Egypt, Parenthood, Travel

Alexandria in March

Nearly Calm

We traveled by train north to Alexandria for the weekend about a month ago. It was a two hour train ride and Sebastian was able to nap for part of it so we were able to read our books. It felt good to be traveling again. When you travel with a baby, everything is different. It’s not about writing in your journal, reading a book or playing cards on the long train rides. We took turns entertaining him and helping him fall into slumber. We took turns posing with him for photos in front of a landscape moving by as the train sped through the country side.

When we arrived in Alexandria we breathed in the cool, salty air while simultaneously locating a taxi to take us to our sea view guest house. The taxis in Alex are black and yellow instead of black and white as are the taxis in Cairo. But they are just as old and smelly. We zigzagged through the streets and everything looked different. Fresh. Cool. Colorful. It felt good to be somewhere new. Exploring again.

After feeding Sebastian ate his lunch while we listened to the sea above the din of traffic below, we headed out to the library. Alexandria’s library is famous, as it was once the largest library in the ancient world. Although now only a piece of engraved stone survives the original library. When we arrived we were disappointed to learn no children under six are allowed in. We were able to visit the museum in the basement and eventually finagled our way into the children’s library, but had to take turns peeking into the main library and it’s vast volumes of books. We thought about hiding Sebastian in our backpack, but as he was already sleeping and we didn’t want to wake him. 😉 It felt strange to not be allowed to do something because we had a child with us.

We ate at a posh hotel restaurant in the evening and Sebastian was able to fall asleep in my arms before the main course arrived. It was like being on a date with an additional appendage. A very cute and cuddly one. When we got back to the guest house we read some more and went to sleep as the traffic finally died down outside our window, four stories down.

The next day we would be leaving late afternoon. We took a horse carriage along the sea’s edge to Fort Qaitbey where we found ourselves getting an impromptu tour from one of the guards and taking lots of photos. Sebastian fell asleep on our walk back to the guest house and I was able to take loads of photos of the harbor nearby. There were men fixing their nets for fishing, harvesting shrimps, and children playing in the sand by the shore. Color was everywhere. Boats lined the harbor and dotted the horizon. The streets were occupied by people getting from one place to the next in carriages, on horses, in taxis, on buses, pushing carts and trolleys. Life was everywhere. I couldn’t snap enough photos.

We had lunch at the restaurant downstairs from our guest house and took some falafel pitas for the road. Our cab driver back to the train station was animated and impressed with Ali’s Arabic skills, until our luggage got stuck in his trunk. He was able to retrieve it eventually. The train back to Cairo was uneventful, Sebastian took and nap and had his dinner. We scared a young couple away with his pre-nap fussing, but they were forced to return to their seats in front of us by the staff on the train.

It was a refreshing trip. One of those places you hope to get to often to take a break from everyday life in the city. We’ll see.

Two Boats

Alexandria photo set. As always, photos of Sebastian are private, so leave a message for a link or check my Facebook page where I’ve posted the link there.

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1 thought on “Alexandria in March”

  1. Wow, what a fantastic place to be able to visit! And I know what you mean about not being able to take children to some places. I was really surprised that here in Turkey, the one place where everyone loves children, many small hotels don’t allow them! – especially the nice weekend getaway type 😦

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