Citadel of Qaitbay – Keep Calm and Wander

Citadel of Qaitbay - Alain

Do you know that the Citadel of Qaitbay stands on the site where the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria once was? That lighthouse wasn’t just an ordinary structure to beacon seafarers but it’s one of the Wonders of the Ancient World. The tower was also the tallest structure in the world for many centuries. It was destroyed by three strong earthquakes between AD 956 to 1323. Today, parts of the ruins of the ancient lighthouse are scattered around the Citadel by the Mamluks.

It’s very easy to get to Qaitbay Citadel. Just go to the corniche and and look on your left. At a far distance, you’ll see the fort with a waving Egyptian flag. You can reach it on foot for 30 minutes. If walking isn’t your thing, flag down a white taxi van and tell the driver to drop you off at Citadel. Pay EGP5.

The fort can be best explored following this route I trod. And oh, these photos will give you a hint on capturing the best angle of the fort.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wandrt

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Alexandria’s Modern Library – Keep Calm and Wander

Alexandria's Modern Library

The modern Library of Alexandria doesn’t really live up to its prestige in ancient times – when it comes to rare collections. There’s one surviving scroll from its ancient library in a city once ruled by Cleopatra and Alexander the Great. However, its architecture is brilliant, bold, modern and wonderfully executed. And oh boy, this is the only library in the world that I’ve been to where I paid to get in.

The new Library of Alexandria is built near where the ancient library was. Along the Mediterranean shore, the circular, glass-covered library beacons the same sea where Cleopatra first laid eyes on Julius Caesar.

The modern design commands knowledge and reflects boldness that complemented the sound of the waves that crash ashore.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Pompey’s Pillar, An Open Museum in Alexandria – Keep Calm and Wander

Pompey's Pillar - Alain

Pompey’s Pillar is an open museum in Alexandria. This pillar wasn’t really built for Pompey, a Roman politician and military general. He was also Julius Caesar’s fiercest rival and mortal enemy in the civil war.

This monolithic column was built to commemorate the triumph of the Roman Emperor Diocletian over a revolt in Alexandria. And now, you’d ask: How in the world this shaft became known as Pompey’s Pillar?

It’s known in the Middle Ages that a bronze urn on top of the pillar contained the ashes of Pompey. This corinthian column is standing on blocks that comes from earlier foundations. It’s cut from red granite in Aswan in the southern part of Egypt.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Amazing Alexandria Murals – Keep Calm and Wander

Alexandria Murals

I was walking around for two hours until I saw these murals in Alexandria. It’s one of those moments when I allowed my myself to get lost around a new city. And when I can’t figure out, I’d hail a cab to bring me somewhere to satisfy my stomach.

These Alexandria Murals depict arts in all forms. I tried to find the artist’s name somewhere in these murals but didn’t spot it. If you know who did this amazing work, let me know so I can properly acknowledge him.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Mediterranean Sunset in Alexandria – Keep Calm and Wander

Alexandria - Keep Calm and Wander

Mediterranean sunset in Alexandria is, oh boy, breathtaking. While I was in Alexandria last month, a local couchsurfer (Thanks, Abdulazziz!) brought me to Montaza Palace Gardens. This park is huge and there were only few people when we were there. Its lush green, well-manicured gardens are good for an afternoon walk or picnic. This is a great place to escape from the crazy, busy streets of Alexandria. When the weather gets too hot, this is your cool refuge.

The best place to watch the sunset here is by going to the red, Victorian-styled bridge. The setting sun is right in front of you and it makes a perfect backdrop for the old light house.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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