We missed the train to Alexandria on day 8 and decided to have drinks at the local pub all night instead. The next day we went to Alexandria which is full of historic sights. We got to see the great Library of Alexandria, the lighthouse, and my friend even sharted his pants!!!
Day 8 – Cairo
Last night was so much fun we woke up at noon and didn’t make it to Alexandria 🙁 The only reason we woke up is that they were blasting the Muslim prayers over the loudspeakers and we couldn’t sleep any more even if we wanted to! After zombie mode we went out to eat at GAD for breakfast and checked out the Souk (market).
We kept seeing tons of people that had marks or scars on their foreheads that looked like shit stains. Eventually we figured out that they were from praying 5 times a day and putting their foreheads on the floor.
At night we went to le bistro pub which was right by our hostel. I ordered several IDs and we had a blast. Another group of young people came in and we noticed they were speaking 3 languages. We decided to talk to them and they invited us to a show at the theatre tomorrow.
Day 9 – Alexandria
We got an early start even though we stayed out late drinking the previous night. Took the train from Cairo to Alexandria which only cost $7 one way. It was about a 2.5 hour trip and we were able to rest up a bit.
We had both been having stomach issues from something we ate earlier in the week, but Rafi had it way worse than me. We got off the train and he stopped and gave me the funniest look. He started feeling the back of his pants and said he accidentally sharted. He went to go change and came back without any socks. For some reason, people were selling underwear outside the train station, but they were too pricey so we called it good and hailed a cab. I had gotten to know him pretty well over the past few days, but that was a little much TMI 🙂
We took a taxi to the sea fort in Alexandria called Citadel of Quaitbay, and Rafael taught me another trick. Instead of asking the taxi how much the ride was, you give them what you think the ride was worth (or a little less) and add a little more at a time until they seem happy. This way you don’t overpay. After that we went to an amazing restaurant on the sea called Al Kalza and had lunch. Everyone that worked there spoke a few words of English, so i thought they knew the language, but was proven wrong after it took 3 translators to order water! I had the most amazing chicken alfredo and we had a free show with all the cats playing around. Egypt seems to have cats everywhere on the streets. Even pure breed Bengals.
We then went in search of the Catacombs, but this proved to be a disaster. Google clearly showed where they were but for some reason we couldn’t find them. We asked around and finally found someone that spoke English that didn’t just want our money. He said there were no catacombs in Alexandria and that the closest ones were in Luxor. We stopped off at a few mosques and Rafa stopped several times to play soccer with the locals.
I learned another thing from Rafa today. He kept asking really hot girls questions he already knew the answer to (directions, advice, etc) just to break the ice. It never worked for him but I could see how it might 🙂
We went to the library of Alexandria and I was surprised it was so modern it was because I heard it was one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world. Rafa told me the old one was burned down by Alexander the great and they built the new one that was the largest library in the world. It was pretty freaking big 🙂
I really wanted to go see the lighthouse and giant pillar, but he said they burnt down as well. At the time I thought it was recent and was really sad I missed it, but found out that happened long ago as well. With nothing to do for a few hours, we had dinner and went to chill in the park. Rafa made friends with some kids playing soccer and schooled them while I talked to their little brothers and did some blogging.
When we got to the train station, they told us the train we wanted was sold out. I was a little scared because I thought that was the last train out, but there was one more and we were able to get tickets for the 8pm train. Another day in Alexandria wouldn’t be that bad, though, because I liked it a lot more than Cairo. The tickets were $7 each way (3 hour train ride) and we thought we were in first class because it was so nice. It had blasting AC, reclining and padded seats, and was very comfortable. It also looked way better than the death trap the locals were riding where they had to stand and had no AC. Apparently it was 2nd class, so next time I’ll have to take the 1st class for $10 and see how it can get any better.
When we got back to the train station we saw someone almost die. A local was crossing the train tracks and went under a train right as it started to go. Some of these people are crazy!!!
When I got back to the hostel I realized that I had not spoken any English in 2 days because my companion mainly spoke Spanish. I even started speaking Spanish to the locals without realizing it, just out of habit. They didn’t understand a word I said and I quickly changed back to English. I’ll have to finish becoming fluent in Spanish when I get back.
I also got to know how useful carrying my shemagh was. People gave me funny looks for wearing it, but it kept the sun and sweat off my head better than my hat and was cooler as well. So far on this trip I’ve used it for a blanket, towel, napkin, hat, and mask.