My second day in Alexandria was much more enjoyable than my first because my friend Ellie came up from Cairo to spend the day with me. She was impressed with the train service, and there was only a little panic when I was waiting at one station, and she had left the train at another, but we sorted it out and met outside the fort.
When you are based in Cairo any excuse to get away even for a day and smell the sea air is a blessing. We went to the Greek club and sat with a drink and some nibbles beside a small but beautiful and quiet beach for most of the day catching up.
That place really is a haven and one of my favourite places in Egypt. It is always a stunning view walking along the corniche afterwards and photos of pretty boats are going to take up the majority of this blog entry!
We had a wander round town, and ended up back on the corniche at a street sheesha cafe just relaxing and watching the world go by.
The day went too fast and before long I had to rush back to the ship so I could give Ellie some things to take back to Cairo with her on the train and save my weight allowance for the journey back. Unfortunately I didn’t give her enough and still had problems at the airport the following week, but even that turned into a nice evening when I shared out the Italian wine I had brought to take back as presents but which put me grossly over the baggage allowance … but it made me some new friends!
Returning to the ship there was a lovely sunset and the ship did look impressive.
I did feel sad though. I was returning to the ship to head to Crete, so I should have been excited about the next step of my adventure, but I felt that nothing could beat the high of the show the night before and just wanted to leave on a high! The good news is that, fingers crossed, even if I am not crew on future sails, HAL might use me to provide the local entertainment whenever they are in Alexandria. I really hope so. That would be fabulous for me, and for my band, and I think good for the guests, too, to hear about the country they are in from someone who really loves it, despite being aware of its failings.
I have to admit that I went back to the ship, ate some dinner and was in bed by, wait for it, 8.30 pm. Not only that, but I slept through until my alarm at 9 the next morning!! 8.30 pm- the girl who normally goes to bed at 5am! Guess I was tired. All this excitement!
Experiences such as having a belly dancer onboard are part of Holland America Line’s new On Location program. The itinerary sets the theme for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time on board as enriching as visiting the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances.