Sunday, October 10, 2010

Eating Egypt: Day 5 - Alexandria

Library at Alexandria
(photo by Dan)

Main Reading Room at Alexandria Library

Cookbooks at Alexandria library

I still haven't finished my run-down of our Egypt trip this summer.  I owe y'all a few more posts. Here's one.

While in Egypt, we took a day trip to Alexandria and visited that city's famous library.  Strangely enough, I found myself in the cookbook section while wandering around in there!

A hotel breakfast - my choices from the buffet

1. Hotel Breakfast - savory pastries, juice, grapefruit, mystery dessert.

Waiting for our train
(photo by Dan)

Snacks and tickets

2. We ate cookies on the train.

Corniche and the Mediterranean Sea

(photo by Dan)

I touched the Mediterranean Sea!

Abou Ashraf cups

Our cabbie spoke just enough English to get us to Abou Ashraf, which Adam had recommended as the best place to get an early dinner of fresh fish.

Abou Ashraf plate

Dan at Abou Ashraf

The tables were in a sort of alley between several buildings.

Abou Ashraf mezzes

This (above) is all food we didn't order.  It comes with the meal.

Abou Ashraf spread 2
(photo by Dan)

Abou Ashraf spread 4
(photo by Dan)

Fresh fish - fried (Abou Ashraf)

3. Abou Ashraf - Oh my.  Dan and I ate soft-shell crab, fish, and shrimp (all fresh and picked out by us from the iced displays before being cooked and brought to our table).  They were accompanied by many mezzes -- breads, spreads, salads, eggplant, and more.

We had a sort of frightening adventure after this meal, as it turned out not only that there are two train stations -- only one of which features trains going to Cairo -- and not many cab drivers who speak much English in Alexandria, but the trains back to Cairo were completely sold out that night.  Luckily, we hooked up with a Chinese-Canadian family (they spoke Chinese and English fluently) who let us tag along as they tenaciously discovered a cab driver who would take all five of us to the bus depot for a bargain price.  There, we just managed (1 minute to spare!) to get on a bus to Cairo so that we could return to our hotel for the night.  Yikes!!

p.s. One more adventure to recount - I was a leetle confused while in the bathroom in the Alexandria library.  I think the hose that sprayed (clean) water all over the wall when I tried to flush the toilet was some sort of hand-held bidet nozzle.   I never did figure out how to flush.

Toilet confusion at the Alexandria library (ask me)


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