The drive around Alexandria will take at least three hours by air conditioned motor coach. Today's activities will involve walking and climbing steps around historic sites such as the Roman Amphitheatre, the Catacombs, and the National Museum. At each site, there is standing of up to one hour. The total amount of walking today could be up to one mile round trip from the bus car park.
At the hotel.
Led by your Egyptologist, continue discovering the great historic sites of Alexandria. We will begin with the catacombs and then explore the Roman Theatre and the National Museum. The catacombs of Kom es-Shouqafa were tunneled into the bedrock in the age of the Antonine emperors (2nd century A.D.) for a single wealthy family still practicing the ancient religion. As a privately financed project, it is an engineering feat of some magnitude. These tombs represent the last existing major construction for the sake of the old Egyptian religion. Though the funerary motifs are pure ancient Egyptian, the architects and artists were schooled in the Greco-Roman style. Applied to the themes of Ancient Egyptian religion, it has resulted in an amazing integrated art, quite unlike anything else in the world. Afterward, we will explore the well-preserved Roman theatre with galleries, sections of mosaic-flooring, and marble seats for up to 800 spectators. Our next visit is the Alexandria National Museum where the Egyptologist will give an overview before you explore on your own. The museum has grown in importance these days, and is now considered one of Egypt's finest museums. It was inaugurated by President Hosni Mubarak on December 31st, 2003, and is one more addition to the reasons one should visit this grand old city. The national museum is located in a restored palace and contains about 1,800 artifacts that narrate the history of Alexandria throughout the ages, including the Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic, and Islamic eras. There are even some more modern pieces, including 19th century glassware, silverware, chinaware and precious jewels, which provide a sense of the richness of the court of Mohammed Ali and his descendants. Mummies are shown in a special underground chamber (basement). In addition, some of the items found during the archaeological underwater excavations in Alexandria are now on the same floor as the Greco-Roman artifacts.
At a local restaurant.
We will visit the Citadel of Qaitbay before returning to the hotel by coach where we will have a presentation led by a leading professor/lecturer on the archeological work being done to re-discover the destroyed lighthouse.
At the hotel.