Posts Tagged With: Alexandria

Celebrate Ramadan the Mediterranean Style

Those who like to celebrate Ramadan in style, Sheraton Montazah Hotel in Alexandria, Egypt offers a variety of outlets where guests can enjoy their Iftar and sohour in luxury. For Iftar, guests can break their fast with family and friends at the “Café Coquillage” with its daily sumptuous Iftar buffet and that features an array of different traditional oriental dishes and sweets while watching their favorite TV Shows.  Guests can also bring friends and share quality time at “La Terrace Outdoor Café”   or try the hotel’s wide selection of oriental desserts at the Café Rendez vous. For Ramadan nights’ fans, the “Bedouin Tent” at Beach Café, overlooking the Mediterranean seashore, is the place. In this exotic Mediterranean atmosphere, guests will enjoy a mouthwatering sohour  meal and Ramadan traditional drinks in addition to their choice of flavored shisha along with the oriental tunes of takht sharky and  live songs.

Atef Wilson, general manager of Sheraton Montazah Hotel, calls visitors of the Mediterranean city to be the hotel’s guests and discover a memorable Ramadan experience in Alexandria. “We offer great room deals in the holy month of Ramadan, in addition to a variety of dining options, authentic festive cuisine prepared by our highly-skilled chefs, oriental entertainment together with the ultimate Alexandrian hospitality and smiling faces of our associates,” he said.

The Bedouin Tent for fans of Ramadan Nights

The Bedouin Tent for fans of Ramadan Nights

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Celebrate Valentine’s Montazah Sheraton Style

As the Valentine’s Day is approaching, Sheraton Montazah Hotel Alexandria, is preparing an exquisite program for their guests for the occasion. For LE180, guests can enjoy the finest romantic dinner with live music at La Mamma Restaurant or join a spectacular party at the Caesar Bar featuring Duo Ehab and Reem and belly dancer.

Couple Celebrating Valentine

A couple celebrating Valentine’s Day

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Hanging out in a special even

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether they like to eat, dance and enjoy a great dining experience or they prefer to stay overnight, they can avail the attractive hotel special offerings for this festive occasion for only L.E 600 for single, 650 for double room including service charge, taxes and buffet breakfast. “We promise our customers a peaceful, comfortable stay with their beloved ones in Valentine and a real romantic evening and celebration that they will never forget” said Azza El Desouki, director of public relations at the hotel.

The Sheraton Montazah Hotel is ideally located in Alexandria with its magnificent beaches, archaeological and cultural attractions. The hotel is located 15 Km from Nozha airport and 220 Km from Cairo. It overlooks King’s Farouk Palace and gardens on one side and the bright blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea on the other. It’s your perfect getaway to relax and feel at home.

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The facade of Montazah Sheraton Alexandria Hotel Photo: Montazah Sheraton Hotel

Guests can enjoy amazing views of the Mediterranean and the Montazah Park in a brightly decorated guest room. They may gather with friends or family for a delicious meal in one of the restaurants .They may also head to our outdoor pool overlooking the sea or just relax by our private sandy beach under the warm sun.

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Enjoy luxury at Montazah Sheraton rooms Photo: Montazah Sheraton Hotel

Categories: Alexandria, Egypt, Hotels, Mediterranean Cities, Packages/Offers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Night in Alexandria- A Photo Tour

I was invited to my cousin’s wedding in Alexandria, Egypt in January 18, 2015. Although it was extremely cold in Cairo, the capital, it was warm in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. The weather was very inviting to take a walk by the Corniche and to have a good fish meal in one of the local restaurants before we head to the wedding party.

My husband and I decided to spend the night in the historical Cecil Hotel in Ramleh Square. It is one of my favorites. The history of the Steigenberger Cecil Hotel dates to 1929, it was built by the Italian Alessandro Loria from Tuscany, having been commissioned by the French Metzger family. Loria built the Cecil Hotel to be a landmark building, with its elegant revolving doors, two beautiful wooden elevators, and its bar, which was carefully kept unchanged since World War II, making it one-of-a-kind in Alexandria. The rooms have high ceilings and large shuttered windows, and the richness of the classical French-style burgundy and gold drapes, and soft furnishings decorating the space give the place an atmosphere of centuries gone by.

