Alexandria the Mediterranean Sea facing second largest city of Egypt. Only 225km away from Cairo but zillions of miles away in culture. The recent bombing at Coptic church hurt the innocence of this place we had felt as tourists. The summer capital of Egypt, the sea was full of families [ no swim suits allowed even in the sea please] enjoying one humid day by the sea . Across the road, coffee shops mainly meant for tourists were full. We went to the Alexandria Library, an absolutely memorable and unique structure, where the roof was built in form of an eyelid., so our guide told us. Its the eye which gathers knowledge. The churches and mosques wore a pristine look, and at 13 hours in the noon we were told the disciples inside not be disturbed by our weird tourist dress…aka half pants and overly enthusiastic [ touristic ? friendly ?] grin. We managed to sneak in one of the churches where an Asian lady read Bible in Arabic. We were told by our guide Henny that there were 27% christians in Egypt, and they learn Bible in Arabic.
The falafel [ strictly vegetarian please and yes we got it] , the shopping allies resembling Mumbai road shops, the humidity, buses full of tourists , the statue of Alexander the Great, Royal presence of the past in gigantic palaces by the sea, Kind Egyptians, kind of made Alexandria a heady mix.
A mix that was shattered with coptic bombing. People went to pray and were preyed upon. They went as one body and came back as limbs and pieces.
When one travels you wish places remain the way you have felt them in one’s heart, alas!!