An early start had us at Ramses station for the 9am train to Alexandria. The taxi dropped us of at his ease! So that he could return quickly, so we found the footbridge across the busy roads to the station. The roads outside the station are set out and signposted for cars, drop offs and parking, very efficient, but closed!
Being early [for egypt] the station concourse was busy with commuters rushing for their trains, but climbing the escalators to the first floor revealed the quiet of the coffee shop. Quick Effie to service resulted in a good cup of coffee before aligning our Alexandria bound train. Big comfortable seats, loads of leg room, such a pity about the dirty windows which marred the views of the countryside as we whizzed past, didn’t stop me trying to take photos though!
More and more of the green fertile land is being built upon, many of the buildings are unfinished, and in some cases have been half knocked down, apparently unlicensed but the end result is still a reduction in the green belt as the owners can’t or won’t complete the knocking down.
The fields which were being cultivated were full of workers found backbreaking work by hand, with the odd donkey carrying the produce on their backs. Only occasionally did we see a tractor in the fields, obviously successful farmers! Despite being armed with reading material for the journey, I was fascinated just to watch the world go by from the train window, the antics of the man riding a donkey like he was at the rodeo had me laughing to myself, lots of animals, buffalos, herds of sheep and donkeys we passed by. Fishermen fishing in the canal, which was much cleaner – as was the whole journey actually – than the last time we made this journey. Ladies bringing their washing down to the canal to wash, lots of ‘tuk-tuks’ shuttling people up and down the roads.
The refreshment trolley passed up and down the train, at least four times during the journey – Virgin trains are you listening!!!
Arriving on time in Alexandria we made our way to the taxi rank for the short journey to our hotel. Asking why the meter wasn’t working the driver said they were following the ‘old’ rules, 1996 apparently, we should have said we will pay 1996 rates too but really didn’t want to have to walk