DAMANHUR. 3. Route. 21
The Lake Mareotis, or Mareia, as it was also called in ancient times,
bounds Alexandria on the S. side. In Strabo's time it was filled from the
Nile by means of numerous canals, both from the S. and E., which
brought great traffic to this inland harbour, while the sea-harbour was
more important for the export trade. The lake, which lies 8 ft. below
the sea-level, was once surrounded by a luxuriantly fertile tract of
country, yielding excellent white wine, which has been extolled by
Horace and Virgil. During the Arabian and Turkish regime the waters
of the lake gradually subsided, but in 1801, during the siege of Alexan¬
dria, the English cut through the neck of land between the lake and the
sea, a little to the W. of Abukir, thus laying an extensive and fertile
region under water and destroying about 150 villages. Mohammed rAli
did all in his power to repair the damage and to improve the environs of
Alexandria, but 100,000 acres of cultivable land are said still to be covered
by the sea. The water is now evaporated for the sake of its salt.
At (17 M.) Kafr ed-Dawdr the first cotton-fields appear (on the
A narrow-gauge loop-line diverging here (three trains daily) serves
the villages of Sidi Ghazi, KOm el-Hanash, Abu el-Matdmir, Hdsh Issa (2200
inhab.), and Nediba, and rejoins the main line at Damanhur (see below).
Several Arab villages are seen from thelofty railway-embankment.
38'/2 M. Damanhur (Railway Hotel), the second station at which
the express stops (reached in 1 hr.), and the capital of the pro¬
vince of Behireh, with 22,100 inhab., was the ancient Egyptian
Time-en-Hor (city of Horus), and the Roman Hermopolis Parva.
The town lies on an eminence and contains some tolerably sub¬
stantial buildings. Among them are several manufactories for the
separation of the cotton from the seeds, and above them tower
several minarets. The Arabian cemetery lies close to the railway.
From Damanhijr to Mehallet Ruh, 46 M., railway in 4 hrs. (fares 30,
18 pias.). — Beyond Sanhur and Rahmdniyeh the train crosses the Rosetta
arm of the Nile. — 13 M. Desuk, a town with over 7000 inhab., on the
right bank of the Rosetta arm. — Farther on we cross several canals. At
Kalin (Kelline) diverges the branch-line for Shirbin (p. 159). — Several small
stations. — 46 M. Mehallet Rdh lies on the railway from Tanta to Mansura
(p. 159). — Damanhur is also the starting-point of several Light Railways :
1. To Teh el-Bdr&d (see below) via, Ettehad (branch to K6m Feren) and
Dclingat (branch to Tod). — 2. To Teh el-Bdrtld via Shubrakhit (2746 inhab.),
on the Rosetta arm of tbe Nile (branch to Miniet Saldmeh) and Shandid (.see
below). — 3. To Zarkun and 'Atf (p. 22). — 4. To Kafr ed-Dawdr (see above).
48 M. Saft el-Meldk. About 3 M. to the S.E., near the modern
Neblreh (Nebeirah), on the ancient Canopic arm ofthe Nile, lie the
ruins of Naucratis, a Greek commercial city, founded by Aahmes.
The ruins, discovered hy Prof. Flinders Petrie and excavated in
1885, do not repay a visit.
53V2 M. Teh el-Bdrud, a village with a large mound of ruins,
is the junction for a branch-line skirting the W. coast ofthe Nile
delta. None of the express-trains stop here.
This branch-line is an alternative route to Cairo, but is of no im¬
portance to tourists. There are only two trains daily (in 3lfe hrs.). The
stations are insignificant. The last one is Embdbeh (p. 76), beyond which
the line crosses the Nile by an iron bridge and enters Cairo (p. 24).
Light Railways run to Damanhur via Delingal or Shubrakhit (see
above) and to Kafr 'Awdneh via, Shandid (see above).