Sam Bowker: The Grand Tour Diary (2005 - 2006)

This is the archived journal of a 2005-2006 'Grand Tour' around the Eastern Mediterranean and along East Africa, written by Sam Bowker, whilst in search of his PhD topic.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Dedicated to Every Person I have been so fortunate to meet while travelling this year.

Thank you for all your contributions, be they inadvertent, accidental, philosophical, charming, enraging, romantic, generous, frustrating, benevolent, inspiring, gregarious, useful and/or humourous.

I am writing to wish every one who reads this - friends, family and otherwise - the very best of Christmases and an excellent New Year. I'm in Agami, a town near Alexandria, sharing a house with twelve Aussies. There's turkey and ham scents, glurg, the Viennese Boys Choir, CNN and ethnic dress. It's a lovely warm atmosphere that makes all of us think of our families at home.

We spent yesterday - Christmas Eve - in the corniche of Alexandria. The roads have flooded in many places, as deep as the car's headlights! We created a huge wake in our path which washed over pavements and into shops. So did all the other cars - mostly fiats, taxis, chevrolet utes and horsedrawn carts. It's all a novelty for us but must be terrible for the local Egyptians, who have to deal with these horrible roads for three or four months a year. That aside, seeing the Library of Alexandria and it's spectacular museum, as well as the nearby Mamluk fortress said to be built from components of the original Great Lighthouse, was brilliant. Lunch was spent in Abu Ashraf, a very local fish restaurant set in an alley covered by a green tarpaulin, deep in the grottier streets of downtown Alexandria.

May you have a very safe and happy Christmas, with as many loved ones as you can reach.


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