Here are several photos I took in the Ramleh neighborhood and in Cecil Hotel in downtown Alexandria

From the Balcony of Cecil Hotel

The Corniche from our balcony in Cecil Hotel

 

Ramleh Square with the statue of nationalist Saad Zaghloul in the middle

Ramleh Square with the statue of nationalist Saad Zaghloul in the middle

 

 

Ramleh Square and the Corniche in the morning

Ramleh Square and the Corniche in the morning

 

Ramleh Square and the Corniche at night

Ramleh Square and the Corniche at night

 

Corniche Road on a bustling day

Corniche Road on a bustling day

Locals on their way to work

Heading to work

 

Fishermen trying their luck

Fishermen trying their luck

 

An ill-fated sail

An ill-fated sail

The lift of Cecil Hotel-feeling nostalgic

The lift of Cecil Hotel- Feeling nostalgic

The foyer of Cecil Hotel

The foyer of Cecil Hotel

 

The stairs leading to the rooms- Cecil Hotel

The stairs leading to the rooms- Cecil Hotel

 

My favorite corner at Cecil's foyer

My favorite corner at Cecil’s foyer

Categories: Alexandria, Hotels, Mediterranean Cities, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Montazah Palace and Gardens: when old meets new

Montazah in Alexandria, is distinguished from other tourist sites in Egypt in that it is a place where the past and present intermingle. For the history buff it is a pleasure to roam around the vast estate where, before the July 23 Revolution, the royal family had their summer quarters and where the palace and the Salamlek (annex) can be seen. For those in search of the beautiful beaches, Montazah has facilities for rest and recreation. It has, in addition, magnificent gardens with royal palms that date, most appropriately, from the royal era.

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Palm trees in Montazah Gardens

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Montazah beaches

The site, situated west of Alexandria, was developed over a century ago, in 1892, in the time of Khedive Abbas Helmi II, who built the Salamlek, which today faces the Palestine Hotel.  The summer residence of the royal family is situated on an elevated mound overlooking a beautiful bay and beach, and the vast garden covers an area of 370 feddans.

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Montazah Palace, overlooking royal gardens

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Salamlek, built by Khedive Helmi II

When king Fouad came to the throne he built a bridge to join the palace to the Island of Dreams, which sounds somewhat romantic but was, in fact, a fairy-tale site covering about 13 feddans and with exotic plants, Byzantine style status and aquaria adorning various parts of the undulating land. There is also a delightful “kiosk” where the king and his friends used to enjoy their afternoon tea.

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Famous bridge of Montazah

Later still, when king Farouk acceded to the throne, he built the famous clock of Montazah; whenever the clock strikes, a soldier appears from each of its four sides.

After the July 23 Revolution, Montazah was opened to the public, and visitors were permitted to enter various parts including the island, the bridge, the kiosk and the gardens. The Salamlek and the palace are not open for visiting.

About two million visitors visit Montazah every year. It is open all the year round and operates 24 hours a day and caters for all visitors requirements. It has various shops, restaurants, coffee shops and bazaars to cater for the visitors.

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Palestine Hotel, overlooking the Mediterranean

Not to be missed is the plant nursery and greenhouse: many tourist groups come to Montazah for the sole purpose of visiting them. The greenhouse has exotic plants that have thrived from the rule of King Fouad. It supplies all the plants needed in the gardens, and there is a surplus for sale.

Summer is here, the beaches are packed with holiday makers and Montazah is enjoying a bumper season. 

Categories: Alexandria, Egypt, Mediterranean Cities, Palaces, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrate Ramadan Sheraton Montazah Style

In preparations for the holy month of Ramadan, Sheraton Montazah Hotel in Alexandria started decorating Layalina Café, Beach Café and La Terrace Café with magnificent and oriental themes and ambiance that match the spirit of the holy month.

