Alexandrian Weekend Away

Surf Breakers.

by M. Butcher

On a Thursday night after my husband finished work, we decided to drive to Alexandria for the weekend. We called around and got a room at a hotel right on the Corniche. We left soon afterwards and for the most part the drive was pleasant. We had to slow down many times because of construction on the road but it didn’t take too long to get there.

We stayed in Mecca Hotel, it was clean and nice. The rooms were small but adequate. We were the only people on our floor and we had a great view. We could hear the waves and smell the sea air on the balcony. The staff was eager to please and all were very happy. The bathrooms, however, were small and the water pressure wasn’t good and if you wanted hot water, you had to leave it running for a while before stepping into the shower.

Bicyclers on the Corniche.

The restaurant was nicely decorated and had a street view of the Corniche and we sat and ate our breakfast watching cyclists going by and pedestrians having nice walk in the sun.

View from the hotel room on the fifth floor.

We had a quiet Friday morning, after breakfast, the kids and I walked on the Corniche. The kids threw rocks into the sea and ran p and down looking for bigger ones to throw. The kids really enjoyed seeing the fishermen feeding all the stray cats with the little fish that they caught. There was about 10 or so cats and the kids were fascinated. They were glad to be outside and running back and forth, checking out the area. It was breezy and the air was clean and the spray was refreshing.

We had lunch out with family at Al-Mahrousa – the Military Naval Hotel –  in a restaurant  on the 7th floor with panoramic views of the Mediterranean.

After lunch, we took a drive to Montazah Gardens, it used to be the royal residence and summer seat of government pre 1952, now it is open for public, clean, safe and very green. We parked and  the kids got to play football, ride bikes and play with the skateboard. They liked being able to play in the grass. The grounds are massive, which means there’s loads of areas where you can have a picnic as a family, with lots of places to sit and just relax.

Gate into Montazah.

In the evening, we walked around looking for a place to eat, we asked a few people where was a good place to take our kids for dinner. They gave us a some suggestions and we found a place the served Pizza and koshari – a concoction of rice, pasta, black lentils, and tomato sauce. The kids enjoyed the pizza. We liked being able to walk anywhere we needed to go and could easily get around. People were friendly and happy to help when we asked.

On Saturday morning, we went for another walk, taking pictures on the Corniche.  The waves were higher and there was more spray, the kids ran up the break wall, laughing when they got sprayed. In the afternoon, we had lunch with cousins and while the kids got to play with their cousins, us adults sat down for a chat over a nice cup of tea.

We left Alexandria around 4:30 and arrived home about 10, the highway is getting a facelift and there’s lots of  construction going on that slowed us down tremendously. We stopped at the Omar Oasis for a stretch and a bathroom break, and we couldn’t leave without their signature Fateer, it’s heavenly.

It was nice to get out of the city, even if it was only for two days. We got to see family we hadn’t see in a long time and the kids enjoyed the fresh air. I recommend that everyone should spend at least two days in Alexandria.  It’s a great place to take a break from busy city life.

View of the Mediterranean.

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