Two trainwrecks and a library

*this blog was written on July 31*

Yesterday we took the night train from Luxor back to Cairo.  Despite being supposed to arrive at 8am and there being hourly trains to Alexandria (according to the schedule online), we had to wait for 5 hours before we could board a train.  Poopy.

Julie + Adam + foreign city + 5 hours to blow = alcohol.  It’s simple math.

We got a taxi to the Marriott, stashed our bags, and went to the casino.  We figured sticking $10 in the slot machines is about the same as buying a few drinks.  Plus that gave us a place to keep our luggage.  When we finally got bored with that we decided to head over to an expat bar close by called Pub 28.  It did not disappoint.

We were the first patrons in the bar, arriving just as it opened.  It was dark, cool, and had a basement feel.  There was wood paneling everywhere and the walls almost seemed as if they sucked light from the room.  It was awesome.  We ordered some food and drinks and chatted for a few minutes until we were interrupted by the entrance of the regulars.  These elderly expat fellows, who seemed infinitely at home in the pub, were referred to lovingly by Julie as “the shrivies.”  It’s just not a neighborhood pub without a few guys who remember what it was like before fire was invented and will tell you about it.

On the way to the train we stopped at a local store selling liquids of the intoxicating type for the journey.  I mean, we were already boozy so of course we did.  I missed wine so much!

We had a pretty uneventful trip to Alexandria.  We could have sat in that train for 3 hours or half an hour – I have no idea.  Amazing.  Finally around 5pm we arrived, caught a taxi, and headed to our hotel.  It was right on the Mediterranean and had a private beach.  Beautiful.  We relaxed, walked around, grabbed some food, and enjoyed the nice cool beach weather.

We finished the day with a visit to the library at Alexandria.  This isn’t some old columninous landmark from Egyptian, Greek or Roman times – this is a new wonder, and wonderful it is!  It’s a huge structure set on what is believed to have been the site of the famous former great house of knowledge.  It is a house not only of knowledge (a real functioning public library) but home to a great number of antiquities from various periods throughout Alexandria’s history.  And if you’re a fan of architecture, you’ll totally dork out over it.

After the library and a delicious coffee while watching the sun set over the sea, we headed back to our hotel to relax for the evening.  There is a lot of relaxing (and some tourism) to be done tomorrow!

This will do nicely…

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