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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Alexandria (E)

Alexander the Great founded the city of Alexandria in 331 BC and it is only 25 kilometres from Cairo. It is still today a beacon of culture in Egypt and many say that the atmosphere of the city is not so much Egyptian or Middle Eastern as Mediterranean. It was the home of the Pharos, a lighthouse that formed one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the scene of the relationship of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony. It was also the ancient world’s centre of learning and when it was discovered by Napoleon, it was barely a fishing village, it had declined so much.  

By the 19th century, Alexandria had become the commercial and maritime centre of Egypt. Authors have immortalised the city and the city today has been influenced by Greeks and Italians alike. It is the commercial, cosmopolitan, and bohemian city that should be explored at random in order to see the sites in the right atmosphere. With hotels and hostels galore and plenty of restaurants to try, the city is yours for the taking at a leisurely pace.

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Why visit Alexandria (E) ?

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Founded by Alexander the Great

There are gardens and museums located throughout Alexandria as well as coffee shops and shopping galore.

The oldest section of the city is the causeway between the mainland and Pharos island where the lighthouse was once located. The Gurok district is the oldest in the city and is now the home of Fort of Quit Bay. The Abu El-Abbas Mosque and Anfushi Tombs are also located here and well worth the time to visit. Off the Eastern Harbour are unique underwater discoveries, part of which might actually be some of the Pharos Lighthouse. Many granite columns and statues have been discovered in this underwater site and there are plans for an underwater exhibit to be launched to share these amazing discoveries with the rest of the world.  

Beyond the mosque is the souk district where there are many shops and open-air bazaars ready for you to peruse. The Terbana Mosque is here as well as part of the ancient El-Shorbagi Mosque. This was once the area in which the city’s Jewish community lived, most of whom have long since left the city. Everything from medicinal plants to jewellery to Bedouin clothing can be found in the many shops located in this area of Alexandria.  

Ruins have been discovered all over the city and they are available for tourists to see. It is believed that part of the great library was discovered in Alexandria, although nothing has been unearthed to prove this theory. The Caesarium, the temple Cleopatra started for Anthony has been discovered in Alexandria. The Greek Quarter of the city has one of the most beautiful residential districts and many of the villas here have been marked as historic sites.  

There are gardens and museums located throughout Alexandria as well as coffee shops and shopping galore. The city is still the heart of Egypt and the many historical sites have been preserved to share for all time. With its bustling port and sandy beaches, visitors to Alexandria can step back in time to the ancient Egyptians or stay in tune with the modern world.

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