2. From Alexandria to Cairo.
128 M. Railway. Express train in 4y3 hrs., fares 30'/2 fr. (117 pias¬
tres), 20'/4 fr. (78 piastres); return-tickets, available till the first train on
the second day after, 175 piastres 20 paras or 117 piastres tariff. Ordinary
trains in 5'/2-6 hrs., fares 97, 65, 39 piastres. Each first-class passenger has
35 kilogrammes of luggage free, second 26, third 17 (or about 77, 57, and
37 lbs. respectively). The first and second class carriages resemble those
in France and Italy; the third are often excessively dirty. Five trains
daily each way, starting at the same hours : express at 6 p.m., ordinary at
8 (from Cairo 8.30) a.m., 10 a.m., 2.45 p.m., and 10.30 p.m. — From stat.
Benha via Zakazik direct to Suez at 1 p.m., reaching Zakazik at 2 p.m. and
Suez at 6.30 p. m. (fares from Alexandria to Suez 169 arid 113 piastres
tariff). At Kafr ez-Zaiyat (p. 225) there is a European restaurant. The
only refreshments obtainable at the other stations are boiled eggs (bed),
Arabian bread ('esh), water (moyeh), and oranges (bortukan) and sugar¬
cane (kasab) in their seasons 0/2-2 copper piastres).
The railway-station (PI. 2; G, 5) is not far from the hotels, but the
traveller had better drive to it, starting from his hotel at least half-an-
hour before the advertised time of departure. New-comers and travellers
burdened with much luggage should engage the commissionnaire of the
hotel or a valet-de-place (2s.) to assist in booking their luggage, an
operation carried on by the employe's with those alternations of apathetic
indolence and violent hurry which are so characteristic of Orientals.
The Alexandria and Cairo line, the first railway constructed in the East,
was made under Sa'id Pasha in 1855 and was to have been continued by
another line from Cairo across the desert to Suez, but the latter project
has been abandoned. The names of the stations are not called out.
The Arabian villages (comp. p. 39) seen from the line present a very
curious appearance, and the interior of their half-open mud-hovels is
frequently visible. The dust is very annoying in hot weather, forcing
its way into the carriages even when the windows are closed.
The train first traverses gardens towards the N.E., and beyond
Sidi Gdher diverges to the right from the line to Rosetta (p. 447).
To the left is the ruin of the Kasr el-Kaydsereh (p. 222), situated
on the coast, with the chateau of Ramleh (p. 222) in the distance.
It then crosses the Mahmudlyeh Canal (p. 448) and skirts its S.
bank nearly as far as stat. Damanhur (see below). To the left lies
the Lake of Abukir (Beheret Ma'adlyeh); to the right is Lake Mareotis
(Beheret MaryUt), the water of which washes the railway embank¬
ment at places during the period of the inundation, while in sum¬
mer it is a considerable distance from it.
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,
irrigated from the Nile as early as the time of Herodotus. The banks once
yielded excellent white wine, which has been extolled by Horace and
Virgil, and is mentioned by Athenseus as having been particularly
wholesome. Egypt now produces very little wine, but reminiscences
of its culture in the region of Lake Mareotis are still preserved in
the name Karm (i.e. 'vineyard', pi. kuriim), which the Arabs apply to
some ancient ruins here , and in numerous wine-presses hewn in the
rocks which still exist. Mahmud-Bey and Professor Kiepert divide this
coast region into four parallel zones: (1) The chain of sand-hills on the
coast, where many old ruins are still observable; (2) The depression of
the Wadi Maryut, a western prolongation of the lake, the water of which