Beginning of Spring Break

Trip Start Jan 22, 2010
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Trip End May 29, 2010


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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Thursday, April 1 I took my last brutal Arabic midterm before we headed out on the bus to a short trip to Alexandria, Egypt to begin our spring break. The bus ride was pretty short, only about 4 hours, and I got extremely excited when I first laid eyes on the Mediterranean Sea!! I never thought I'd be able to see it in person and lo and behold there it was! We stayed at probably the nicest hotel I've been in so far- (the term 'nicest' is used loosely here) called the Windsor Palace Hotel. It looked out directly onto the Sea and I was extremely excited to get a room with a sea view. Yeah... that didn't happen, but you win some you lose some. We got there around 6pm and headed out to dinner to a Chinese restaurant which was on the roof of a hotel, aka it had a gorgeous view of the Mediterranean. The dinner was delicious, the view was beautiful- a wonderful combination. 
 The next morning, Friday, we ate breakfast upstairs in the hotel and they had a beautiful area where you could sit outside, drink coffee and stare out at the Sea- which I did, since I could NOT get enough of the view (and coffee made it ten times better). The touring of the day started with a Roman amphitheater, followed by Pompey's pillar, the Citadel, then a break for lunch. It was extremely hot out that day and after lunch not one person wanted to continue touring- we all agreed a nap would be better. But apparently we weren't in charge, so we marched onto the next site which was the Bibliotech Library, built on the same site as the previous famous library which burned down around 47 BC by Julius Caesar (a bit different than the Cincinnati Public Library). It has thousand of manuscripts and the oldest cataloging system known to man. It was famous for being a research center and scholars at the library were exempt from paying taxes and were paid very well for their work- Alexandria became well known in scientific innovations because of this. 
  After the library we were finally able to head back to the hotel and rest for...half an hour... before we were off to dinner. Dinner was at a famous Greek Seafood restaurant on the Sea. Pretty good, but my favorite was the Egyptian ice cream we got at a shop on the 'boardwalk' after dinner. A bit different from American ice cream- kind of a mix between ice cream and gelato, but delicious nonetheless (i got vanilla and strawberry mix mmmm)! Needless to say, it was an early night as we were all overly exhausted. 
   The next morning, I had my lovely breakfast by the sea again and we visited a couple more sites, such as a Palace, and other various ruins (I wasn't really clear on the historical facts if you can't tell). and Finally after all that we headed out to a beach and spent the rest of Saturday afternoon in the sun and sand on the Mediterranean Sea. I didn't swim, but gladly stuck my feet in and felt satisfied. I spent the entire time playing in the sand with the six year old boy who had come along with us on the trip (he was the son of a faculty member) His mom even bought us(ok, him) new sand toys! This was literally the best part of the trip- this child was sooo cute and we both loved playing in the sand. Most of the others just relaxed, slept, read, or swam by the sea. We left at about 2pm, ate lunch at Chili's (so American) and by 4pm we were on our way back home to Cairo. We arrived in Cairo about 9pm Saturday night. Garrett, Haley, and I (we had decided to go on a Spring Break trip together after Alexandria) were still unsure of how to implement our spring break plans for the rest of the week. We had tentative plans but nothing was confirmed, set up, or firmly set in stone. We ended up buying a bus ticket at about 11pm that night to leave for Dahab the next morning at 8am. Alexandria was nice, but Dahab was when the real Spring Break fun and adventures began :)
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