Hike into the Catacombs
Not far from the Pompeii Column, a 30 meter tall monument made of pink granite, Alexandria hosts the entrance to the ancient Catacombs of Shouqafa where hundreds of bodies were buried in a series of underground rooms emblazoned with carved drawings showing a combination of Roman and Egyptian artwork. The temperature underground remains steady and above ground, the building is hardly visible, covered in grass with an arched entry. Tour guides lead visitors through the first two underground levels, going through narrow passageways and spiral staircases carved into the bedrock in the 2nd century AD, to see tombs and sarcophagi as well as a dining hall for visitors of the dead. The Kom el-Shuqafa Catacombs is considered one of the seven wonders of the middle ages.
Diving to Underwater Landmarks in Alexandria
Tsunamis and earthquakes destroyed the Roman city in Alexandria and much of it is now underwater. For a diver, this is a special treat because the stone construction is sturdy enough to remain intact underwater. Be sure to read traveler's reviews before booking a tour, some companies have a reputation for mishandling diver's personal equipment or charging a "camera tax" if you don't rent their photography equipment. Be sure to ask about their safety standards and let them know if you prefer to put together your own gear.
Popular dive sites are Cleopatra's Palace and underwater city, the world's first light house, Quaitbay Fort, the sunken city of Heracleon, the wreck of Napoleon's "Orient" plus World War 2 airplane and aircraft carrier wrecks.
Bicycle the Al-Montazah Gardens
The Al Montazah park and gardens area is like a city within a city, located on the ruins of King Farouq's Mediterranean palace. Pathways weave through gardens, ancient ruins and modern amenities, and loop through one of Alexandria's famous beaches. Completely gated and set apart from the rest of Alexandria, this area is also the home of modern hotels and resorts as well as boutique shopping and dining. At the marina, rent a boat or kayak, or charter a ride to Cyprus for a day trip.
Article Written By Lisa Russell
Lisa Russell has been a freelance writer since 1998. She's been published in "Rethinking Everything Magazine," "Playdate" and "Home Educator's Family Times." She has a professional background in education, cosmetology and the restaurant industry. Russell studied early childhood education at Antelope Valley College, and is pursuing a degree in law.