Cavafy’s City

Constantine Cavafy a poet born in Greece lived most of his life in Alexandria. The city has the beauties of a seaside city that spreads along the many bays and inlets of the sea before filling in the back streets where most the work of the city goes on. There is a Cavafy museum in the second floor apartment where he lived in the old part of the city. We passed the building, but did not visit to my regret.

Instead we went to the catacombs used in the second and third centuries AD. This was a catacombs I could go down in because the ceilings were so high. Many steps down but a high ceiling and lots of capacity for bodies in rectangular slots. Outside the entry the site held lots of ancient finds from digs in and near the city.

After that we went to the National Museum in Alexandria. A gem.

We visited a museum in house built by a Jewish Egyptian family and given to the United States in the 1930s – probably in face of the Germans moving into Egypt. The US used the extraordinary building as their Consulate until a reduction of funding made out impossible to support the building. The US turned the property over the government of Egypt and it now houses the best curated museum we have seen. I have no photos of the interior, but the museum designer was brilliant. The collection uses the interior with its high ceilings to angle black showcases through the grand rooms. I looked for info on the museum in their bookstore – not one bit in English! Not in French either! The best museum so far.

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