Sunday, May 28, 2006

El Alamein

The trip to Alexandria was nice. Not spectacular, but relaxing. It was my first time seeing the Mediterranean Sea (flying overhead doesn't count). There in Alex it wasn't so nice, but further west along the coast the water was spectacular shades of lapis lazuli blue and turquoise and everything in between.

My favorite part of the trip was the Roman Catacombs, which we weren't allowed to photograph. The catacombs had originally been dug out for one spectacularly wealthy family and later enlarged to hold more bodies and ashes. It was a huge space underground, large enough to hold horse races and champion horses' burials (after their natural deaths).

Throughout Alexandria there is a blend of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian themes. There's the jackal-headed god Anubis looking wolf-like. And Isis dressed up in a toga-like dress with long curls - that's just wrong. I did like the Medusas tho.

On Saturday we went down the coast to El Alamein, the site of a WWII battlefield. Have to say the museum was horribly out of date and hard to understand - someone translated the signs directly from Arabic so it read terribly. And the transliterations: Mosaleni instead of Mussolini.

I was pleased to see that the Commonwealth Memorial and gravesites are very well maintained. Far too many men are buried here and should never be forgotten. It was serene and starkly beautiful.




6 comments:

anne bebbington said...

We visited several Commonwealth War Grave cemetaries when we lived in Northern France and the Commonwealth War Grave Commission do keep them immaculate wherever they are in the world

They have a website where you can search for anyone you think may be buried in one

A very poignant place to visit even if you knew none of those there personally

Alexandria always brings to mind that terrific film 'Ice Cold in Alex'

Finn said...

Hey Ton, good to have you home again, but I am so glad you got to the Med. other than just flying over it..*VBS*

Great job on the pictures, they do convey a sense of peace and tranquiltity. And what a wonderful shade of magenta that shrub is..*S*

Judy's been a very busy girl while you were gone, and she's got Jane guessing what all those letters will spell....look what you've started...LOL Soooo glad you did!!!

ForestJane said...

Is that an alzalea (uggh, how do you spell that?)

This does look more like what I think of as Egypt, instead of the green courtyard with flowers you posted a while ago.

dot said...

What a great picture story to share with us this week-end as we remember are loved ones especially those whom have given their lives for us. Thank-you

Lily said...

Oooh I am so glad you got to see the med before you get to France. The French med isn't all those beautiful blues - it's all stones and yachts. Those exquisite blues are just stunning - just makes you want to leap in!

Those beautiful flowers add a bit of relief to the very stark desert shades of the cemetary.

Glad you had a good trip. Welcome back!

Dawn said...

Wow, that is starkly beautiful - now other way to say it - but very, very sad. The purple bush is amazing!