to Cairo. TANTA. 2. Route. 225
As far as Bulak the train follows the W. bank of the Rosetta branch
of the Nile , skirting the boundary between the Libyan desert and the
cultivated Delta of the Nile. The stations between Tell el-Barud and
Bulak are Kdm Ham&deh, El-Taryeh, Kafr Ddwud, El-Warddn, and El-
Mendshi. The station at Bulak is nearly l'/2 M. from the Muski. Car¬
riages not always to be had.
The cultivated land becomes richer, and we pass villages,
groups of trees, and even tamarisks. The train reaches the broad
Rosetta arm of the Nile, crosses it by a long iron bridge (fine
view to the left), and enters the station of (65 M.) Kafr ez-
Zaiy&t (second station at which the express stops, 2 hrs. after
leaving Alexandria; halt of 20min.; restaurant). The town, which
carries on a busy trade in grain, cotton, and the other products of
the Delta (p. 73), lies on the right bank of the river. Excursion
to the ruined site of Sais, the modern Sd el-Hager, see R. 8, d.
The Delta in Winter. 'The fields are still wet at places, and straight
canals are seen in every direction. All the cereals grown in ancient times
still flourish here, and the slender palm still rears its fruit-laden crown
beside the less frequent sycamore, with its slender umbrageous foliage.
The cotton-plants are successfully cultivated where the soil is well irrigated,
and form extensive plantations of underwood, bearing a profusion of yel¬
low, red, and white blossoms, which somewhat resemble wild roses.
Vineyards are rare, but they sometimes occur in the northern part of
the Delta, the plants being trained on the trelliswork which we often
see represented in the paintings of the ancient Egyptian tombs. The
■water-wheels (sakiyeh) are turned by buffaloes and donkeys, and soma-
times by camels or by steam; and the water-pail (shaduf), though less
common than in Upper Egypt, is occasionally plied by slightly clad men
and boys. The canals are flanked with embankments to protect the fields
from inundation, and the paths on these banks are enlivened with strings
of camels, donkeys with their riders, and men, women, and children on
foot. From a distance the villages look like round, grey hillocks, full of
openings, and around them rise dovecots and palm-trees. On closer
examination we distinguish the mud-huts, huddled together on rising
ground where they are safe from the inundation. Many of these hamlets
are adorned with very handsome groups of palms, while the minarets
which overtop the larger villages and towns seem to point as devoutly
to heaven as our Gothic church-spires'. (Ebers, 'Goshen', etc.)
76 M. Tanta (33/4 hrs. from Alexandria, l^hr. from Cairo).
Opposite the station is an Inn kept by a Greek, which looks not
uninviting. The Greek Restaurant on the Canal, near the Bazaar, is pa¬
tronised by European merchants from Cairo and Alexandria during the
fair of Tanta.
Consular Agents. British, Mr. Joyce; German, Hr. Dahhdn; French,
Tanta, the handsome capital of the province of Gharblyeh,
which lies between the Rosetta and Damietta arms of the Nile,
with a population estimated at 60,000 souls, possesses large public
buildings and an extensive palace of the Khedive. The bazaars
present a very busy scene at the time of the fairs (see below).
The Mosque of the Seyyid el-Bedawi, having been recently
restored, presents a handsome appearance. The large court contains
the basin for ablutions (pp. 147, 184).
Seyyid Ahmed el-Bedawi is probably the most popular saint in Egypt,
and the most frequently invoked. He is said to have been born in the
12th cent, at Fez, or according to others at Tunis, and to have settled
Baedeker's Egypt I. 2nd Ed. 15