Again, not much has happened in the last month in the way of cool stories for the website.  So we'll see what I can do here.

I got the opportunity to do a couple more new (for me) tourist things in Alexandria.  I went to the Greco-Roman Museum, which was really cool.  It had displays of sculpture, mosaics, small little porcelain pieces, jewelry, and coins.  Their coin collection spans many years, and contains coins from more places than Alexandria.  But I only took a few pictures because I figured people wouldn't want to look at pictures from a museum!  It all starts to look the same after a while (not to me, of course--but then I am a history nerd!).  So here are two pics from the museum:

Big arm                 Big bird
A big arm with a ball (maybe shotput?)       A big bird of some kind
People jokingly call it the "Baseball Arm"      You can see the back of the big arm behind it

I also got to go see Pompey's Pillar.  It was mis-named when it was (re)discovered by the Crusaders, because they thought it was erected by Pompey.  In fact, it was erected much later (293 AD) by the Roman emperor Diocletian.  I guess I'm getting snotty living here, because that just doesn't seem that old next to the pyramids and such.  But it is the only ancient monument remaining whole and standing in Alex, so I guess that's worth the price of admission.  (It is my understanding that the word "ancient" applies to everything through the end of Roman times--476 AD.)  Here are some pics:

Pillar                    Me & Sphinx
The pillar                                                                Me and one of the sphinxes by the pillar

I recently got to take a retreat with some folks from my church to the beach town of Agamy, about 45 minutes west of Alexandria.  We stayed at a retreat center called Beet es-Salaam, which means "House of Peace."  It is a very nice place and we enjoyed our stay there.   The only down side is that I got kicked out of the Mediterranean Sea!  That's right--we were enjoying some time on the beach and I decided to go for a swim (with my exercise pants over my bathing suit, of course--you don't wear bathing suits by themselves except in the Red Sea tourist areas and private pools).  Well I had only been in there for about 5 minutes when all of a sudden I heard a whistle blowing.  I looked, and there was a man in some kind of uniform blowing the whistle and frantically waving for me to come in.  So I went in and asked him if there was a problem.  He said people weren't allowed to swim for another 10 days or so.  (Never mind that people had been swimming there the day before!)  So that was the unfortunate end of my brief swim.

Pics of Beet es-Salaam:

Overview       Cross
Overview of the conference center                          Close-up of the cross

Sunset                           Penguin curtain
A view of the sunset from my room                        A pleasant surprise in our shower room!

And now for some random pictures from around Alexandria...

Shave    This was a display set up in Carrefour (the French answer to Wal-Mart) by Gillette.  You could actually sit there and try shaving with their new razor!  Well, it just struck me as funny, so I took a pic of this guy shaving!

Tag    This is the only USA tag I have seen in Egypt.  It is in the back windshield of a car I have now seen twice on my street.  AND the tag is from a county in metropolitan Atlanta!  I thought that was the funniest thing.  Next time I see it, I will definitely make some inquiries.

Cats    A shot of the courtyard of my apartment building.  We now have 11 cats living out there, with 2 more that split their time inside the building and in the courtyard.  You can see 10 of the cats in this pic.  It's cool that they're there for me to pet anytime I want to, but I don't have to feed them or clean up after them!  (You can see their white food trays on the ground, as well as their water bowls toward the top of the pic.)

Sunset    A beautiful sunset in Alex.  This view is from my friend's apartment.  You can see the Corniche as well--that's the road that runs along the sea.  Notice the cars don't have their lights on...they don't believe in using headlights much here.  They think it wastes power.  In the same vein, in my friend's building where I took this pic, there are two elevators.  One goes to the even floors and one goes to the odd floors.  But during certain hours of the day, only one is working because they want to "rest" the other one to save power.  (Never mind that while one is "resting," the other is working twice as hard!)  So if you want to get to your floor while your elevator is "resting," you have to go to the floor above or below your floor and take the stairs the rest of the way.  (By the way, my friend lives on the 14th floor.  Guess which elevator was "resting" when I arrived?  That's right, the even one!)

Well, that's it for this installment.  I should be scanning in the zoo pics soon for that update.  Also, next month I will be taking another trip to the Sinai, and hopefully climb Mt. Sinai this time!

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