Friday, February 20, 2009

The end of Alexandria

So after securing a taxi me and the driver set off in search on the Union Hotel, sans Lonely Planet (I had managed to loose mine), I had copied the address from the Lonely Planet owned by my hotel in Cairo.

I was keen for a change of scene and hoped that I would have a good time. After about 20 mins my driver stopped outside the Mecure Hotel and demanded 20 Egyptian pounds to take me to the correct address- seemed that he had deliberately driven past my hotel as some way of increasing the lengh of the journey and fare. Wise to his tricks, head strong and having none of it i decided to get out and walk- we were already ont he correct street it was only 300 or so houses away.

I set off on foot- back the same way we had just driven. The road that I walked down Corniche was adjacent to the sea, 12 lanes wide, 22 ilometres long and with impossible traffic. The buildings that fringed it were old dusty high rises similar to Cairo except that the overlooked the Med.

I glanced over at the swell and it was up, it was blowing a gale and cold too- perhaps only 10 degrees. I was determined not to give up even though i was walking with my 24 kilo ruck sack.

Things got worse when the rain came, i sought shelter under an alcove and despised myself for rejecting the taxi driver.

From where i stood Alexandria looked grim, it was dirty and as run down as Cairo but with out the charm.

As i approached tha address that i had copied after more than 1 hour of walking i started feeling sick again and added my own decoration to Alex's street.

Finally as i thought things could not get any worse I discovered that the hotel had gone Missing in Action. The address that I had so carfully copied down was that of the grimiest high rise building i had ever seen. The situation was useless- tired, annoyed, sick and grumpy i hailed a cab back to the station and brought a ticket on the next train back to my beloved Cairo... seems there a some places you just can't ever leave.

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