Citadel of Qaitbay
Welcome in the second day from the 14 days of improbable vacation. As a first real trip in Alexandria I decided for Citadel of Qaitbay. It`s very beautiful place, historical one and tells you about Alexandria a lot. The weather was also nice not too hot and too cold so it was perfect for a sightseeing…
What is Citadel of Qaitbay?
Even it is very famous place I am sure that not all people will know it. So let me tell you very short history of Citadel of Qaitbay.
It was built in 15th-century by Sultan Al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Qa’it Bay and its considered one of the most important defensive strongholds along the Mediterranean Sea coast.
Notice that no one could conquer Alexandria thanks to the Citadel for a centuries till the year 1882 when a British army bombarded this city and they won at the end.
Our story from Citadel
So as you can see we could not miss this trip because its really very interesting. Citadel is opened from 10 am and we were there on time. My husband tried to buy a tickets for my family for the prices of Egyptian people but this plan failed because the seller obviously did not trust us that they are Egyptian. You know for foreign its 30 LE and for Egyptian 10 LE so if you buy for a lot of people the difference in the money is noticeable. But even it did not work I am happy that my husband tried it at least.
When we entered my family was amazed by beautiful garden. Actually then did not expect they will see garden, grass, and tree in Egypt at all. Their image about Egypt was just a sand, desert and pyramid. And then we went to the first floor of the castle. I was happy we did not need tourist guide because my husband remembered all the history so he was able to tell us alone.
NO WORRY, I am not going to tell you the stories of the citadel now….if you are interested you can find a lot on internet or you can write me privately and I will write it to you in email but here is no place for it.
In the first floor we actually saw a training ground for fencers and others warriors, then some rooms and mosque.
Then we actually went on the top of the citadel and there was something really very amazing…..The top of the citadel is actually a huge opened place so you can see on the sea and on the all Alexandria but the point is the Sultan in his time had there his own bathroom. So his bathroom was not covered, so while he was showering he was watching the sea and he could watch his potential enemies. That is something what I really see as a Brilliant idea ! I wish to have the same bathroom as him. So on this place we were enjoying the time the most. Even there was a strong wind so you did not feel hot from the sun.
Yea we had also one funny situation..With us there was even a school trip, the kids was around 12 years old. And when they saw my dad there were dying to take a pictures with him. 2 boys came to him and asked him in English but unfortunately they did not know my dad does not speak English so my dad was just staring at them and they stared at him back at the end… Then I translated to him what they want and he did not have any problem with their wish but my husband stopped them. Because he told if one will take a picture all the children will want have a pictures with him and we would stuck with them for a hours….well, I think he was right…but on other side I felt sorry for the kids because they seemed so disappointed.
Then we went to watch another 2 floors of the Citadel and there is nothing to say about it because it was full of empty rooms for soldiers, some guns, traps for enemies and so on. But almost everything is destroyed. There was just one interesting thing and it was 2 big windows for the Sultan from where he were watching the fleet, enemies and eventually the war.
When we finished we went to see a very small market with a gifts from Egypt but for good luck my family did not want anything from it. Why did I say for good luck?? Because the market is directly in front of the Citadel so the prices would be extremely high !
TIME FOR EATING
At the end of our trip we decided to spend a lunch in a restaurant. And as always we decided for our favorite – SHAWERMA. My parents know shawerma like a “kebab” from Czech but we ordered them in different shape and the taste of the food is of course incomparable.
The restaurant is located on the sea road, its small one but my parents prefer “family environment” but its clean, for good price and the people are nice. But the shawerma is not Egyptian but Syrian one, whats actually better. The Syrian people are masters in this food. So when they brought us the food my family loved it too too too much, I even cannot describe how much but one plat of food in Egypt is as a 2 plat of food in Europe. So they was not able to finish the food – no way. We had to take it to our home at the end.
Oh, I almost forget…before the restaurant itself we had a true Egyptian ice-cream in the car. But I call it as one of the most delicious ice-cream in the world. It is hand-made and true fruits and I always order in one cup all the tastes what they have. But the prices is the same if I order just one taste. The one small cup which is really enough for my stomach costs 3 LE. So the taste and price is really perfect. Unfortunately I did not photo it for you but hopefully next time I will do.
Anyway the end of the day we finished at home by playing a cards – typical European way. But we had a fun.