Visit To City Of Alexandria - My Best Mistake
The very mention of Egypt invokes the picture of "The Great Pyramids of Giza". But my visit to the ancient land of pharaohs took o...
How It Began:
A couple of years ago, my husband and I had vowed that we will visit one special country during our anniversary week every year. I am a big fan of adventure movies and last year a very popular adventure story was made into a Bengali movie. The plot was set in Egypt. Needless to say that as I watched it, I resolved to visit this country of enigma.
On November 4, it all began as that was the evening we reached Cairo. A pleasant cool weather welcomed us to the capital city. I was excited beyond words. My first night was in a cruise! I was on cloud nine. After a stroll around the cruise ship, we got down to planning our next few days. Since Egypt represents the Pyramids and vice-versa, we decided to go to Giza first thing in the morning. That night Khufu, Khafre, Nefertiti and other nameless pharaohs visited me in my dreams.
Wrong Destination Gone Right:
I was all geared to visit Egyptian Pyramids in the morning. Filling up on breakfast, I was so bursting with energy that I learned a little local language from the front desk guys and went on to the streets of Cairo. I told my husband to take a back seat while I stopped a taxi and asked the driver to take me to the bus station.
After a fifteen minutes drive, we reached a bus station. The name of the terminus was written in arabic and we did not understand it. I guessed that since the Giza Pyramid complex is the most popular tourist destination in Cairo, the bus with maximum number of tourists would go to Giza. I remember reading about this in some travel site. So I showed the conductor the local sign of Pyramids(as instructed by the cruise front desk). He nodded and then said something in Arabic. I thought I heard the word Giza and happily hopped into the bus. My husband kept quiet all the while. But a sly smile was playing on his lips. Soon I dozed off and was napping for a good three hours.
As I woke up, I watched a very modern city view through the window. This cannot be Giza, I thought to myself or may be it was. The bus stopped and as we got down, my husband burst out laughing. He said "So, with all your local language expertise you have brought us to Alexandria!"
I was aghast. This was not even on your tour plan. I generally feel hungry when I am angry or confused. Sensing my need for food, hubby dear took me to a nearby food stall where I stuffed in some local bread and meat.
Alexandria & The Sea:
Now it was my turn to take a back seat. My husband spoke to a kind looking taxi driver and we were on our way to some Corniche. I had no clue and because of my previous folly I kept quiet. Just before my gloom was about to hit the lowest point, my eyes, my mood and my heart brightened at the sight before me. It was a vast expanse of clear azure water. It was the Mediterranean Sea!
Our taxi stopped in front of a massive yet quaint looking structure. We were told that it was Alexandria's famous library – The Bibliotheca. I was beyond myself with joy. One silly mistake of mine had landed us in one of the most gorgeous places I had set foot on. We walked along the Mediterranean Corniche. My husband held my hand and it felt wonderful. Then while taking a couple selfie he whispered "Happy Anniversary" in my ears. The sound of the Mediterranean waves, my heartbeat and his words, all of these created a beautiful cascade of emotions that flowed me.
We had heard about the famous Egyptian tea and had our share. The sweetness of the tea was not just because of the sugar. There was sweet romance in the air too.
Wrapping Up The Evening:
The breezy bright afternoon had given way to a serene evening. The two of us went inside an open top restaurant beside the sea. We ordered for some exotic fruit juice and we were complimented with a Sheesha (Hookah).
Alexandria was a mistake. But a mistake I would like to visit again. It gave me some of the best moments of my life. We did take the right bus back to Cairo but this beautiful error will always be cherished in our hearts.
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Contributed By: Kriti Mazumdar