A Drive Through Alexandria
When looking at my Travel Tuesday images, I realized I haven’t done any images for Egypt! Considering I’ve been around 14 times in the last six years, with another trip next month, this surprised me. Today, I’m going to take you on a drive through Alexandria.
Aesthetically, this is NOT one of my best photos. But, in one photo, so much of what I love about Egypt subtly comes together. Egypt, obviously, is an ancient country loaded with ancient culture. They have been to hell and back in recent years with presidential overthrowing (repeat and repeat), the Arab spring, trying to keep terrorist cells from advancing, economical strife, devaluation of the currency, and more.
But, you can’t keep the Egyptian spirit down.
(We were actually married in Cairo during the over throwing of President Morsi, but that’s a whole other story for a whole other day.)
The photo above was shot out of a car window in Alexandria. Alexandria is another famous city along the Mediterranean Coast, known for it’s forts, the former and famous library that was burnt by the Greeks, underwater ancient cities, and more. My in-laws have a summer house around an hour west of Alexandria, and I absolutely adore Mediterranean summers.
Back to the not so pretty but heart warming photo above. I adore the texture and aged patina of the stucco, worn from the salt water and patiently waiting for its next fresh coat. I love the sidewalk cafés, and the bright colors of the seating that always abounds. I love the older men enjoying a hookah to the left. While hookahs make me sick – I can’t stand the smell of the charcoal or the tobacco – I love watching men socializing around all of the various cafés in every Egyptian city. One of my favorite Hookah Cafés is located underneath of a highway overpass just outside of the center of Cairo!
I love the women in Cairo. I love the attention to the smallest of details with their makeup and outfits. Their hijabs always perfectly match an accent in their shirt and gets tied into their handbag and their shoes. My sister in law always looks so sharp, and leaves me disgraced as I wallow in my Steve Irwin attire of an expat lost in translation. Now that we’re out of the blazing hot Indian tropics, my wardrobe is slowly improving.
I love the hustle and bustle of Egpyt. Cairo is the largest city in Africa and one of the largest in the Middle East. It’s taken us three and a half hours to get home from dinner before due to the sheer amount of traffic. Growing up in the midwestern US, rush hour was always a pain. In Egypt, it just means more time to gossip and be with your family, no distractions. And when you’re stuck in traffic, you can marvel at the pop-up bodegas, wonder how in the world they get all of their stock home or locked up every single night, and enjoy the bright colors against the neutral stucco desert color scheme.
I absolutely cannot wait to get to Egypt next month. We’re introducing my parents to my in-laws for the very first time!
Have you been to Egypt? What was your favorite city or your favorite stop? I’d love to know!
Also published on Medium.