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Sheraton Montazah Hotel overlooking the Mediterranean and the gardens of Montazah Palace

The hotel is also planning a wide array of continental delicacies with exquisite oriental specialties for families and friends at a rich Iftar buffet including mouthwatering recipes and appetizing treats.

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Sumptuous Iftar buffets and Sohour menues will be available during Ramadan.

At night, guests can enjoy the Sheraton Montazah Ramadan celebrations at the Layalina, La Terrace and the Beach Cafés where they can enjoy a bunch of entertaining programs, shisha, oriental drinks and sohour amidst cozy atmosphere and breezy air.

Categories: Alexandria, Egypt, Hotels, Mediterranean Cities, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sheraton Montazah Switches off lights for Earth Hour

For the third year consecutively, Sheraton Montazah Hotel Alexandria, joined millions around the globe, on March 23, in celebrating the Earth Hour by switching off lights for an hour from 8:30 pm. The hotel’s participation in this ecological event, which saved 330 KWH, about 47% of total energy, during this particular hour, is a continuation of its commitment to protect the environment not only for those who are currently living on earth but for also the many generations to come. Joining this global event was also to educate and create awareness about the importance of saving our planet.

The Hotel's team celebrating Earth Day.Photo: Montazah Sheraton Hotel

The Hotel’s team celebrating Earth Day.
Photo: Montazah Sheraton Hotel Alexandria

On this occasion, the hotel prepared a candle light dinner at the Café Coquillage and La Mamma Restaurant, where green cocktails were served as a special welcome to incoming guests as well as snacks that do not need energy to cook. A big banner showing the hotel’s efforts and initiatives for the environment was also displayed.

As global warming has become one of the biggest challenges facing the world’s climate, Sheraton Montazah Hotel considered environmental protection as an extremely important issue. And in order to guarantee greater sustainability, the hotel has begun pursuing several green practices. As a result, the hotel was able to achieve 14 percent reduction in its carbon footprints from 2011 to date.

Categories: Egypt, Environement, Hotels, Mediterranean Cities, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

All For Love

Despite political turbulence in Egypt, Egyptian hotels are preparing for an unforgettable Valentine’s night activities for Egyptian and foreign travellers.

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo At The First Residence in Giza offers a Bed and Breakfast package, dinners for two and sweet Spa treatments.

You can choose between several dining options at The Four Seasons Cairo Photo: Four Seasons Cairo At First Residence

You can choose between several dining options at The Four Seasons Cairo
Photo: Four Seasons Cairo At First Residence

For LE1200 per night, a guest can enjoy a luxurious accommodation in a superior room, breakfast for two, surprise Valentine’s amenities and 50 percent off parking fees.

Dinner options are various on that special night. For LE500 per person, inclusive of service charge and taxes, guests can choose from the menu of Seasons Restaurant or that of Lai Thai Restaurant. At Seasons, a guest will enjoy the four- course menu of executive chef Erwan Laurenceau, which begins with a lobster amuse – lobster ravioli with a lemongrass infusion sauce – followed by mouthwatering roasted sea bass, herb potato crust and young vegetable fricassee. The third course is lamb cannon and smoked potato calisson with an olive and tomato crumble. For dessert, Seasons presents a chocolate tulip flower, chocolate and ginger dome topped with a silky strawberry sauce.

Those who prefer a taste of Asia can head to La Thai restaurant, whose Valentine’s menu includes mouthwatering items such as prawn satay, grilled beef salad with roasted rice, sweet and sour soup and a variety of delectable main courses such as grilled jumbo prawn, chicken roll with lemongrass and penang curry sauce, and stir-fried mussels with chili and Thai ginger. For dessert, you can get a delicious pink water chestnut-ball in coconut milk.

