Our last full day in Egypt was spent in Alexandria, a port city Northwest of Cairo. Feeling a little lazy, Karol and I didn’t leave for the train station until 10am. We arrived at 10:15 only to find out that the next train wasn’t until noon, and that the train wouldn’t get us into Alexandria until 3pm. So much for a full day.
Not wanting to totally miss the city, we bought our tickets and hung around until twelve. The train ride was uneventful, and we arrived with no issues. And no map. And no real idea of where to go.
We learned from a vague map in a German tourist’s German guidebook that the Bibliotheca Alexandria was somewhere north of us along the water, so using Karol’s compass we set off to explore.
Alexandria is quite green compared to Cairo, and it felt calmer too. We zig-zagged our way to the water, then turned north. Eventually we came to a large complex of interconnected buildings that turned out to be the library. (It was only a little awkward when we asked some locals where it was and they pointed 15 feet across the street.)
Making our way to what looked like the main gate, we tried to get in, only to find out it closed in 15 minutes. We pleaded our case and got to wander around aimlessly, counting down the minutes, and not seeing much.
We hung around and people watched for a bit – spotted our first Egyptians wearing shorts! – then grabbed some street food and headed back to the station. Sparing the details, we learned all trains were sold out and we were screwed. The jerk ticket agent finally told us that we could ride in between the train cars, so that’s exactly what we did. For 3 hours. For almost twice the price of a seat on the train. (That’s the penalty for not buying ahead, I guess.)
The next morning we took a taxi to the airport, said our goodbyes, and I boarded my plane to Bangkok.
Tell me the in-between-cars area was at least enclosed, I am picturing you guys standing on the couplings.
It was. I was able to sit down, and people weren’t smoking too much in there.