3. Route. 23
dancers, jugglers, and showmen of every kind crowd the town. A
number of European merchants are also to be met with.
From Tanta to Mehallet Ruh, Mansura, and Damietta, see pp. 159, 160.
A branch-line runs from Tanta to the S. via, Shibin el-Kdm, a small
town on this side of the Rosetta branch of the Nile, to (26 M.) Mendf, the
central point of the MenHfiyeh, one of the most fertile regions in the Delta,
and to (38V2 M.) Ashmun.
Tanta is also the starting-point of several Light Railways: — 1. Via,
Bernid (p. 22) and Basyun (9000 inhab.; 3 M. to tbe S.E. of Sd el-Hagar
and the ruins of Sais; comp. p. 22) to Shin (Chine), and thence via Sakha
and Nemret el-Basal to Mehallet el-Kobra (Mehallet el-Kebir; p. 159). —
2. Via Damat to Kotur, whence it is to be prolonged to Mehallet el-Kobra
(p. 159). — 3. To Kafr ez-Zaiydt (see p. 22).
Beyond Tanta the train traverses a fertile tract, and beyond
(87 M.) Birket es-Sab'a (branch-line to Zifteh, see p. 159) crosses
a small arm of the Nile. A number of cotton-cleaning mills afford
an indication of the wealth of the country. Beyond Kuesna, near
Benha, on the Damietta arm of the Nile, is a large viceregal palace,
where 'Abbas I. died in 1854 (probably by violence). — The train
crosses the Damietta branch of the Nile.
101 M. Benha (railway to Zakazik and the Suez Canal, see
p. 161), or Benha' l-A sal, i.e. 'Benha of the honey', is famous for its
blood-oranges and mandarins, which are much esteemed at Cairo.
Excellent grapes are also produced here.
To the N.E. of Benha, not far from the town, and intersected by the
railway, are the insignificant ruins of the ancient Athrihis, now named
K6m el-Atrib and Atrib or Et rib. Athribis was founded under the Pharaohs,
and appears to have enjoyed its maximum importance in theGraeco-Roman
period of Egyptian history. — A short branch-line (trains daily) leads to
(7 M.) Mit Berah, and a light railway runs to MansHra and the Barrage
du Nil (see p. 158).
Near (109 M.) Tukh the mountains enclosing the Nile higher
up become visible in the distance. The outlines of the pyramids
then begin to loom in the distance on the right. — Stat. Kaha
120y2 M. Kalyub (Calioub) is the junction of a branch-line to
Zakdzlk (p. 161) and of another to the (5V<> M.) Barrage du Nil
The Libyan chain becomes more distinctly visible, and we
also observe the Mokattam range with the citadel, and the mosque
of Mohammed cAli with its slender minarets. The scenery now
becomes more pleasing. Gardens and villas come in sight. To the
left lie the site of the ruins of Heliopolis (the obelisk of which is
not seen from the railway), Matariyeh with its sycamores, Kubbeh,
the usual residence of the Khedive, and the large barracks of cAb-
basiyeh, while on the right we perceive the beautiful avenue lead¬
ing to Shubra (p. 76). About 3/4 hr. after leaving Benha the train
enters the principal station of (129 M.) Cairo (p. 24).