We have been in the port of Alexandria, Egypt since breakfast time this morning. Unfortunately, we have not been allowed to disembark so needed to keep ourselves amused which is difficult when we are so looking forward to arriving in Cyprus tomorrow.
Marilyn had another bad night, listening to the ship creaking and moaning which seriously disturbed her sleep. This morning Alf quietly crept out of the cabin and climbed the stairs to the bridge. He heard an exchange with the Alexandria pilot over the radio – we were seven miles out of port and told to advance to the beacon just outside the port. Alf returned to the cabin for Marilyn and we both saw the pilot arrive, join the bridge and guide the ship to its berth in the harbour, with the help of a powerful tug.
Arriving in the port of Alexandria is quite magical. Jean Pierre reminded Alf that Alexandria had been an important port for over four thousand years. We thought of ancient Egypt, the Greeks who used the port in ancient times, and modern Egypt. The port is actually amazingly large, with quite a lot of heavy industry but also a spectacular palace overlooking the Mediterranean. The weather was overcast and the sea in the harbour looked quite black.
Alexandria looks an interesting city but we are not allowed to explore it. The nearest we got was to haggle with a few traders who were allowed on the ship selling tourist items. Whilst the Egyptian cotton t-shirts looked excellent quality, the styling was very much to be desired and they were rather expensive compared to Italy, so to the traders’ amazement we walked away. Alf relayed the story of when he was working in Cairo for American Express, when he was an auditor in his twenties – he bought a dozen Egyptian cotton classic shirts, and by the time they had been washed twice, the sleeves were half way up his forearm. Marilyn responded that Egyptian cotton is generally regarded as the finest in the World and is these days fully pre-shrunk.
Alf is probably suffering withdrawal symptoms, in not having access to the internet, and Marilyn is beginning to miss her comforts. We have had the owners’ cabin, which is adjacent to the captain’s, with bathroom, bedroom and sitting room, with two large outside windows but it is in need of a refurbishment.
Hopefully, soon we shall have news of our arrival time in Cyprus, and this will cheer us up. Meanwhile, they are still loading the ship. On the other hand, Jean Pierre has invited us for a drink before dinner..