For an intimate Valentine’s pampering session, guests can book Hot Coco Romance at the Spa.  This special two hour experience includes a chocolate covered massage – a natural aphrodisiac designed to leave skin soft and smooth, followed by a facial cleansing. Alternatively, the Sugar Rush treatment featuring a brown sugar body polish followed by a deep full body Balinese massage is another sweet treatment perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Don't miss the spa experiencePhoto: Four Seasons At The First Residence Hotel

Don’t miss the spa experience
Photo: Four Seasons At The First Residence Hotel

To conclude the Spa experience, guests can indulge in some romantic time together with lavish chocolate treats, delicious strawberries and a glass of bubbly in the private Nile-view couple’s suite.

The Hot Coco and Sugar Rush Spa treatments are each priced at LE 1250.00 per person or LE 2500.00 per couple and include a romantic setting, strawberries, chocolate and red roses.

For reservations call Hotel directly at 02-3567 1600.

InterContinental Cairo Citystars and Holiday Inn Cairo in Heliopolis are two other venues for a perfect Valentine’s Day. In InterContinental Cairo Citystars, you can enjoy a set menu at Al Bustan Grill accompanied by love songs from 6pm until midnight or you can sip special Valentine’s cocktails on the hotel’s ‘couples only night’ at Bellini Cocktail Lounge with a beautiful rose provided for the occasion from 7pm to midnight.

Enjoy the variety of food and activities at InterContinental Citystars HotelPhoto: InterContinenal Citystars Hotel

Enjoy the variety of food and activities at InterContinental Citystars Hotel
Photo: InterContinenal Citystars Hotel

Guests can also head to the buffet dinner at Esplanade Café Restaurant from 6:30pm to 11pm, or enjoy a Lebanese Valentine’s at Fayruz, where a welcoming cocktail, candles, roses and belly dancer create a unique glowing atmosphere

If you are for fine dining, then Maestro is the place. On the Valentine’s, in a special setting of heart shaped balloons, red napkins, candles and roses, guests will enjoy a sumptuous six-course set Italian menu, and a heart-shaped cake accompanied by piano tunes.

Photo: InterContinental Citystars Hotel

Photo: InterContinental Citystars Hotel

If you want an untraditional celebration, Windows at Holiday Inn Cairo Citystars provides a ‘live cooking’ buffet from 2pm to 11pm, while the Indian restaurant Indira sets the scene beautifully amid candles and red flowers for a memorable set menu occasion.

Valentine’s will not only be celebrated in Cairo, Alexandria hotels also have their own way to celebrate the occasion. For only LE300 per person, Sheraton Montazah Hotel offers guests a luxurious accommodation in a brightly decorated room overlooking the Mediterranean and the historical Montazah parks.

In addition, guests can also enjoy sauna and body treats and live night entertainment. Guests can indulge in the Valentine’s gala party and dinner at Caesar Bar where romance begins with the love songs of the duo Sameh and Soha, followed by a mouthwatering menu.

Photo: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

Photo: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

If you want to spend a calm Valentine’s, you can pamper yourself with an energizing experience at the Fitness Center enjoying a rejuvenating sauna or a relaxing massage using premium oils.

Special discounted rates in Sheraton Montazah Hotel for the readers of The Road to Kemet blog. 

Categories: Cairo, Egypt, Giza, Hotels, Mediterranean Cities, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winter campaign launch at Sheraton Montazah

As part of its commitment to the society, Sheraton Montazah Hotel Alexandria launches every year a special campaign targeting unprivileged communities in the areas surrounding the hotel. This year, hotel associates donated a big number of brand new blankets to help the needy cope with the harsh winter in the Mediterranean city.

Sheraton Montazah associates preparing for the campaign launch.Photo: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

Sheraton Montazah associates preparing for the campaign launch.
Photo: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

The hotel’s public relations together with the community help team in the hotel worked on identifying the right beneficiaries to donate them the blankets, collecting donations and purchasing good quality blankets. This came amongst other community service plans that will take place during 2013 to provide aid to sick people, senior citizens and street children.

