Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The buildings with broken tiles, litters on the ground, an over abundance of vehicles that makes traveling difficult and the incessant sirens of car horns in the ancient city of Cairo gave me a false impression of the capital of Egypt.

However, the scenery along the way to Alexander changed my opinion of Cairo. We traveled on a modern expressway with views of high technology areas, high-class golf courses and soon-to-be developed luxurious residential areas, lining up both sides. Although there are rooms for improvement, if Cairo continues to develop healthily, this could become a desert oasis!

The city of Alexander faces the Mediterranean Sea and resembles a Greek-style city because it was built by the Macedonian King, Alexander. It has the air of a metropolitan city. We traveled by car from Cairo and the journey was approximately 3 hours. Due to the distance of travel and this being a day trip, we have a packed day ahead.

Our first stop at Alexander brings us to the mausoleum of Kom El Shouqafa, which was discovered in 1900. The mausoleum is a blend of Roman, Greek and Egyptian architectural features and is one of the most complicated and most balanced in yin-yang elements that I had ever came across in my years of traveling. Even though this underground mausoleum is not big, its sophisticated designs are delicate and detailed.

The King’s grave lies at the center of the mausoleum and there are hundreds of complex looking graves of different sizes surrounding the king’s grave. This mausoleum comprises of three levels and looks spectacular. I was unable to take pictures, as cameras were not allowed. Unfortunately, I was also unable to conduct any Fengshui research as compass is prohibited. Nonetheless, with the memory of the mausoleum tour, our guide and I drew a blueprint of the catacombs.

Around 3pm in the afternoon, we enjoyed lunch at a restaurant that faces the Mediterranean Sea. The scenery is beautiful and I took many pictures. Thereafter, we visited the spectacular Palace and Grand Garden. The Grand Garden is a few times bigger than the Botanical Garden and gave one the impression of being in paradise.

Our last stop in Alexander brought us to the Ancient King’s working office. It has since been transformed into a five star luxurious hotel. A beautiful public relations consultant gave us a short hotel tour before we made our way back to Cairo. We finally arrived back in Cairo close to midnight. It has been a long day and after dinner, I fell asleep shortly.

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