Alexandria

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Ever since I saw the movie Agora I have wanted to go to Alexandria. The movie is about a 4th century woman named Hapatia who was a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and teacher. Her father was the curator of the library of Alexandria, whose mission was “collecting all the knowledge of the world”. It is a movie about ideas and the ongoing controversy between science and superstition but what I really loved about it was that it centers on this wonderful, brilliant woman who, in 391 A.D. when women were not generally treated as equals, taught scholars. I fell in love with the notion of Alexandria and the library as the place where Hapatia was admired and celebrated by learned men during turbulent times. How heartbreaking it must have been to live and breath the preservation of knowledge and then to witness its total destruction. An estimated 40,000 – 400,000 scrolls of priceless information were lost forever when the library was burned.

Even though the current library is new (2002), it has a connection to the past. I am thrilled to be here in the largest public reading space in the world where 250,000,000 books and scrolls are housed (though sadly not on display). I feel like I should be studying something profound or saying something philosophical but I just sit here…writing my post…in the bibliotheca of Alexandria!

The outside of the library is covered in scripts and letters from almost all the languages of the world.
Looking down on the main hall
If you ever find yourself in Alexandria, love seafood and want to experience the ultimate local restaurant, go to Hoda Gondl. It’s open street food and our dinner included fish broth, calamari, ginormous shrimp, seafood gumbo, and two kinds of whole fish. Bread, rice, tahini, and salad on the side. It was all totally fresh and amazing and less than $15.
TraysThere were large trays of every kind of fresh seafood you can imagine. You just told them what you wanted. And they gave you samples!
The view from our hostel window
The Mediterranean
The castle built in the 1400’s was made partly with with the stone from the original lighthouse of Alexandria (which was in that spot) and one of the ancient wonders of the world.
The mosque in the castle
The light stone gave the castle an airy feeling.
Just before leaving the black desert. I know – its out of place. I was going to include it in the last post but thought I had too many pictures. 😂. We are heading back to Cairo to spend our last few days before heading home.

9 responses »

  1. You both look well and well rested. I have absolutely loved the stories and photos and learned a lot. Many, many thanks. Stay safe. Sue

    On Fri, Mar 25, 2022 at 8:16 AM The Flip Side of Fifty wrote:

    > arlenekeith posted: ” Ever since I saw the movie Agora I have wanted to go > to Alexandria. The movie is about a 4th century woman named Hapatia who was > a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and teacher. Her father was the > curator of the library of Alexandria, whose mission ” >

  2. A feast for all the senses. You are truly blessed to have experienced all that you have on this trip.

    Gary D

    On Fri, 25 Mar 2022 at 10:16, The Flip Side of Fifty wrote:

    > arlenekeith posted: ” Ever since I saw the movie Agora I have wanted to go > to Alexandria. The movie is about a 4th century woman named Hapatia who was > a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and teacher. Her father was the > curator of the library of Alexandria, whose mission ” >

  3. Wonderful pictures & information , what a fantastic trip you have had , thank you for bringing us along , look forward to seeing you when you return , hugs to you both

  4. Great pictures !! I can’t believe that you will soon be home ! You have see so much ! I’m looking forward to hearing more in April: ) xox Carran

    • Thank Carran! It’s hard to believe for me too! We are filling up on old churches and Islamic markets here in Cairo and then, it’s homeward bound. Looking forward to seeing you! Xoxo

      Sent from my iPhone

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