Facade of Sheraton Montazah HotelPhoto: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

Facade of Sheraton Montazah Hotel
Photo: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

A Presidential SuitePhoto: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

A Presidential Suite
Photo: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

A room at Sheraton Montazah Hotel.Photo: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

A room at Sheraton Montazah Hotel.
Photo: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

Sheraton Montazah Hotel is located in Alexandria, which is renowned for its magnificent beaches, archaeological and cultural attractions. The hotel is 15 km from Nozha airport and 220 km from Cairo. It overlooks King’s Farouk Palace and gardens on one side and the bright blue waters of the Mediterranean on the other. It features 289 rooms and suites. It provides six Presidential suites, 13 Junior and Hospitality suites.

Sheraton Montazah Hotel BeachPhoto: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

Sheraton Montazah Hotel Beach
Photo: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

The Pool at the hotelPhoto: Sheraton Montazah Hotel

For more information on Sheraton Montazah Hotel, visit http://www.sheratonmontazah.com/

Categories: Egypt, Hotels, Mediterranean Cities, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ageless elegance

Native Alexandrians are a proud sort. Blessed with the open sea as their backdrop and alive with a traditionally polyglot and cosmopolitan community, Egypt’s second-largest city has never settled for second-best. Even so, Alexandria has always lived in the long shadow of its former glory as an ancient cultural and intellectual epicentre, and later, as a hedonistic expatriate playground. Today, the city is most often evoked as a holiday spot for Cairo residents seeking relief from the brutal summer heat, and in relation to ongoing discoveries associated with its rich Graeco-Roman history. As a travel destination, however, Alexandria is really best appreciated in the winter, where the pace of life marches on unaffected by the glut of summer weekenders.

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Vigorous, sweet sea breezes and a brisk but embracing chill await you in Alex this time of the year, along with a markedly different milieu from fast-paced, egocentric Cairo. But this was just what I was hoping for when we set out from Cairo and headed out along the so-called Desert Road. I hadn’t come this way for quite some time and as with so many trips to fast-developing tourist centres, I was astounded by the difference from the days when the appellation was more apt. Then the road was desolate, traffic-free, and truly barren, with nothing on either side of the road but sand and a few hills. There were no petrol stations, virtually no service to speak of, and only one place to stop — a cafeteria called the Rest House, located halfway into the journey. Today the “Desert Road” has turned green. Swathes of agricultural land line the roadside, horse-breeding farms are surrounded by gardens, fountains, villas and palatial houses. And of course, the old Rest House is no longer the only game in town.

A leisurely drive from Cairo to Alexandria takes about three hours. On reaching the city, we headed straight for its heart; to Saad Zaghloul Square, near the main downtown transport terminal Ramleh Station. This is the departure point for trips to Qaitbey Fort (where one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Pharos lighthouse, once stood) and Al-Mursi Abul-Abbas Mosque, as well as to the resorts of Montazah, Maamoura and Abu Qir. Perched on the corner of Saad Zaghloul Square and commanding an uninterrupted view of the eastern harbour is the grand old Cecil hotel, a Moorish style building established in 1929. The architecture is reminiscent of the eclectic style of Alexandria’s 19th- and 20th-century cosmopolitan period. I had long dreamed of staying at this former seat of lavish extravagance and fancied the idea of spending a few nights in a place that has figured prominently in modern Alexandrian lore.

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Al Montazah Palace

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Alexandria Beaches

Stanely bay

Stanley Bay

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Saad Zaghloul Square

At the turn of the 20th century, Alexandria was home to an extensive population of Greek, Italian and other European expatriates, and the culture was decidedly Mediterranean in style. The legacy of this era, in which some of the most celebrated writings about Alexandria are set — Lawrence Durell’s The Alexandria Quartet, the work of Greek poet Constantine Cavafy and Naguib Mahfouz’s novel Miramar — is still palpable in modern-day Alexandria, deftly blended into more familiar signposts of urban Egyptian life: the souqs (markets), cafés, restaurants and hotels. Even the residents are inimitably formed of this hybrid of cultures. It is reflected in well-known buildings that have become Alexandrian institutions like the Cecil and Metropole hotels — both of which can boast an impressive roster of former guests — and legendary cafés and patisseries like the Grand Trianon, Délices and Athineos.

