One of my motivations of my trip to Egypt was to meet Anita, a German girl I met back in Regensburg, Bayern some years ago! She is working in a German primary school in Alexandria as a teacher. Arriving in Alexandria on Wednesday morning by train, Anita was however still at work, but another friend of her, Magdalena, picked me up! Magdalena came also when Anita started this job in Alex, but only for a 5-months internship. She was happy to come back only visiting, 2 years later, and after the revolution, noticing some differences, like actually more women wearing the hijab and the niqab now than before. We walked along the corniche for a while, got a nice sugar syrup, visiting the Fort Qaitbey just to have a panorama of the city, and back to Anita’s place to have a lunch. Anita is living in a very nice place within a building with a concierge at the entry. I pretend to be Magdalena’s brother to avoid complications, a guy and a girl going around are suspected to be married, and Alex is pretty conservative. I was glad to meet Anita again, and it was great I came these days: Anita just had her birthday party the day before and we continued in this ambiance. Thursday evening, she invited few German friends at her place: a quiet dinner around great homemade lasagnas!
Speaking about food, I also enjoyed very much the meals in the restaurants we were, particularly the fresh fish in Balbaa!
I started the second day in Alex going to Anita’s school and say hello to her kids, some even can speak French. The DSB is indeed a kind of elite private school with a lot of rich and/or important families putting their kids there, also Muslim families though it is a Christian school!
I get then impressed by the new BA – Bibliotheca Alexandria. They have a lot of permanent exhibitions. The library itself has a remarkable architecture. I spent an hour going through different department: they got books offered from many countries in the world: many in French from Bibliotheque Nationale de France (Paris) or some from Quebec, Canada! I saw a book explaining English pronunciation from Bombay, India. Or another French “book” about “cuisine à la moutarde” 😉
In the afternoon, I went to see the catacombs, but their light system was not working anymore, so I spent 10min with a local guide showing me the remarkable items with the flash of his Nokia cell phone! It is a pity I didn’t take my “Petzel” light.
The way back was another funny experience: I got convinced by a local (speaking to me in German!) to take the tramway: for £0.5 the ticket, you cannot do much wrong. But the tram was particularly slow when it came to crowded streets, so that I finally get out walking with was faster! Indeed, this crazy Egyptians markets put their items on the street, including the tramway line, so the tram has to wait they put their stuff away!!
Alexandria was a refreshing time, not as crowded and warm as Cairo!