"When you see the moon surrounded by a halo, there is a king who travels somewhere in that light."

Tuareg Proverb

 

21 november El Alamein (EGYPT)

Here we are in Egypt again, one year later...

We land in the desolated airport of Dabaa City, not far from El Alamein. A micro airport with just one gate but where the bureaucracy reigns!

[Nick]: "El Alamein is 15 minutes far from here by car but we can't rent any and can't find any taxi too... There are no authorized vehicles to take tourists".

[Nick]: "We have met some militaries of the Guardia di Finanza who were coming back from Dubai and stopped here for a refuelling stop... I have seen some pictures of the Military Sacrarium on the mobile phone of one of them... it was very exciting! I have to go there!"

 

22 november El Alamein (EGYPT)

We spend the whole morning on the beach playing darts, archery, beach soccer and relaxing...

Maybe we have reached a compromise with the scary director of the hotel and tomorrow we might go to Alexandria by ourselves!

 

23 november Alexandria (EGYPT)

We get a van with driver and bodyguard and we depart to Alexandria!

This city, in the past, very important port, was famous for the legendary "lighthouse", numbered between the seven wonders of the world, but it doesn't exist anymore!

Founded by Alexander Magnus, Alexandria is the second most significant and densely populated city of the whole Egypt, after the capital El Cairo and it has six million inhabitants!

Even if it was very important in the antiquity, nowadays, it doesn't seem very appreciated, in fact, we haven't met any tourist beyond a small group of Indian-Canadian who were visiting it during a cruise in the Mediterranean Sea! No ambulant seller of postcards or of souvenirs...

For the first time I really felt in an Egyptian town! Far from every tourist route and completely dipped in their daily life!

Surrounded by many girls wearing the "hegheb" (the veil) who were staring at us very curiously, some braver tried to smile at us or exclaimed: "Hello! How are you?" and escaped away, while from the minaret we kept on listening to the moaning Muslims prayers, nearly as a brain washing, every 4 hours, the whole city was invaded by those "litanies"...

How weird these Arabs are, they consider women less than nothing, our driver and the bodyguard as well, when they needed anything they always addressed to me or to Jerry, the three women who were with us: (my aunt, Claudia and Virgy) were completely invisible to their eyes! They didn't exist! But I read in their deep glance from the dark eyes that I met along my way a desire to escape, to run away, to throw that damned veil away and show themselves, as it is in the conceited nature of the women.

Anyway we visit the summer residence of the royal family, now of the President Mubarak, a great building surrounded by a nice garden!

Then the modern building which lodges the famous Alexandria Library turned now into a modern art museum. We were surrounded by many students (girls) by the multicoloured veils who, curious, approached us, asked us to take pictures of them! It was weird, I would never expected that, I thought that they were coy but I was wrong! Who knows, maybe the future generations will be different, more emancipated. I hope they will manage!

I was wrong also when I thought that in the Arab world there were no McDonalds, but, here it is!

I eat the best McChicken Menu ever tasted! The place is very cleaned and the salesgirls, severely with the veil, very kind!

Here we are in the Military Sacrarium in El Alamein.

The Sacrarium wraps you completely, it's touching to see our flag fluttering next to the Egyptian one in the silent desert, and it seems as the wind "intones the silence".

I think about that story of heroes that I studied with great passion or the movie that hit my heart. I still have in front of my eyes the sentence of the German General Rommel who said: "The German soldier impressed the world. Italian soldier impressed the German one ".

This and many other sentences read in that place filled my heart of proud and emotion and made me feel more and more proud to be an Italian soldier!

[Nick]: "What a feeling! It was worth coming till here... these are places that makes you reflect... the courage... the honour... the sacrifice but above all the love for the country that lately seems a forgotten feeling by a great part of Italians....unfortunately."..

 


"We travel to contemplate: each trip is a contemplation on the move."

- Marguerite Yourcenar - (With opened eyes)

 

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