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Cecil Hotel

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The old elevator of Cecil Hotel

Distinguished guests from King Faisal of Saudi Arabia to the likes of Noel Coward and Somerset Maugham have lingered in the Cecil’s quarters. The hotel is now affiliated with the Accor Group and has seen some ambitious, but bland restoration and refurbishing schemes. Still, the place maintains its historic sense of grandeur and has preserved some pleasant old-style features, like the old-fashioned lift and the lobby’s opulent setting. The rooms, however, are another story altogether and did not hold up to my expectations. Frankly, there was nothing special about them — I felt I could be anywhere, in any hotel, and not in such a historic place. This nondescript characteristic is sadly pervasive in the hotels of Alexandria, which often pale in terms of high-quality service in comparison to hotels in Cairo and Red Sea resorts.

After a generous and meticulously prepared buffet breakfast, we set out the next morning for Al-Nozha Gardens, lovingly set up by Khedive Ismail. Roughly three kilometres southeast alongside the Mahmoudiya Canal, the well-maintained gardens are joined to another park known as the Rose Gardens, as well as Alexandria’s zoo. Nearby are the gardens and palace of a wealthy Greek family built in the late 19th century.

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Alexandria Zoo

We started with the Zoological Gardens, another turn-of-the-20th-century project covering some 26 acres. Unfortunately, most of the cages were empty and even those which were inhabited were in deplorable conditions. The place is a popular spot for locals, but the large area allocated for recreation was crowded and the noise intolerable. We made a quick exit and headed for the Rose Gardens, established in 1920. This garden is supposed to offer wonderful species of roses and flowers that are planted in 32 nurseries, but when the gardener found us profoundly disappointed, he explained that winter is not the time to find any remarkable flowers. In spring and summer, he said, the place is a botanical paradise.

Undaunted, we approached the jewel of the Nozha garden complex — the grounds of the Antoniaidis family. A billboard hung on one of the trees announced that the gardens were built by John Antoniaidis in 1860 and given as a gift to the township of Alexandria in 1918. The gardens house 350-year-old trees and classical Roman statues. The palace, built to host the royal friends and acquaintances of Antoniaidis, has sheltered such historical figures as Khedive Tawfik and the former Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, who honeymooned here with his Egyptian wife Princess Fawzeyya. Though the palace’s private gardens are both lush and striking, they are not open to the public.

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Greco-Roman statutes at Antoniadis garden

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Antoniadis Palace

After a tour of the grounds at Al-Nozha, you’re going to feel pretty hungry. I was full of suggestions for seafood — the Fish Market, Sea Gull, Qadoura — but my husband vetoed all these in favour of what he confidently proclaimed the “best place in Alexandria.” We slipped along the winding backstreets over to Manshiya Square, to a no-frills local spot called Shaaban, near the famous coffee shop of Al-Borsa. The area was once populated with bars and famous in the time of Word War II as the best place for British soldiers to grab a beer. For you, the spot is first-rate for Shaaban’s fresh fish and reasonable prices. Our meal of fried and grilled fish, calamari, shrimps and salads came to about LE70.

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Shabaan fish restaurant

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Trianon Cafe

From Shaaban, we took our dessert at the Grand Trianon café — my favourite for sweets or a light meal. An ideal spot to sit and watch the world go by, the Trianon is situated at the base of one of Alexandria’s most stunning hotels, the Metropole. Recent refurbishments have restored the Metropole to its former glory, with sumptuous saloons and an elegant reception. The building was once the headquarters of the Division of Irrigation, where the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy worked.

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The famous tram of Alexandria

As we packed our things and loaded up the car the next day, I realised that our stay had been more of a foray into daily Alexandrian life than a typical tourist visit. While the ancient sites and the famous beaches on the outskirts of Alexandria are well worth visiting, the city itself should not be overlooked. Easily accessible from Cairo and only a few hours away, a taste of the Alexandria winter is a welcome change of scenery and a dip into this city’s distinctive atmosphere.

Categories: Egypt, Mediterranean Cities | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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