Just over the road from the Montezah Sheraton were the Montezah Gardens. So on the first full day in Alexandria we left the hotel behind and headed out into the gardens to explore. It was just after breakfast when we headed out as the sun in Egypt gets very warm, very fast so we wanted to see as much of them as we could before the heat got too bad. One thing that had been commented to us when we were in Cairo was that it was unusual to see tourists at this time of the year – the weather is too warm for most. Great, so we hadn’t made the best of choices of what time of the year to go, but we knew a few days before there had been a bad sandstorm.
The gardens are absolutely massive – you wouldn’t get the impression of just how big they are from a casual walk in as it took us a few hours to understand just how big they were. If it helps to get an idea there are two hotels and the Montezah Palace inside the grounds and from the majority of the gardens you cannot see any of these buildings. The Montazah palace is an amazing building which is made up contrasting red and white stone – it really stands out against the sky. The building is also used by the Egyptian Prime Minister when he is staying in Alexandria; we think he may actually have been using it at the time we were there as it was being well guarded.
By the time we’d seen the President’s “holiday home” it was about midday and the sun was starting to get really warm, and could start to feel the sun burning us. We carried on looking around the place anyway and came across another part that again meets the coast. This part though had what looked like a Greco-Roman building,and a small lighthouse. There were also some signs that watersports were possible around this area. We had wanted to try some scuba diving to see the sunken lighthouse and this may have been a good place to inquire. The problem though was that I was still not feeling well.
Eventually we headed back to the hotel to stay out of the afternoon sun.