooftop to enjoying the weather, the sea breeze, and the refreshing fresh juice.
Later we took an evening stroll along the Cornish down to Fort Qaitbay that was built in the 14th Century at the very tip of the Peninsula protecting downtown Alexandria. It’s built on the foundation of Pharos Lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, that fell due an earthquake.
Along the way, we stumbled upon a very strange souvenir that even locals were buying for their wives or children! So Peter bought me one, too. We watched the sunset by the Fort and walked back for dinner in town.
The next morning we ate breakfast at the rooftop restaurant and watched life pass us below as we ate. The fisherman came in with the daily catch, and unloaded the net of fish right on the Cornish to people coming to buy a fresh stock for their restaurants or hotels! People crowded around until the net was empty, and the fishermen went out for round two.
Before catching our train, we did our usual weekend walk through downtown Alexandria to see the weekend markets. Although we didn’t buy anything, Peter did manage to get 2 free bananas! Otherwise, we walked through food markets with live fish, crab, chickens, bunnies, and ducks! Along side the live animals were Ramadan stands with colorful Qur’ans and lanterns, and other shops peddling a range of random gifts.
Our quick, relaxing weekend getaway abruptly ended the second we got off the train at Ramsis Station in Cairo. We were back with the masses downtown, the sights, sounds, and smells of Cairo surrounded us as we made our way back to Zamalek, and back to real life.